College is supposed to be the best four years of a person's life, but is it really? As a science major, the beauty of college freedom and parties quickly fades away after the first semester. For some, it may have even dissipated before their eyes as early as during their first semester. And why would that be? What could possibly ruin a freshman's experience of breaking free and away from his or her parents and small town?
That's the heartbreaker, the tear-jerker, and dream-ruiner for most students aspiring to find a career in this highly competitive field. And could anyone be really surprised? Unless you're magically blessed with a smart brain or just naturally have an aptitude for the field, you're probably going to experience one, or fifty-one, break downs during your freshman year alone as you face the daunting tasks and information the sciences expect you to accomplish and absorb by, say, tomorrow?
I exaggerate, but not by much. As I progress through my major that's somewhere stuck between biology and chemistry, I begin to realize that not only do the students see how hard the journey will be, but I notice that professors alike know it too. They've been in our shoes, they know the struggle is real; but at the same time, when they look at the freshmen all pouring into their general ed science class, they also acknowledge the fact that many - if not most - of them will be 'weeded out' within a semester or three. For this reason, I wonder if that's why until end of sophomore year of college, you're still able to change your major without disapproval.
However, I digress. What mainly bothers me is the fact that this has become an expectation for them. This process of selecting the strong out of the weak, while logical in some sense, (i.e. I'm sure everyone would hope to go to doctors who know what they're doing), is also quite disappointing. If the student tries, if he or she wholeheartedly even sacrifices their social life just to try and get that passing grade in per se, chemistry, but still does not succeed - then whose fault is it really? Sure, the student may actually not be meant for science, but even then, can they be faulted for being thrown away just because they weren't prepared?
Science is hard, yes, but I believe that the core of the issue is that many science majors who go into college quit or get 'weeded out,' because they weren't properly prepared. High school biology, chemistry, and even physics, for most was compromised for them either because teachers were lax with grading, didn't care, or of course - just failed to properly build the foundation and understanding that the students would need in order to deal with the student life of being a science major.
They won't realize the sacrifice, the time, and the effort that is required of them until it is too late. And it would be shame, wouldn't it? If they were just washed out because of the simple fact that their mentality wasn't prepared for the work?