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Chemistry minor

As I mentioned in my first post, I’ve changed a lot since first entering college. While my looks have changed (in my opinion) quite astronomically, I think the biggest change I’ve experienced has been in my personal interests. For example, had you told me as I went through my first semester of general chemistry as a freshman that in a year I’d be weirdly passionate about alkanes, alkenes, and alkynes, I would have been pretty skeptical. Actually, if you had told me that I would know and understand what those things were, I would have been pretty skeptical, too. But that’s exactly where I found myself the next year: spending hours in my dorm studying organic chemistry because I liked it. And I was good at it. That’s when I decided to add a chemistry minor, and, in the spring, one in biology as well. All that from a girl who hated science in high school (I blame that on lazy, bad teachers. Okay, and I was lazy about science then, too.)!

Excuse me while I geek out here, but adding all of these extra science classes has seriously opened my eyes to things I had never thought about before. Organic chemistry has made me realize just how incredibly toxic the world we live in is, from the foods we put in are bodies that are full of crazy sounding chemicals or are sprayed with pesticides, to the things we put on our bodies that contain such lovelies as phthalates and fragrances. As I begin to test my biology skills (which are terribly rusty from high school, thanks to the aforementioned bad teachers and my laziness), I’ve come to realize how incredibly sophisticated the natural world is. Not to mention beautiful! And also, have you ever stopped to think about how amazing the human body is? And how, if we really respect it, it’s capable of doing some pretty impressive stuff?

So. As soon as I think I have my future potential career all chosen, I realize usually around two weeks later that maybe there’s something else I’d rather do. And that’s the case now. I started off the year thinking I wanted to go into environmental toxicology and molecular nutrition, but now I’m not so sure what I want to do! There’s so much stuff that fascinates me at this point that I don’t know how I’ll ever narrow it down. If I could have a job that allows me to travel and experience the natural world in all its glory, and it somehow ties the topics of plant foods and human nutrition together, that’s what I’d want to do. Wouldn’t it be cool to go to the rainforest and study the nutritional properties of some exotic plant food? I mean, surely that’s a job, right? Whoever concluded that chocolate is in fact good for us or that chia seeds are incredible little powerhouses, I applaud them. And this week, I want their job.

I guess what got me thinking about this was my trip to the Botanical Gardens yesterday. The more time I spend there, the happier and more confused I am. I have a feeling, though, that eventually it’ll all come together if I just keep pursuing those very things that make me happy. So I suppose I’ll leave you with a quote from the late Steve Jobs that I have hanging above my desk that reminds me to keep moving forward, despite the confusion:

“Follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become.”

-Carly

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