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choosing a major

First year college students walk in with a lot of insecurities. This is the year we begin to answer the question that our relatives at awkward family parties have been asking us for years: “What do you want to be when you grow up?” We are asked what major we want to do and what we want to do with that major. All of sudden, you are picking classes and setting up for graduation. All this happens with the expectation you will graduate and go into the real world.

I walked in knowing I want to major in English. It was the obvious approach due to my affinity for books and writing. The question previously stated changed to “Is this really what I want to do when I grow up?” I learned this year that the answer to the question at every single family party was: English. It was always there, but I had some insecurities due to how important the decision is.

This year I learned about literature and read more authors that I have ever read. I have interpreted literature and learned more about writing than I ever knew. I was introduced to reading literature in lenses and it changed the way I read. Harry Potter is, and always will be, obviously a Marxist text.

This year I learned that I never want to stop reading and writing. My hobby turned into passion, now I want my passion to turn into my career. ​

 

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I remember the final days of high school pretty well, at least for now since I graduated almost two years ago now.  But those last final days were kind of just odd to say the least.  There were girls around me who were emotional some days and then so excited the next day.  For me really, I would say I was kind of indifferent – primarily because of the fact that I had seen the transition at least three times prior in my own family – I was not that afraid of going on to college classes.  I was confident at least with the independence part because I was going to a college right in town, which I commute too still while living at home, and since I also chose the same school which my sister had attended a few years prior, where I knew some of the faculty already and had seen the campus as a kid.

Though once I had really started to have more classes under my belt, and understanding the life of college, it did become kind of intimidating.  Though what made it intimidating was when I had gone from first looking at Special Education, to Speech-Language Pathology, to then Undecided…  I had no idea what to do with myself.  I felt that I was sure of what I wanted to do with my life for a career most of my life though once I made it to college and predicaments came into the picture, I was scared.  I felt lost, not sure of what was going to happen with my life.  I wondered who would I hang out with in regards to my major and get to know for future possible networking or just becoming familiar with people I would see each day in classes.  I felt like I didn’t fit in at times because I was undecided and not firmly planted on the ground with a decision.  Though through all of that scary, uncertain, anxiety-filled period of days, I began to really ask questions pertaining to what I was interested in and enjoyed investing my time and talents in.  I would talk to previous teachers I had for classes that I felt comfortable with, I volunteered with organizations that I knew I felt welcome and just a part of the community, I evaluated parts of myself that I had not thought about re-evaluating in regards to a career.  By spending the time to slow down and just accept where I was with my life, pray about it and let that resonate inside of me, I was slowly able to really find the new major that I have today in the field of Family and Consumer Sciences which would be the one and only Family Policy and Advocacy.

So, what I can say for future Fontbonne Griffins, would be to really see where your interests reside in regards to school if you are unsure of where to look for a major.  I can tell you that each of the professors here at Fontbonne, as well as staff members, are here for you and for your betterment as a student.  By having a smaller enrollment of students on campus, this leads to more opportunities to get to know your teacher, say hello and get to know them a little more.  I can honestly say that they would enjoy getting to know you in return and aide you with anything along the way that you may need.  Challenge yourself to talk to someone who you may not talk to that often while at a social event or at the lunch table.  Make sure to say hi to people you pass on the sidewalk on your way to class.  Most importantly, make sure to recognize your limits and boundaries because I can speak from experience that those are the kinds of things to learn in college, and learn very well.  Additionally, accept the limits and boundaries that you have because each person is different and cannot be compared to.  But my first two years at Fontbonne University have and shall continue to be some of the best years of my life thus far.  I have learned so much about myself that I would never have expected two years ago as a senior in high school.  Trust yourself.

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I just about shocked everyone when I, as a junior in high school taking excess honors and college credit English and Spanish courses, said that I was going to major in biology. A few people laughed. A few people thought I was crazy. And some thought I’d never make it through.

And now, it’s just over two months until I receive my BS degree in biotechnology and physiology.

Biology wasn’t always easy for me. There were days that I considered quitting. There were days when I literally fell asleep in my textbooks. There were days when I thought I’d never be able to understand the mind-blowing concepts or work independently in a lab. Now, however, I’m technically finished with all of my biology course requirements, and I’m proving to myself a little at a time that I can work independently in a laboratory setting because, well, I am working in one for half of the work week. Don’t get me wrong – there are still days that I come home wondering if I’ll ever be able to “make it big” and leave my mark on science – but I’m realizing that making that bold decision to major in biology was well worth it.

What advice would I give someone who is thinking about going into biology? In short, biology isn’t just a program or a degree – it truly is a way of life. If you’re interested in learning about the inner workings of life, if you choose to study biology, and if you’re anything like me, your life will be made so much fuller by studying biology.

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Since my very first blog two and a half years ago, I’ve been talking about the facts that I’m majoring in biology and that I want to pursue a career in biomedical research. However, it recently occurred to me that I’ve never actually explained how I got into this major.

If you would’ve told me that I’d be a biology major when I was a freshman, sophomore, or even a fall-semester junior in high school, I would’ve told you that you were crazy. In high school, I loved English, Spanish, and communication classes. I took as many honors and college credit English and Spanish classes as I could. I remember loving my sophomore-level biology course; however, I had that purely American stereotype of science: if you go into science, you’re going to be a doctor. Since I can’t stand the sight of blood coming out of a human body, I thought that science was a field I’d never enter.

During my junior year of high school, I took an honors chemistry course. As it turned out, I was pretty good balancing chemical equations and performing titrations in lab. However, I still had that American stereotype of science. I did NOT want to be a doctor.

Then, right around Halloween of my junior year, my chemistry teacher took us on a field trip to the Science Center for SciFest, an event during which scientists from around the globe gave presentations on all aspects of science. I saw a presentation about the manufacturing of medicine that was given by a local pharmaceutical company. The entire time, I was fascinated by the entire process of bettering people’s lives by bettering the medicines that they take. A few months later, when I got serious about looking for colleges, I looked not for English and communication programs but for biology programs.

There are definitely days when I wonder what my life would be like if I’d never gone to SciFest and see that presentation that inspired me to completely change my mind about the field that I wanted to go into. I think about what it would be like to study British literature instead of the relatively-high rates of genetic HIV resistance found in Northern Europeans. But then I think about how blessed I am. I think about how I’ll be able to change the world by helping to advance our knowledge of medical treatments and cures, and I think about my work at the Science Center and about the potential I have to inspire younger generations to go into science due to my presence there.

All in all, I guess you could say that life is a full-circle trip. Do I actually know where I’ll end up? Definitely not. But I’m excited to find out.

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How I Ended Up a Speech Language Pathology Major

by Alumni Posts March 22, 2012

I want to first begin this blog by saying that this post is long overdue. It’s been awhile since I’ve blogged on here…busy schedules and the hustle and bustle of college life can take over. However, it’s nice to be blogging again. It also helps that Spring Break has already begun! Now, to explain how […]

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Choosing a Major

by Alumni Posts February 21, 2012

Howdy, readers! I wanted to write a brief post about last week’s blog topic, choosing a major. I had first approached this problem from the “Well, what subject do you like best in school?” angle, and that had initially led me to history.  I figured I could teach high school with it, and all would […]

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My Major

by Alumni Posts February 21, 2012

Figuring out what you want to do is always a tough decision. When I was a little girl I wanted to work at McDonald’s. Thankfully, your idea of a perfect job changes as you get older. Up until high school, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I didn’t even […]

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Why Deaf Education

by Alumni Posts February 20, 2012

“Why did you choose Deaf Education?” is the second most-asked question behind “what made you decide to go back to school?” Well I have always loved education, and years ago, I almost went back to school to be a teacher. The thing that stopped me however was the system of it all in terms of […]

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Fontbonne and Fashion, Like Peanut Butter and Jelly

by Alumni Posts February 16, 2012

One of the most important decisions you can make in your life is what you decide to study in college. This may be what one would think at the ripe old age of seventeen or eighteen, but in reality, it isn’t. Nevertheless, it is a choice that has to be made, and mine was particularly […]

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Students writing for Real Life at Fontbonne are paid a small fee for each post by the university.