Every study discipline has its own internal culture that every pupil will come to live, breathe and contribute to. For art majors, it’s never knowing how you will be graded on an assignment because everything is subjective. For business majors it’s all about being busy and hearing the word “network” more times than you can bear. For a Science major, whether it be chemistry, biology, physics or biomedical sciences, the culture goes a little like this…
1. There’s no such thing as an “Easy A” class.
It just doesn’t happen. There are some classes that are easier relative to, say, Organic Chemistry 3, but that’s not a very good indicator of how easy a class is. Basically, every semester is a world class marathon.
2. You always point out all the inaccuracies of Grey’s Anatomy, CSI and House.
It’s actually really satisfying to watch something on TV with others and say “that’s so wrong, it’s actually like THIS.” Then you go into a long explanation about what would actually occur and how no one in medicine actually does that.
3. Life feels like survivor: you watch everyone switch majors or fail a class…and you wonder if you’re next.
This is definitely one of those fields where EVERY class is a “weed-out” class. Those that remain are the bravest souls in existence.
4. Every class is so steeply curved you forgot what a normal grading scale is.
I was a science major for three years before I made the switch to Marketing, but the difference in grading was like night and day. You learn to live in a world where an “average” grade for an exam is a 50%.
5. Every lab class you take brings you closer to becoming a mad scientist.
Admit it, every time there’s a Bunsen burner, beaker and burette involved, you pretend you’re an evil mastermind that’s deadset on world domination.
6. Your parents are already calling you “Doctor” or “Scientist.”
And every time they introduce you to a family member or friend, suddenly there’s a PhD or MD after your name. After smiling awkwardly and exchanging pleasantries you bury the feelings of painful incompetence…because this is the only doctor most undergrads are qualified to be:
7. You feel like you can explain EVERYTHING.
Science is fascinating. Seeing the natural world play out, and being able to explain its processes through what you have learned in the classroom is extremely satisfying. And witnessing weird science? The greatest.
8. Any paper you write will be half numbers and half words.
The type of writing most science classes require are lab reports or some other technical paper. As you advance, you start to notice that the ratio of number to letter starts to steadily increase, much to your horror…
9. It’s such a grueling process, that if you stick with it; you truly love it.
I think it can be argued that pursuing a science major has the highest return on investment, depending on your career choice. It’s a lot of school, a lot of late nights crying over your textbook, a lot of self-doubt and a lot of burn out. Yet, if you make it to the finish line, you know it’s worth it.
10. You constantly question your life decisions, but at the end of the day, there is nothing else you’d rather do.
I ended up moving on to something else, but students who stay and persevere as a science major know the rewards are worth the struggle. Anyone with a science major: I salute you. The Few. The Proud. The Science Majors.