“If you were a little bit smarter and if you had a little more time on your hands, would you still aspire for this major? If the answer is yes, then it it not a matter of whether or not the major is for you, it it about whether or not you love your major enough to change your habits so that you can be able to succeed in it.”
From all the regret, stress, anger and questioning derived from the four phases of home sickness (See my last post.), I ask myself every second if I am in the right major. Biology is a very prestigious major; not only do you need to understand biology inside out, there’s also chemistry, organic chemistry, countless endless hours of lab classes, calculus, statistics, physics, genetics and other classes that build upon each other in later years of studies. Did I mention the labs? Each of these courses is very challenging on their own and very different from one another but when put together in one semester, you life can, and I can almost guarantee at some point it will, become very chaotic.
When I was at the age of pigtails my parents asked me a very different variation of the question “what do you want to be when you’re older?” They asked what type of doctor I wanted to be. I didn’t exactly mind because growing up I loved biology but I never imagined majoring in biology would be as stressful and challenging as it is.
If you are questioning your major after taking a downhill turn in college ask yourself this: If you were a little bit smarter and if you had a little more time on your hands, would you still aspire for this major? If the answer is yes, then it it not a matter of whether or not the major is for you, it it about whether or not you love your major enough to change your habits so that you can be able to succeed in it. If the answer is no, you probably understand what you have to do. Here are some things I have realized and some things that I am doing differently this semester that have helped me raise my grades significantly in a very short amount of time:
- College is a hard transition between keeping high school friends and making new friends. So here’s a rule that makes it easier to know who is worth investing your time into: Those who want to be in your life will make time for you, and those who don’t, don’t care. Whether it is a best friend, boyfriend, girlfriend, whomever- no one is always busy and if that is their excuse, drop them. Simple. There is absolutely no time and emotional stress to waste trying to hold onto someone that “doesn’t have time”.
- Teachers really are not trying to make your life harder when they recommend that you read the chapters in a textbook. Do all the homework. Yes, homework is important. Go to tutoring and do any other practice problems they post. They want you to succeed. And if your excuse is that there is not enough time, refer back to tip 1. Remember this: “You have time for what you make time for in life”- Bryant McGill. And if you are not willing to make the time, maybe you should reevaluate your major.
- The University of Albany has plenty of resources. Use them. UAlbany holds and has countless tutoring sessions and study groups that you can go to weekly or attend a few days before an exam held either by a student that previously took the class or by the professor (Click Here for More Information.). Why wouldn’t you want to attend and know what you should be focusing on for an upcoming exam? So suck up your pride and go to tutoring. Going to tutoring sessions does not mean that you are dumb – in fact, students that are smart ask for help when they need it instead of failing.
- Prioritize. Prioritize. P.r.i.o.r.i.t.i.z.e. I can’t stress it enough. Prioritize. Finish the homework that’s due first- first then do what’s due next- next. Start and finish a lengthy project early and so on. Get it done quickly so you have optimal amount of time to study. Yes, unfortunately it’s that simple.
- My mum always asks me while I am working if I am actually working. I didn’t understand this question for years until this semester. Am I really reading and focusing on the words on my page or am I staring at my textbook and daydreaming about summer? Am I really writing my essay or do I have all 50 of my social media accounts open and a blank document minimized?
The key to success throughout your academic journey (and actually with anything) is to be truthful with yourself. Ask: “Are you doing what you are supposed to be doing? Did you put in enough time? Is there anything that could have been improved?” and take it heads on from there. No matter how hard the task, it’s all doable depending on you.
About the Author:
Simonti B. Class of 2019 Major: Intended - Biology Spring 2016 Blog Theme: Writing My Own Chapter