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Reasons You Shouldn’t Be a Biology Major (From an Ex-Biology Major)


Biology is by no means a bad subject. It’s interesting and if you’re dedicated enough to get through, it could be perfect for some people. At SUNY Geneseo, there are so many people who come in as biology majors that the department actively makes the courses more difficult so that people will switch to another major. This is what happened with me, and I’m glad it did.


I still think science is cool, but my first (and last) semester as a biology major didn’t go as I had originally planned. My only tip is that if science isn’t what you know you should do deep down, don’t be a biology major.


If you took a biology class in 8th grade or high school, got straight A’s, thought it was pretty cool but didn’t give it too much further thought, you might want to avoid majoring in it in college. If you start telling family members or teachers that you’re interested in science, they get all sorts of ideas. “You’re going to be a doctor!” “You’ll cure cancer, right?” “Stick with science, you’ll make lots of money!” As soon as people hear “STEM,” they’re already picturing you saving lives everyday and coming home to your mansion and yacht. If science is really your passion that’s great, but don’t let people imagine a dream for you instead of listening to yourself.


Listening to yourself means listening to past, present and future you. What did you really like to do in high school? As a kid? When no one was watching or encouraging something, what did you do on your own? What about taking a science class now? Are you forcing yourself to stay awake during lectures or reading those long chapters? Do you feel as though these other supposed biology majors are people you can relate to? And finally, what do you see yourself doing in the years to come? Is science something you’re only holding onto as something you can force yourself through for money?  Is your “safety plan” what you’re really hoping to do?


I knew for the longest time that writing was what I wanted to do—what I needed to do. My plan for a while was to hazily go into science and become some (?) sort of scientist, and write books on the side. That’s not a bad plan, except for the fact that all I really want to do is read and write books. I hate writing biology lab reports. I’m still not sure exactly how to do it. When I wasn’t interested in learning how, that told me this truly wasn’t for me.


If you’re not constantly interested in learning in a real, authentic way, the subject might not be for you. Of course, everyone has days where they get stressed or don’t feel like doing something they otherwise love. You can be frustrated with something for a moment and still love it, but in the end if it’s right, you’re going to know. If you only care about passing the bio test for the sake of passing, it may not be right. I don’t know how it feels to absolutely love the subject and study for hours hoping to prove what you’ve learned, but I’m sure there are people who feel that way and just know it’s what is meant for them.


In conclusion, don’t go through with something just because you think it’s what other people want for you. So many people go into biology thinking it’s what they want, but I encourage you to look within yourself and see if there’s something you’d rather be doing. It might be scary to expose what you really want, and more fears about your true passion may arise. But there’s no use in hiding behind biology or science, or in the false dream of becoming some famous scientist.Your new major might require more vulnerability, but you gotta do what’s right for you.


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Kayla Glennon

Geneseo '21

Kayla is a junior English major who is optimistic but enjoys exploring lots of emotions, not just ignoring the "bad" ones. They love writing silly things but also being serious, because there are a lot of things that matter and need to be talked about, but giving yourself a break is important too. They love writing about literature but also coming up with ideas for stories of their own. Kayla is constantly just trying to be themself and trying to be around people that make them happy.
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