Surviving as a Science Major

As a freshman biology major, it came as quite a shock when I realized how much time and effort would have to be put into my academics. In my first semester, I had a bit of a rude awakening when my first chemistry lab report rolled around. With a new lab and new report due every week, TIME MANAGEMENT IS KEY! Not only did I have lectures and quizzes to worry about, I now had weekly lab reports and pre-labs to worry about. Yes, they are time consuming and often seem like busy work, but they are necessary for the labs.

An important aspect is obviously time management. Set aside designated time to do homework, but make sure you have time for yourself too! A personal trick of mine is to put mini post it notes with dues dates for the month on my desk. When you get to take one off, it is a check off your list!

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Another lesson I have learned is that communication is key. In almost all of your classes you will come across group work in some way or another. Make sure to get their phone numbers so you can ask questions, assign roles and work as a group.

 

At some points in the semester, things can feel overwhelming. Maybe lab is stressful or you aren’t prepared for your next exam. It is important to acknowledge these feelings and handle them the best you can. If you need help with a certain subject matter - ask for help. If you feel overly stressed and anxious - ask for help. If your grade is dropping - ask for help. Asking for help is nothing to be ashamed of. Whether it be a friend, TA, advisor, professor, or CFAR, there are plenty of people that want you to achieve your goals.

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Lastly, make sure you are taking advantage of all the opportunities given to you. In chemistry, there is a program called Peer Led Team Learning (PLTL) where you meet weekly with a group of students from your class and a student who has previously done well in said class. Working through problems together and preparing for exams is so helpful (and the participation points given can really help your grade!). There are also tons of research opportunities, field-trips, interesting classes, special programs, and clubs to join. Take advantage of all the resources you are given - they can come in handy in the future.

Yes, being a science major is time consuming and stressful ost of the time, but doing labs and experiments can be SO fun! (especially when you get your own cool lab coat and goggles) Stick with it! You got this.

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