From Science To Literature: A Transition

Flickr / Dean Hochman
Flickr / Dean Hochman

I’ve been digging up old pieces of writing on my laptop, and one on changing my major stuck out. It was written at the end of my first semester, three-and-a-half years ago. Here’s how it goes.

Going into college as a biology major was everything but comforting. Although I was enrolled in advanced mathematics and science classes during high school, I still felt I was completely unprepared. I knew two plus two and other basic concepts, but organic chemistry and applied calculus? Forget it. I was terrified of Fundamentals of Biology I lecture, and the three-hour lab period that was included, especially after I glanced over the books and materials I bought from the campus bookstore.

On the first day, I walked in a sat in the front row. All the students in the front get As, right? By the time the period ended for the afternoon, I was not so sure. In fact, I was even more lost than when I stepped inside the classroom. It all went by so slow and I had not had an interest in the discourse at all.

By mid-October, it was time to end it all. I withdrew. Since I passed my two summer courses, I was already ahead by eight credits, so academically it was not entirely a huge dilemma, but it would forever show up on a transcript. However, to this day, I still do not have any shame from it. Even though I was taking one less class the fall semester of my freshman year, I landed on the Dean’s list with a 4.0 grade point average and felt completely secure about changing my major.

Let me explain.

Upon my high school graduation, I attended a six-week summer program at my college for my scholarship. While having my own dorm on campus before any other freshman outside of this program, I took a class in college-level English and another in statistics. Although I was determined to pursue a career in the medical field, soon grim indecision and insecurity struck. I fell in love with my English class, taught by a literature professor. I think this was so drastic because I was never exposed to honors and other advanced English courses in high school; I was always fixated on the natural sciences.

Soon enough, my writing tutor helped me with assignments to adjust to college-level literacy and progressive analytical writing. In fact, she demanded I change my fall schedule. I did. I switched out of pre-calculus and chemistry into humanities and history, which both fulfilled general education requirements.

“If you enjoy Readings In Humanities as much as Critical Reading & Writing II, you should take Introduction to Literature in the spring. I promise it will be the best decision of your undergraduate career,” my tutor suggested.

Although I was still in a biology class, I still felt I could do it. Yet, I continued to fail throughout the first month and I was not satisfied with my grades. Science was not working out for me. As suspected, I adored my humanities class. I registered for my first literature course in the spring. As I look back now after the second semester of my freshman year has ended, my intro class was phenomenal; I now know I am in the right major. I am ready to pursue writing, instead of science, and I am content with this. Over the summer, I found a hidden passion for reading and writing. It turned out to be always apparent, but never completely acknowledged in a classroom setting. I am glad it happened. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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