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Find your niche.

Posted by on Tuesday, May 1, 2012 in Academics.

Trust me, these last few weeks have been stressful, as we all have had projects, papers, and exams galore, but… If you do it right, the stress can be very rewarding in the end. You just have to find the place you belong. A major that you enjoy and also understand in all its complexities. That will simplify your life far more than you can imagine.

Coming into college, you may think you know exactly what you want to do, but… as one of my high school English teachers once told me, told close other opportunities because you are so determined to do one thing. Or, well, something along those lines. The point is, allow yourself to experiment and try new things. For A&S, yes, take advantage of AXLE. Then you might find something that you would have never known about otherwise.

I arrived to Vanderbilt absolutely determined that I would be majoring in biology and that I would become some world-renowned genetic researcher one day. Well, much to my dismay, that was proving to be difficult, and the subject I had once adored and considered my future lost its shimmer. No worries, though! A new door opened. While yes, I adore biology, still, I recognized that it was in fact not my forte.

That’s right. My advice? Find not only a topic that you love, but also something in which you excel. Last spring, I was sitting in a biological anthropology class, and everything clicked for me. I heard people discussing through their confusion in the class, and yes, that confused me. How could people find such an easy subject so difficult? And then it clicked! Those people were to anthropology as I had become to biology. In biology, I would grow annoyed by the random questions asked in class which were not relevant. Meanwhile, in anthropology, my mind went off on tangents constantly, and yes, it still does. In fact, while I was studying for my Anthropology 101 exam last week with a friend, we found it difficult to focus on the subject material because we went off on tangents on how to apply our lessons to real world situations.

Those sorts of conversations should be what run through your mind. Find your niche. Find the thing that keeps your mind rolling, because then, you will be able to find ways to connect all of your classes to that interest and enjoy your entire year instead of approaching each day of class in fear.

In the meantime, I should go study some more Spanish before I can say my year is done!

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