The One Thing I Would Have Done Differently

Study science.

Go ahead, be artsy, do the music and the language and the art, but also STUDY SCIENCE.

Get a minor, do a summer internship, do a double major.  There’s nothing and no one that says you can’t study arts and sciences.  Do it and you’ll thank yourself later.

Why?  Why in the world should I study science?  It’s hard and complicated.

Of COURSE it’s hard.  If it was easy, any idiot with access to household chemicals could do a world of damage.  But that’s not why it’s hard.  It’s not hard to prevent people from doing, it’s hard because it helps us do more.  It’s important and vital to human development.  It gives us medicine, computers, jewelry, central heating and cooling, television, and a better understanding of our world overall.  It warns us of natural disasters, medical issues, and a whole host of other problems.

But it can give you a sense of wonder, open your eyes to the universe and really broaden your horizons.  No one wants to talk to someone who just talks about music or art or 16th century poets.  Conversations are diverse and complex (unless your only source of information is tabloids, then it’s quite simple and dull).  Even a small amount of understanding about the world through science does amazing things for your sense of purpose.

It gives you a base of reference.  If you’re a writer, you have a knowledge base to pull from.  If someone says something scientific on the TV, you know what they’re talking about.  If there’s a warning about something, you can figure out just what that means for you.  Medical diagnoses, books, games, movies.  It goes on and on.

“Learning science removes the mystery!” some might argue.

Well, that’s kind of the point.  Scientists are curious.  They want to know how or why.  They’re not satisfied with “because I said so” or “because it is.”  And neither should you.  Believe me, learning about how and why the world works only makes me more awestruck.  The universe is a big, big place and the qualifications for life are so specific, I am amazed on a daily basis that we’re even here.  It’s very humbling and inspiring.  We’re here, we might as well do something with it.

Finally, if you study a science, it makes you a better job candidate.  You can’t get far with an arts or language degree.  Trust me.  I have first hand experience with this.  Get a minor in science.  Get a double major in science.  Do the internships.  Take the online courses.  Get the certifications.  You’ll thank me later.

So, study science.  Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Geology, Biology, Astronomy, Ecology, Computer Science.  Something.  Do it for yourself.  Don’t do it because I say you should.  Do it because you’ll enjoy some part of it, either the learning, the knowing, or the doing.  Yeah, it’s hard, but there’s something to be said for getting your hands dirty and using knowledge you didn’t know you had.  It’s worth it.


About amandamccarter

I am an aspiring writer. I spend most of my time balancing my work, my personal life and my craft. It is my hope that my craft and my work will one day be the same thing and I can spend more time on my personal life. I live with my boyfriend, my insane fluff ball of a cat, and two snakes. In what little spare time I have, I play video games, read, knit, and help out with the local conventions.
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4 Responses to The One Thing I Would Have Done Differently

  1. Melanie Meadors says:

    I was an astronomy and physics double major. Heh. I never “did” anything with it….but at least I can take part in the “greater conversation”; when things come up I can speak with some intelligence about things. And it was fun to learn all that stuff, to stretch my brain. Math does not come naturally to me, but it was cool to see all the applications for it. Sometimes it gives me writers block because I spend too much time worrying about “is this really possible?” rather than thinking more with my creative part. But hey…

    • It just feels like with an art degree, I’m not taken as seriously. It gives me a lot to pull from for writing, but I worry my science isn’t as accurate.

  2. davidrm says:

    My approach is to never assume my studying is finished. I’ve learned a lot more since I graduated college than I learned before and during.

    If I was going to do One Thing Differently about college…it would be to dump the Math Minor. =) Picking a minor because “it’s easy” (with 14 hours of Math required for a Computer Science degree, you only had to add a class or two) was the wrong reason. I spent my last couple years of college taking as many advanced history courses as I could, because *that* was what I wanted to know. Math was a meh.

    • That’s why I have a Liberal Arts Degree. I had done three years of music and got stone walled in my next to last year. Arts was quick and easy. I should have done what was best, not what was easy.

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