A Day in the Life of … a Biochemistry Major

As my alarm goes off at 7:30 in the morning, I have to use every ounce of motivation to roll out of bed and get ready for my 8:30 a.m. organic chemistry lab.  I wake up before the sun is up and walk to class while the campus seems virtually empty.  Despite the fact that I am not a morning person, I can honestly say I do this willingly. This is because I am a biochemistry major who is one step closer to becoming a dentist.

Biochemistry is a specialization of chemistry; therefore, it does not require a minor (I chose to have one anyway. Mine is general business if you are curious.)  I can honestly say that I firmly believe that biochemistry is one of the toughest majors on campus because it is so extensive and thorough.  You cannot get away without understanding something because everything is constantly building upon itself.  I have experienced severe struggles with many courses and as an honors student. I am never the type to have struggles that stress me out to the point where I become emotional. BUT being a biochemistry major has changed that.

I do not say this to scare anyone away from becoming a biochemistry major.  I am simply saying that if you want to do biochemistry, you need to be willing to put in the effort and do all of the work, even the optional work.  Now that I am immersed in courses that specifically apply toward my major, I love every minute of it.  I get to be hands-on in labs, and students in my classes are going toward some sort of similar pre-professional goal.

I chose biochemistry because it completes every requirement to get into most dental schools and I like chemistry.  My class schedule at this point is usually rather unselective.   I mean that I am reaching a point that my classes are only offered during one period of the day (or two, but usually one conflicts with some other science course) and so you cannot pick anything else.  I have classes every day and many are back-to-back.

I also have two or three, three-hour labs per semester on average.  If you do not like labs, well, you might want to think about another major.  Personally, I love going to labs and feeling so fulfilled knowing that I just completed something scientific and applicable.  Furthermore, because I am a biochemistry major, I have built some great relationships with professors.  Not only am I hoping to start researching with their recommendations, I am not afraid to come to them with questions about the class or about the next steps I should take toward dental school.

Finally, I believe that biochemistry is a great major because it is versatile.  You can use biochemistry for dental or medical school, go to graduate school and do research or become a professor, or you could work in a hospital.  The possibilities almost seem endless.

If you are thinking about medical school or dental school of sorts, I would recommend you first do research about what is required to get into those schools and then pick a major based on that.  You would be pleasantly surprised to see that biochemistry will probably meet almost every requirement without having to take anything outside the major.  Give biochemistry a chance! It may be tough, but it is one of the most fulfilling.

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