Coming into the University of Wyoming, I had my entire life planned out. In fact, going into the first grade I had my entire life planned out. I was going to become a veterinarian for small and large animals with one of each species for myself. I ended up changing my degree from Animal Science with a Pre-Vet concentration to Microbiology because I was told it was a more competitive degree for vet school, but when I took my first microbiology class, I was hooked.
You see, since I was 8 years old, I have been shadowing the best veterinarian and mentor there is. She would always let me look through the microscope at different slides to try to train my eye, or, when I was 8, pick out the pinks from the purples. It wasn’t until I took General Microbiology with Rachel Watson that I realized it was not just the colors on the slide that I liked but learning about the smallest living organisms, how they function, and how they affect every living thing.
I was lucky that I decided to take a path I had never considered before because that lead me to take classes that I would have never taken previously. Without these classes, I would not have made it to the fun classes that really opened my eyes to my future career. Microbial Genetics and Microscopic Anatomy have quickly gone from fun classes I was excited to take, to endless potential career options. After realizing how beneficial and enjoyable taking classes I hadn’t considered before was, I started to take one fun class a semester. Ballet and Philosophy did not turn into career paths for me, rather they turned into new hobbies I can enjoy on the side. American Sign Language, a class I had always wanted to take, turned into not only another possible career path but a huge passion that I am still chasing and learning about to this day.
I guess this was the longest way I could possibly take to tell you that it is incredibly important to take random classes for fun. Don’t narrow your class or career options just because you have wanted to do something since you can remember, it is okay to branch out. Besides, you need those humanities credits anyway. In the end, what matters is not that you stick to your mindset you started college with or that you know exactly what you want to do when you graduate, but that you have the experience and tools to find a career you really do love. Because even if you aren’t planning on becoming a microbiologist, philosopher, ballerina, or interpreter, you never know where you’ll end up or what you will be able to turn into a career you love.
Take that crazy class, because maybe general microbiology will turn into microscopic anatomy, and you will change from a future practicing veterinarian to a future human pathologist!