From Confusion to Clarity: How I chose my University Major

Choosing a major in university is a significant decision that shapes the course of a person’s life. It can be a daunting task to figure out what path to take, and it often requires a long process of reflection and exploration. When I was faced with this decision, I went through a similar process to determine what major was best for me.

Growing up, I had intense dreams of becoming a football player as I have continuously alluded to. However, I knew that I needed a traditional profession to fall back on, given the household and culture I grew up in. As a result, I thought about pursuing a career in business and technology during my early high school years. Progressing and developing in my high school years, a passion for biology was discovered during the two years of the International Baccalaureate (IB) program. The concepts I learned in my biology classes started coming naturally to me, and I realized that pursuing a career in the field would be a good fit for my interests and skills.

Applying to universities and as the extremist that I was at the time, I initially considered biomedical engineering, as it combines biology and technology, but I wasn’t sure how to incorporate my entrepreneurial interests. It wasn’t until I discovered the Science and Business program at the University of Waterloo that I found the perfect combination of my interests. In my two years of progressing through the program, I felt like I was drifting away from the science aspect of things and wanted to find a clear focus in the biology discipline.

I found that practically being in the business world with the initiatives I started gave me the entrepreneurial perspective of business with lots of learning curves along the way, but the guidance from mentors made it easier and clarified my vision. I decided to switch to biology with a bioinformatics option to focus solely on the sciences during my time at university.

Biology is a fascinating subject that explores the complexities of living organisms, from the smallest cells to entire ecosystems. With my passion for the field, I wanted to be at the forefront of the latest research and contribute to our understanding of the natural world. In my research in bioinformatics, I learned that it combined biology with simple computer science concepts, and that particularly intrigued me. It involves using computational tools to analyze biological data, such as DNA sequences, to gain insights into biological processes. I was blown away when I learned that there are limitless applications in healthcare, agriculture, and environmental science, and as a strand of biotechnology, bioinformatics is a rapidly growing field.

Of course, switching programs and discovering new passions along the way comes with its challenges, but it’s all part of the journey that shapes who we become. The biology, and bioinformatics option as a program may seem complex, but it’s a constantly evolving field that requires keeping up with the latest research. Learning how to learn has been key to my outlook in my university experience, as being dynamic in your approach and open in your understanding does help you stay relevant and keep up with the changes in whatever field you are in.

The idea of learning how to learn is becoming more widely accepted, and organizations and institutions are beginning to adopt this approach. Black Tutors Canada is one such organization that connects students with tutors who can help them improve in areas where they have potential. By adopting a dynamic and open approach to learning, we can all stay relevant in a constantly changing world

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Darren Harry Baine

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