With 2018 drawing to a close, I took some time to reflect on my own education and career path—from starting my Bachelor of Science to a specialized clinical specialization. For many AU students, their journeys may be far from traditional. Some may be upgrading their credentials, others may be aiming to learn to keep their minds fresh. Regardless of what the path may look like, it’s undeniable that excellent mentors and professors teach valuable lessons beyond the (virtual) classroom. Moving into the New Year, with careful reflection of the teachings my professors instilled in me, I came across 4 lessons I will take with me into 2019.
In the early years of my Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. I was fixated on the numbers. GPA, in my warped view at the time, reflected my potential to succeed. It created an unhealthy mindset where I failed to learn for the sake of learning or passion but rather to uphold a number on my transcript. When I was deeply dissatisfied with my final grade in a challenging higher level of Biology class, I confronted my professor with a whirlwind of emotions. Thankfully, our discussion remedied some of my anxiety at the time. He encouraged me to always put my best foot forward so that regardless of the results, we have stayed accountable to ourselves.
Another one of my poor habits was fixating on small details that sometimes had very little influence on the outcome. It caused undue worry, stress, and expectations that were unrealistic. Luckily, one of my professors encouraged us to keep the bigger picture in mind. For me, this came right before the due date of a term paper. I worked diligently on the paper and stopped fretting the minute details.
Cherish the process.
One of the commonalities I share with other university students is the itch to make a difference. We consider school a mandatory path to connect Point A to Point B. I yearned for my graduation, and even more for the day I could be financially independent. During my first history class, the professor talked about her own experiences being a student and a teacher at the same time. While she thought graduating would make her happier, she realized that the grass was not always greener on the other side.
While I have heard varied versions of this quote, the best came from an introductory chemistry professor. A Bachelor of Science is a broad, generalized degree that can be challenging to navigate for students from a career standpoint. He warned his students that sometimes an indecision was worse than any decision at all. Making a firm choice and committing to it can be challenging as we are inundated with choices in the twenty-first century. However, making a firm choice and responding to the consequences will help relieve our self-doubts regardless of the life decision.