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Knowing Your Biology (Even When It’s Not Your Major)

By Melika

Imagine this:

You enter the doors of your high school, (La Guardia Arts aka the “FAME” school), greeted by the members of the Lucky Chops Brass Band, a group of students known to parade the halls during holiday season blowing on their instruments and intruding into classrooms with their performances. This mini concert marks the beginning of your school day. You observe the students around you and see one student wearing safety pins as earrings, another student is rocking the latest Jordans, and another student is dressed up as Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean. This is the norm for you.

The vocal majors singing their latest operatic assignments in the hallways serve as friendly reminders that you are in school. The instrumental majors pulling out their violins during lunch period improvising and attempting to replicate Miri Ben Ari’s hip hop violin renditions also fulfill this purpose.  The dance majors spend four periods perfecting their extensions and arabesques. The drama majors (aka the crazy ones at school) rehearse their lines in the basement. And of course we have the techies, the forgotten soldiers of this arts school, who without their help, the various shows that prominent talent scouts attend would be a surefire epic failure.

Now imagine this:

It is your first day of class at the U of R. The campus is exactly how you envisioned it; green grass, traditional dorm buildings, and people playing Frisbee on the quad. Everything is like it should be.

It was this transition that was a shocker for me. Don’t get me wrong. I love the U of R. I have first hand access to some of the best professors, highest quality classes, and I have made lifelong friends. But I have to admit, it was a little bit difficult going from a school like LaGuardia Arts to the U of R. Music has been a vital part of my existence. I have been playing the violin for the past ten years. I was an instrumental major in high school. I took part in many productions that my high school held. The arts were just as important as academics. One did not exist without the other.

In high school, if I asked someone “What is your major?,” they would respond, “Oh, I am a drama major,” or “I am a dance major.” At the U of R, I heard a very different tune. When I ask this question, I am answered with “I am Molecular Biology/ Genetics Major,” or “I am an Economics major,” or even “I am double majoring in Electrical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering.” I am often left with the thought, should I be majoring in something within the science field? This was a question that I battled with often during my freshman year at the U of R. I decided to go into the Nursing field. I took Biology and the like, and hated it. By the end of my freshman year I succumbed to my already known realization that the sciences were not for me.

I am now an English major, and loving it. I am also pursuing a minor in music. Even though it took a while to find my niche, once I decided to be honest with myself and do what I love and what I know how to do, everything just clicked. I still have my outlet with music. I plan on utilizing the U of R’s connection to Eastman and taking classes there. My advice to prospective students who are going from a very arts school to the U of R: You do not sacrifice your art! Stay true to you.

Peace, love, and all of the above.

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