About this time last year, I had the crises of all crises: I wanted to change my major. This wasn’t a simple “Oh I want to add on a mechanical emphasis” or a “I think I really want to take a whole bunch of business classes too” type of crisis. This was a “Oh my goodness I really don’t like what I’m doing right now and what I have in store for me.”
Up until junior year of high school, I wanted to be a lawyer. I took all the humanities classes offered at my high school and just the minimum STEM classes required of me. Then junior year I took biology for the first time and absolutely fell in love. I thought it was so cool to learn about how the body works and loved thinking of ways to apply that knowledge towards solving health-related issues. I immediately realized that, regardless of my post-graduate ambitions, I knew I had to pursue some type of STEM degree in college. So I talked to some wise adults and concluded that I should just come in to college as all the things. I came in pre-med because I figured it would be easier to start off pre-med than to realize later on that it was in fact what I wanted to do. I also came in BME because I figured if I realized I did not want to become a doctor, I could still be doing something related to healthcare.
After I got to SC, it didn’t take me long at all to realize that I was more interested in being an engineer in healthcare than a doctor. After that realization, I soon realized that as much as I love what comes after college in biomedical engineering, I wasn’t that excited about studying it in college. The BME major at SC covers components of Mechanical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and Computer Science. Some of my fellow BME’rs loved that they were getting exposure to a lot of different areas, loved that they were developing skills that would allow them to think big picture and account for various different factors when designing devices or conducting research. I knew, however, that I didn’t really have an interest in the chemical engineering part of BME and I wasn’t so sure about the pure Mechanical part either. That’s a significant portion of my major to dislike. So, I looked at the two fields left (electrical engineering and computer science) and just decided to try out computer science instead.
Thank goodness. As I tell everyone ever who talks to me about my major, I am madly and deeply in love with Computer Science. I could code until 4AM and not notice how many hours have gone by just because I am so involved with my program. My CS lectures are the easiest ones to pay full attention to just because the theory my professors present is so fascinating.
And the best part? My BME ambitions are still going strong. There are so many ways for me to use my CS skills to help advance development in biomedical technology, and I hope to eventually end up in the BME industry, happily coding away at some new cutting-edge medical device.
Before college, I honestly thought I would be at a huge disadvantage if I didn’t have it all figured out before coming in to college. Now, I know for a fact that it really isn’t as big a deal as it seemed before. I’ve changed my major from BME to CS and even changed it again between two different CS majors. I’m not behind on my track to graduate in four years, and I know I still have the option of following my passion even though I’m approaching it in a different way than originally planned. I’m in a whole new world now, but like every other one of my friends who have changed their majors, I am much better off for it!