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Katie Byers

Don't Let Your Major Define You

by Katie Byers | Oct 10, 2017

Manchester is all about becoming your best self, right? Right. To become my best self, I feel that I need to be a well-rounded person. We all come in as first years bustling about trying to find our way. We pick majors, we switch majors, we join clubs, quit clubs, and try new things. It’s a part of college.

But I want you to remember, do NOT let your major define you. I repeat. Do NOT let your major define you or you will miss out. I am a biology-chemistry major and I have not let it define me.

Over the course of my 4 years here at Manchester, I’ve had criticizing remarks and questions about why I do some of the extracurricular things I do as a student. Anywhere from “you don’t have time for that,” “that doesn’t even relate to what you want to do,” and “bio-chem majors can’t do that.”

Here is a list of things I’ve done, both relating to my major & completely outside of the norm for my major.

Outside Bio-Chem:

  1. Study Abroad: I can’t stress this one enough. Many people doubted the ability to study abroad for a semester as a bio-chem major and business minor and still graduate on time. I am here to tell you it is possible and you should do it. 4.5 months in New Zealand were the most influential, fun, life-changing months of my life.
  2. Student Videographer/Photographer: Everyone needs a hobby. Photography & GoPro have always been some of my favorite pastimes. Transitioning this into an on campus job has been a perfect way for me to earn money and learn more about something I enjoy.
  3. Student Blogger: Creative writing and social media use is definitely not seen in the science department. I was a little bit apprehensive when I first started the job because I had absolutely no writing background. Over the years, my writing skills & capability to use social media to promote various ideas has progressed into something I can use in future job endeavours.
  4. MU Women’s Basketball: Manchester Women’s basketball has provided me with lifelong friends through both alumni and underclassmen. To be a member of any athletics team is a huge time commitment. The lessons of working with others, time management, and responsibility has proven to be invaluable.
  5. Intramurals: Competitively playing a sport at the collegiate level takes a lot of time, but intramurals have given me the opportunity to dive into other sports, make new friends, and keep active on the off-season.
  6. Student Orientation Leader (SOL): SOL is one of the most rewarding positions at this school. I love the fact I am able to help new students find their way. I also love being able to get to know the incoming class.
  7. Manchester Activities Counsel (MAC): This counsel puts on all the student activities around campus. I have loved being able to help put events on for others to enjoy!
  8. Students Today, Alumni Tomorrow (STAT): This committee has allowed me to develop skills in planning, networking, and communication skills with current students and alumni.
  9. Minor in Business: Many people told me trying to study abroad and minoring in business seemed like a daunting task. They questioned my ability to get it all done in time. I am here to tell you it is possible!
  10. PERC Desk Worker: This job allowed me to meet new people around campus and continue to improve my organization and time management skills.
  11. MU Men’s Basketball Recruiting Secretary: This job has given me more computer skills. Each week I create a flyer and send it out to the new recruits. I have had to learn how to use Photoshop and various other tasks that deal with Microsoft too.
  12. Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA): This club has allowed me to find people at Manchester that have similar views and religious backgrounds as I do.
  13. Manchester Catholics: This club also allowed me to find people on campus that have the same religious background.
  14. Off-Campus Job In Town: This job has taught me time management and how to communicate with adults.
  15. Blessings in a Backpack: This is one easy way to give back to the community. I am able to help out our local Manchester community, all while having fun too!

Inside Bio-Chem:

  1. Chemistry Grader: I grade general chemistry papers. This job has given me a job within my major that allows me to review general chemistry concepts that will help me for senior composition tests.
  2. Tri-Beta: This is the honour society for biology. It is a good society to join for the major and looks good for graduate school.
  3. CNA in FW Hospital: This job has given me experience in the medical field and has allowed me to learn how to communicate properly with nurses and doctors.

As you can see, I have been involved with a lot of different activities around Manchester. Most of them have nothing to do with my major, and that is completely fine. All of my experiences are preparing me for the real world and shaping me into my best self. If anyone ever tells you not to do something because of your major, prove them wrong, and go after it.

Katie Byers '18 is a biology-chemistry major & business minor. A member of MAC and STAT, she studied abroad in New Zealand, and her dream job is to work at an orthopedic hospital. 

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