A Week in the Life of a Cell and Molecular Biology Major
At some point in college all of us will come around and find out what major we fall into. Usually our choice lines up with our end career goal or a research interest that we want to study one day. But have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a different major for a day? Well, luckily today I am going to share what it’s like to be a Cell and Molecular Biology (CMB) major!
Whenever I tell people that I am a CMB major, they usually cringe and tell me it’s too much science for them. Little do they know that’s the best part! Because of all the science we do in our major, every class we take is always something a little bit different. This semester I have four different classes: Molecular Cell Biology (BMS 521), Peer Instruction in Biomedical Sciences (BMS 490), Introduction to Physics II (PHY 124) and Abnormal Psychology (PSY 304).
In BMS 521, we learn about the small processes and cell functions that make life possible. For me and other students who are planning on going into a medical field, it is important to understand the little complexities of the human body. BMS 521 also has a lab attached to it. This year we have a semester-long experiment revolving around a desensitization pathway in our cells. This requires us to be in and out of the lab many times throughout the week, culturing cells, making solution calculations and observing changes in our cells that lead to a better understanding of what we are trying to study.
BMS 490 is a class that gives undergraduate students a view into the life of a professor and shows us ways that we can help teach students. In my case, I work with a professor in her BMS 321 (Biomolecular Interactions) lab. Throughout the week, I do lab prep, zoom meetings with the students and help facilitate labs that the students do during the semester. Along with this, I meet with the other students in BMS 490 once a week to talk about teaching strategies and how we can use our own past experiences to make a better learning experience for students taking the labs. This course really does give a great opportunity to step up and do something for the students following in our footsteps, while also reinforcing our own knowledge and interest in our field.
Although I am a CMB major, I also have the opportunity to dive into some other fields of science. In the case of Physics 2, we get to learn things about electromagnetic fields and magnetism. Believe it or not, learning physics can teach us a lot about medical machinery and even some cell processes driven by physics concepts. Who would’ve guessed!
My last course this semester is Abnormal Psychology. This class is very interesting, and I know many people agree with me. As the name describes, we learn about people who face psychological disorders that cause distress in their lives and how those people can find help. I get a lot out of this course because it gives me another way to understand people and be able to help them in any way they need!
It is true that my week consists of a lot of reading and lab work that is required to be successful as a CMB major. In some people’s eyes, this may seem horrible and hard to keep up with, but I wouldn’t have it any other way! Every day I go to class or the lab I learn more and more about how the world and the human body works. In the end, I hope to be a genetic counselor and use all the knowledge from my classes to help people one day! In my opinion, as long as you love what you’re doing, you can never go wrong!
(Bio: My name Is Michael Rexroad, a transfer student from Metropolitan Community College in Kansas City. I am a junior currently studying cell and molecular biology with a minor in chemistry.)