To The Guy In My Second Year Bio Course, I Am So Sorry

I actually don’t remember the name of this course but it was a popular one

To the guy in my 2nd year undergrad bio course,  I am so sorry. I don’t know your name or if we were in the same program or if we graduated at the same time but all I know is that I really really disliked you.

You were always right at the front, answering the prof’s questions and if the prof didn’t have any questions, you had your own.

I just found it super annoying that at 9 am in the morning, once a week, for 2 hours ( or 3 times a week for 1 hour, I forgot) I was trying to figure out what in God’s name was going on in that class but you just knew everything. AND you asked questions that were sometimes extensions of the class material. At the time I just thought “dude, if you know everything, stop coming to class and making us look bad. Go to office hours if you have so many tangents to discuss”. I think that was the only class I ever had with you and I never thought about you after that.

But now as I approach graduation from my master’s program, I realize my sentiment towards you may be what some of my classmates felt towards me because I became like undergrad-you, but in grad school.

My academic experience in undergrad wasn’t that great. I really had to force myself to study and often rewarded myself with food, which caused significant weight gain and credit card debt. But in grad-school, it was different. Suddenly I found the energy to be on campus by 7 am and forced myself to leave by 9pm so that the walk home wouldn’t be too scary.  I was the one at the front of the class answering the prof’s questions or asking my own. I hated the awkward silence and raised my hand even if I wasn’t 100% sure of the answers.  I was the one going to prof’s office hours, asking to meet outside office hours and sometimes keeping them after class for hours because I couldn’t understand certain concepts. (Thank you to all my incredible profs)

Maybe I annoyed my classmates. Maybe they were tired of the 6-9pm classes going the full 3 hour duration because I asked for so many clarifications. But I know doing all that made learning more fun for me and deepened my understanding. My classmates were free to ask their own questions too if they wanted.  And I guess maybe that’s how you felt as well…

So to the guy in my 2nd year undergrad bio course, I am so sorry. Looking back, it was incredible to see such enthusiasm in an undergrad student at 9 in the morning. I hope asking those questions right then and there helped you as much doing the same thing helped me in my graduate studies. You probably won’t ever see this post but I hope you are doing well wherever you are and that your passion for biology has inspired some pretty incredible work to come out from your lab/office/ wherever you are working from.

Sincerely a former begrudged classmate,

Faria

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