Chemistry. There was nothing more important to me during my high school years. I always knew I wanted to be a chemist. I had numerous chemistry sets as a child, constantly performing experiments and marveling at the various chemical and physical changes unfolding in the test tube before me. In high school, I took every science course that I could, and excelled in all of them. I knew I wanted to go further. After graduation, I attended the local university and obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry. It’s probably the most important thing I’ve ever done. It wasn’t the hardest accomplishment, but it set the stage for the rest of my life.
Earning my Bachelors Degree required that I begin to learn how to think as a scientist. I learned how to properly document an observation. I learned how to develop theories, and how to design experiments that would test those theories. I learned how to analyze the results of my experiment, and how to draw the correct scientific conclusion from the experiment. These are not skills that I would have learned had I not obtained this academic degree. Even as my time in college drew to a close, I knew that I wanted to go further. I didn’t want to stop my academic growth at this stage, which would mean becoming an analyst, or a technician of some sort.
I wanted to go further. My time spent earning my B.S. degree had stoked my curiosity about the natural world and the laws which govern our everyday lives. I knew that my career goal was a position as both an educator and a senior scientist, someone who could design and oversee huge new projects. I felt that hunger as a tangible, physical thing; I wanted it, really really bad. Earning a B.S. in Chemistry was the match which lit a bonfire in my mind. I immediately proceeded onto graduate school, earning a Ph.D. in Chemistry with lots of published papers and a perfect GPA. I was able to perform so well because I entered graduate school not worn out as many fresh graduates are, but very enthused and eager to learn. My experiences in undergraduate drove me all the way through graduate school.
Today, ten years after graduation, I am an accomplished chemist. I’ve worked for some of the best universities as well as for the government, and I’ve been a chemical educator as well as a chief research chemist. If I had not the opportunity to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry, my life would have changed; everything would have changed. I wouldn’t have the knowledge that I do, knowledge which enables me to make better consumer and health care decisions. I wouldn’t have the rampaging curiosity regarding scientific topics which I currently enjoy. I wouldn’t be near as developed in terms of academic and reasoning skills. Earning a B.S. in Chemistry was, in fact, the most important thing I’ve ever done, and I am eternally thankful for it. It has enabled me to embark on this career path, and has led me to where I am today.