The first real struggle I had in my college career was deciding on a major; I had so many things that I wanted to try, that homing in on one specific major seemed daunting. I was interested in science, language, sociology, art, and history, and it felt impossible to work it all in. But in meeting with some advisors at the UHC, I was able to design a plan that worked for me. In the end, I decided to pursue a dual-degree program to receive a Bachelor of Science in Biology, and a Bachelor of Arts in French.
I chose to do both majors as I couldn’t quite pick just one, and advisors in both disciplines were very helpful in creating a timeline where I could complete both. My family is of French heritage, and I took the language in high school, so continuing to study it in college just seemed like a natural decision for me. I knew that going abroad was at the top of my to-do list for my college education so studying French allowed me to best prepare for my abroad semester in Aix-en-Provence, France. Even though I have always loved science and knew that I would go into a science-related career, having a balance with science and language has been a necessity since I started school. The ability to speak another language is something that I have always valued, and it only helps going forward into graduate school or the real world.
In terms of honors courses, my favorite one thus far has been Honors Human Physiology, which I took in the fall of 2020. It was the most difficult class I have taken at Pitt as it strived to emulate a medical school course and was taught by a medical school professor, but it is also the course that I learned the most in. The structure of the course was similar to that of the regular version in terms of layout and timeline, but the material we covered went much more in-depth. At first this seemed like a lot, but it helped me understand the material more. The course was much more independent and required me to invest more time, but I know that I have a much stronger and more comprehensive knowledge of human physiology because of it.
Looking back, I do wish that I had opted to take more honors courses because of the value and prestige they hold. I was nervous of the added course load on top of other classes and extracurriculars, but I have realized that they are manageable if you plan your time just a little more than normal. Honors courses are definitely intense in their rigor and workload, but the end result being the feeling of mastery of a subject makes the effort worth it.