- Get to know your professors.
One thing that has made me a successful student are the professors here. Here at Plymouth State the class sizes are smaller, the biggest class I’ve ever taken here only contained 40 people. This was appealing to me because it’s a lot easier to get one on one help.
- Labs, labs and more labs!
Almost every class you will take as a biology major comes with a lab component. Use those classes to figure out what lab area you are most interested in. After taking microbiology, I knew for a fact that I wanted a career in that. These labs also make your resume stronger. Students will develop lab techniques that make them marketable as skilled scientists to future employers.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
When I started at PSU I was afraid to ask for help because I thought it made me look dumb. As the years progressed, I realized in order to excel in this department you have to ask for help up front. If you wait until the very end to get help you will end up falling behind. Just remember you are not an expert nor is anyone else in the class. You are there to learn and chances are if you have a question to ask, other people have that same question. Forming study groups is a great way to understand the material better. Sharing tips and tricks with one another can improve your grade and even make studying fun!
As a science major it is crucial to conduct some sort of experiment or research project not just for learning purposes, but for your future career as well. In the past I have had the opportunity to present on topics such as: porphyria, coronary artery disease and the molecular mechanisms of olfaction. These presentations helped enhance my oral presentation skills and prepare me for professional programs.
- Become a good writer.
I think a lot of incoming science majors don’t realize how important writing is for their major, regardless of what type of science route you plan to take. Every biology student is required to take a writing connection course. I chose Animal Behavior and it has helped me tremendously with my writing and critical thinking skills. You should be able to master all important elements of scientific writing so you can express your findings.
Lana Puddu ’19 is a senior at Plymouth State University majoring in Biology with a double minor in Chemistry and Sustainability. She is originally from Belen, New Mexico. When Lana isn’t in the classroom you can find her skiing, running, and hanging out with friends.