❝Hello. I'm Melissa.
The title is self-explanatory.
Welcome.

I’m really disappointed to find out that Amy Lee only used lithium as a metaphor in her song “Lithium” (Evanescence). I don’t think I can listen to it the same way anymore.

It’s a beautiful song. But in a way it seems like an insult to those with bipolar disorder. Because she doesn’t actually know what it’s like, but the song suggests that she thinks she does.

A lot of it actually doesn’t make sense as a result. Lithium is used to help control mania, but she talks about being in love with her sorrow which she doesn’t want to let go of. That would imply that she’s in love with the sorrow and other emotions she feels without lithium (so she doesn’t want to lose it by taking lithium). Which is really the opposite of how it works. Since the drug controls mania, it makes you less energetic and manic… Meaning something closer to depression. It’s supposed to “stabilize” but personally, I think it drags me down. Not that being the opposite is any better.

Sigh.

Aug 29th (+5)
thebiostudent: Hi! I'm going to be applying to universities soon, and majoring in biochemistry is something that I'm looking into. I was wondering if you could give me some general insight into what it's like and how you're finding it? Thank you! Hope you're having a great day :)

I answered a similar question about a month ago here.

But yeah, biochemistry is a good major because it’s very flexible and it covers a lot, which I mentioned in that post, I believe. I’m personally finding it to be fine, but I like chemistry so much better than biology. Pure biology is boring for me. It’s the chemistry that makes it all happen. I do like the application of chemistry to biological organisms (ahem, humans), which is why I’m aiming toward medical school. But I’ve also found another love in physics. Ideally I would do something interdisciplinary:

  • Biochemical physics
  • Biophysical chemistry
  • Chemical physics
  • Physical chemistry

(And yes, all of those things are different haha.)

I might change my major to chemistry. Which is totally fine because biochemistry has no problem transitioning to chemistry at all. That’s what I like best about it. If you figure out you like one part of it more than the other it’s an easy switch.

Aug 29th (+5)
Anonymous: I was hoping you had some advice/insight. I am an incoming 3rd year unsure of what I want to do. I have been getting very good grades in science classes, love bio and chem. I was thinking research scientist at first, but worry about tenure, grants, not actually producing results/publishing. I was then thinking nutrition/dietetics because I have an interest in nutrition but they have low pay and respect. I am wary of hospital work because I don't like seeing suffering. Any advice? I work in a che

chem lab (non-research). I want to try to get research experience but I am worried because I’m already a third year. I also value my free time a lot, and I fear if I do research or medicine, I won’t have any, which is why I was thinking less time-intensive options, but I really don’t know. Thanks!

I think all of those worries are legitimate and I understand your concerns. But consider that there likely isn’t going to be a job out there that will meet all of your specifications.

If you’re worried about having free time (i.e., doing less work) then you probably won’t make as much. If you don’t want to be in school that long you won’t make as much. The level of your degree and the amount of work you perform is directly proportional to your pay. For most cases, at least. But let’s not rely on luck. I don’t want to sound rude, that’s just how it is. So if you can’t deal with those things, that greatly reduces your job options. And remember, just having job options you want picked out isn’t enough. You will be competing for those few positions you’re comfortable applying for. And that applies to any job.

I’m not sure if you’re asking me what you should do or not. I don’t think I should be the one to guide you, rather, your advisor or professors should. But an option I don’t think you mentioned was working in industry. I’m not sure if you’ve ever considered engineering, but that’s a good field to go into, as well.

As for right now, I think you should try to get into research if you plan on being a scientist. But I don’t think you should worry about getting the experience right here right now. The anxiety is not worth it. You have time during and after your degree to work on that. The sooner the better, but it’s not a competition to see who can get the most research hours in before graduation.

Good luck.

Aug 28th (+3)
tagged as:anon-asks-
Anonymous: i'm a little curious. do you have any extracurricular activities like clubs or leadership positions or do you completely immerse yourself into your schoolwork?

I’d say for the most part I do. But I do partake in extracurriculars.

  • I’m Vice President of Chemistry Club
  • I’m the Opinion editor for my college’s paper
  • I participate in “Philosophy Symposium”
  • Last year I was in some BS leadership program that wasn’t worth my time at all (apparently organizing a thrift store for 2 hours is considered a “rich experience” in volunteering)
  • I am a tutor
  • I workout, but not as much as I’d like due to the degree of immersion in my school work
  • I also have these things called friends, haha

I do go to other small events around campus sometimes. But I don’t “go out” ever. Because drinking and/or clubbing is not appealing to me. What I do for extracurriculars is sufficient, I’d say haha.

Aug 27th (+11)
tagged as:anon-asks-

Oh btw I did get into analytical chemistry in case anyone was looking for an update on that haha.

Aug 27th (+9)

Nope.

So apparently that clotting factor mutation I have is with prothrombin. Prothrombin is a protein in your blood that helps synthesize fibrin, a protein which is part of what constitutes a blood clot. Essentially I make a bit too much. Sometimes? All the time? A lot more? A little more? Not sure. So I’m at risk for things like pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis, heart attack, and… you guessed it… stroke.

My worst nightmare.

I’m not necessarily scared of having a stroke at this current moment. But the fact that it could technically still happen makes me extremely uncomfortable. My most valuable asset, my cognizance, is at risk. Serious risk. And by serious risk I mean that if any part of my brain gets damaged even slightly, even if it’s in a part of the brain that is unrelated to intelligence or consciousness (and I guess, like, the brain stem), I feel as though my world would come crashing down. Deep depression. Yeah. Something like that.

My mom and her mom have both had mini strokes. My mom recently (50s) my grandma in her… 70s? 80s? I’m not really sure how old she is to be perfectly honest. No one has had one at an abnormally young age. So I have only a trace amount of fear for the prospects of my current neurological standing.

But still. MY BRAIN. OMG. MY BRAIN! …And I guess my limbs, lungs, or heart, potentially, too.

Just. Just nope.

Thinking about it, it does make a considerable amount of sense. I have no recollection of whether or not I had these experiences as a young kid, but I definitely have noticed since middle or high school that sometimes I could “feel my pulse” in random places. Translation: It felt like blood was struggling a bit to get through. Enough for a visual and tactile throbbing, but it didn’t really hurt or anything. Among other potential signs that may be related to other conditions as well.

Well, I see my hematologist from U*St*** in a little over a month. Hopefully good things happen. Treatments are started. And I feel amazing after. That would be really great, yeah.

While it’s not all that important in the grand scheme of my life, technically, this may potentially mean I won’t be able to donate blood anymore. I can if I’m on aspirin. But not if I go on a blood thinner. We’ll see.

In the mean time, Red Cross, please stop calling me.

Aug 27th (+7)

m-marshmallowfluff replied to your post “m-marshmallowfluff replied to your photo “Here’s a slight preview of…”

I tried replying this so many times! Grr. Anyway, I was going to say how you’re so lucky to be able to practice self-restraint haha. If I study and snack, the bag gets empty before I know it :/

Well, that happens sometimes haha. But usually I’m just too focused to snack or drink water anyway. Which can be a bad thing, too, honestly.

Aug 26th (+0)

I can’t do this whole “get distracted late at night” thing anymore.

I have an 8am class or lab 3 days a week. Physics lab tomorrow morning. Yay. I need to sleep. I was being productive, but then I got an email… And it went downhill from there. It probably didn’t help that I didn’t fill out my daily page in full today nor did I use my Work-Progress Journal.

Maybe I should turn off email notifications on my laptop.

I think what I’ll try to do is set a timer any time I veer off into distracting territory. Breaks are okay. But trying to find a way to buy a light alarm clock for cheaper because the outlet discounted version is out of stock… Distraction. Not that important. Or better yet, writing a productive email as chem club VP or Opinion Editor but then rereading the email over and over. Definitely not productive. I guess the OP editor one is more understandable. But still not good.

So far I’ve been pretty good about only doing non-productive things on my computer away from my desk. I’m trying to get in that habit so I don’t get distracted at my desk. Eventually I’ll get uncomfortable sitting on my bed in a weird position or just fall asleep. I’m actually typing this at my desk, so I need to stop.

As a final note, being on the other side of the hallway is beneficial so far. It faces the sun more of the afternoon that it does for the other side did. But I suppose that benefit may die out once winter comes into full swing.

Good night. I’m sure I’ll reread this at least three times before I actually close the laptop. *facepalm*

Aug 26th (+13)

m-marshmallowfluff replied to your photo “Here’s a slight preview of my desk. When I’m more settled and have…”

DARK CHOCOLATE ACAI OMG so good. i think i ate like..half a bag in one sitting once oopsss

I haven’t devoured too much of it yet. But I need to keep the bag away from my desk because I would keep eating one or two every now and then even though I wasn’t craving it anymore haha.

Aug 26th (+2)

Here’s a slight preview of my desk. When I’m more settled and have everything organized as needed I will take better pictures and make a blog about it.

Aug 25th (+43)
livingitmyway-: Hi! I was wondering where you buy all your textbooks from? I hate paying the bookstore prices so i usually buy them off a friend, but this year no one has the books I need. Thanks!

I buy from either Amazon or eBay. Most of the time Amazon is cheaper. There are other sites to find cheaper used textbooks like Chegg, for example, though. I only buy the text for my MCAT-related classes or other classes for which I actually want to keep the book. Regardless of whether I purchase or not, I always try to find a torrented PDF version online first. There’s only one class I’ve taken where there wasn’t a torrented PDF available, so a site like The Pirate Bay is pretty reliable as far as I’m concerned.

Aug 25th (+6)

I technically don’t “need” to take analytical chemistry for my major (biochemistry). But changing my major wouldn’t do anything to help me get into the course anyway because, “You’re on a 5-year plan so you could always take it later.”

But maybe I should change my major to chemistry. Then I won’t have to take pesky ol’ cell and molec next year. I’ll have to take a language instead, but. Meh. That’s fine. I have Rosetta Stone to help me out with that one haha. The only downside is that my advisor may change. I like her. I don’t want a new advisor.

I am an extremely independent person. Not overly social. Introverted. A “to-myself” type of student. So I’m not hoping to get into the class in order to hang out with my friends in class or lab. I’d just rather take the course at the same time as my friends so we can share our sympathies. Experience the pain together. Haha.

I’m still struggling with my career goals, though. I’m not sure if I’m holding onto the MD part of the MD/PhD idea for the sake of my ego or because I think it will really be helpful for my end goals. I have a certain disdain for biology. But human physiology is extremely relevant to my life, obviously. And there’s plenty of chemistry.

Right now I’m having a mental storm of thoughts about what type of chemistry and physics I like and how, if at all, it would be relevant in a clinical way. And if engineering should or is part of my goals.

Ugh. I don’t know. In a way I wish I were the type of person who could just be like, “Okay, I’m going to pursue and MD and be a doctor. End of discussion.” Not worry about the details. But I can’t do that.

Aug 25th (+5)

8/24/14

philosonista:

philosonista:

I am not a nerd of subjects. Today’s revelation. Pre-semester jitters always spark some kind of grand breakdown out of me, but at least now it comes with a fruitful conclusion.

I do not inherently find subjects interesting and, in the rare occasion that I do, studying the subject in a college format destroys my inherent enjoyment. 

I have tried to thoroughly immerse myself in the delusion of being a nerd of subjects, egged on by the nerd-y communities of the internet. I tried, thinking the “fake it till you make it” mentality might work, or that we’re all just faking it and trying to enjoy ourselves in the delusion. But I cannot do it anymore.

I do not like organic chemistry! I find it boring!

I am just going to say it now!

I did not enjoy general biology.

I did not enjoy Ethics, Theory of Knowledge or any other philosophy course.

I have not liked any of the many majors I have tried.

I AM NOT A NERD OF SUBJECTS.

And I will not be equated to a snobby 12 year old that has an attitude problem. If I do not get giddy at the prospects of learning about gravity, too fucking bad for all the genuine nerds out there. I’m glad you like subjects, but I don’t.

I AM A NERD OF CONQUEST.

I like to do things exceptionally well. I love organization. I love setting the curve. I love to thoroughly kick ass. I like understanding something which at first seemed impossible to grasp.

AND I WILL NOT BE ASHAMED.

I AM A NERD OF CONQUEST, I DO NOT APOLOGIZE AND, YES, I WILL NOT LOOK FORWARD TO THE CONTENT OF MY CLASSES.

I LIKE MEDICINE BECAUSE IT IS AMPLE GROUNDS FOR CONQUEST ABOUT WHICH I AM CONVINCED IS HELPFUL TO THE WORLD.

Get over it, nerds. Some of us are just Christina Yang’s that love the conquering and the perfection itself.

This may be another way of saying that “gunners” should not be thought less of than people who claim to have “passion” for medicine. It’s just a different kind of interest and as long as one can be both a gunner “internally” and a kind, caring physician “externally,” one is not better than the other. Both have their strengths to play up.

I claim gunnership.

Gunners are great. I’m not sure if I would be considered a gunner or not, but there’s no shame in having that kind of work ethic. I don’t get why some people have such a hatred for gunners. Maybe those people just need to try harder. *shrug*

Aug 24th (+33)

I now have less parking lot in view out of my dorm window. Haha. I have the same room just the other side of the hallway this year.

Aug 24th (+4)

Moved in.

Now it’s just a matter of getting organized. Always the worst part haha.

Aug 24th (+16)
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