Geeking Out

Me surrounded by prairie flowers
Happy to be done with a successful internship and research presentation

My love for science and ecology, specifically, is not a passion many other people have. I go to a school where being an engineer is glorified and studying buisness is seen as prestigious. When people say they are studying engineering or business, to someone they know or to a complete random stranger, they are instantly impressed and praise them. It is always the typical “Good for you!” or “Wow, that must be really hard, you must be very smart”. I am studying environmental science. So, when I tell anybody that, I get a different reaction. The phrases like, “Oh, so what do you even want to do with that?” or “What made you get into that field?” It’s like people have a really hard time grasping the idea that I want to work out in a field for part of my living. I understand why people want to know what got me started in that field, but not once have I heard someone ask one of my engineering friends why they wanted to do what they do. It is instantly recognized that engineers will graduate from school, work in some big industry and make a good salary, so there really is no point in asking. It is hard being the outcast when it comes to majors. So, when I got the opportunity to conduct research at the Morton Arboretum, I was beyond ecstatic. Since the day I have started, I did not feel weird or judged for talking about my passion or anything science related. The conversations we had at lunch was my favorite part because I could geek out to my peers and colleagues about what I love to do, and not feel judged. We were always talking about something science related. I felt so welcome, and accepted. It made me happy knowing that I wasn’t the only person that had a passion for taking action and making this environment a better place for others.