Finding an Academic Interest Through the Liberal Arts | St. Lawrence University

Finding an Academic Interest Through the Liberal Arts

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

There is something so special about a liberal arts education that is hard to explain until you’ve experienced it. I came to SLU knowing that I wanted to be a biology major and study science in some capacity to pursue a career in medicine. Still, it felt like something was missing; I knew there were so many academic opportunities I could pursue but was unsure about how to navigate them. As an SLU student, you are required to fulfill eight different distribution requirements including a natural science with lab, social science, environmental literacy, humanities, quantitative and logical reasoning, arts, and two diversity courses. These liberal arts requirements enable each SLU student to explore different academic interests they may have and capitalizes on the four years we have here to study practically whatever we want.

The summer before my freshman fall, I was at home registering for the classes I would be taking my first semester at SLU. Looking at the requirements I had to fill I was searching for a class that would suit my diversity credit; a topic that was never incorporated into my high school curriculum and I had no idea what it might entail. I stumbled upon the course “Gender and Society 103”, an introductory course on gender and sexuality studies; I registered for the class and waited eagerly for the semester to begin. After the first few classes, I started to realize that I was enjoying the course so much I didn’t even mind having to wake up at 8:00 a.m. to go to it! I was always excited to do the homework, learn the materials and found myself being a very active participant in the class. As the semester progressed, I started to develop a real interest in gender studies as an academic field and have since continued to take gender courses including “Gender, Film, and Psychoanalysis”, “Gender and the Middle East”, and currently “Feminist Theory”, and have since declared a minor in gender and sexuality studies to accompany my biology major.  

After my time at St. Lawrence, I plan on pursuing a career as a nurse practitioner or possibly obtain a Ph D. in Nursing. My passion and devotion to women’s health and healthcare has been solidified and bolstered through much of what I have learned in these courses. I have become increasingly aware of power structures and obstacles women face toward accessing proper healthcare in both the US and abroad, and why this access is so crucial to women’s safety and progression in society. Without the liberal arts and St. Lawrence’s program, it is unlikely I would have found this fiery academic interest that I never fully realized I had. Not only has discovering this interest empowered me academically, but it has solidified my ultimate career goals and drive for achieving them. Through the knowledge many of these courses have equipped me with, I hope to one day give back to a community of women the healthcare experience they deserve.