OK, so I love the content of biology, but it should pass a test (no pun intended). This “test” is basically to determine my knack for microscopy. Therefore, I might take a non-majors biology class (along with an unrelated course to accompany it), which is also especially good since I have been out of high school biology for over 10 years. It should be quite easy in content, given all the stuff I’ve read so far. Yet we seldom used microscopes, since the sp-ed high school I attended did not have a strong lab focus. And when we did, just like toy microscopes I have used, it was less than satisfactory.
This will determine if I should pursue biology as a major. If so, after all these years I would have been correct being the stalwart I have been for the subject, and I would go for it (perhaps as part of the proposed double major mentioned earlier in this blog. But if not, hey, I can read websites or popular-level books on it. Maybe even textbooks. College isn’t the only way of learning, but keep in mind of what makes college what it is: majors (and all the paraphernalia that goes with them) form a clique of sorts, and are separated by interest, in which one could (typically) care less about another. Would a math major penetrate into the music major’s coursework, or the business major into biology, or the chemistry’s into criminal justice? Barring minors and double majors, most likely not. Besides, unless you are in that field of study, the level of material covered, especially in the junior and senior level courses (and perhaps even some sophomore ones), the info, and detail covered therein, would be of little consequence. You must follow your own passions. Alas, you must be willing to make trade-offs among courses, in which case you can only take some courses, but not all, in a major’s elective or flexible core sequence. That could be the more troubling side, but you have your whole life to learn new things. After all, that’s what periodicals, trainings, and for some, grad school is for.
And most intellectual territory has become very parochial and specialized, so you just have to find a niche. For many people, their whole career may revolve around one course in their college years, so most other knowledge is lost. And many courses are just stepping stones. In some ways, it shows God’s sovereignty, in that he leads you what is necessary now (and thus part of his will) and what isn’t (stuff you learned for that time but is no longer relevant). Moreover, while knowledge is power, it can be abused. Moreover, in many cases, as we all know, ignorance can be bliss sometimes (cf. Eccl. 1:18). This does not mean we can’t learn, but it should be kept within bounds. Also too much bondage to knowledge can cause worldliness and even idolatry. (Rom 1:21-23, 25; 1 Cor 8:1-3)
You won’t learn everything there is to know. If we did, we’d cease to be human. Thus, as humans, thank the One who gave you any access to knowledge at all, including your very mind! And enjoy what you DO learn rather than worry about what you can’t. By the way, if you are in college, as you meet with your advisers, when picking electives, I would imagine it would often be based on past courses and your feelings on those.
Don’t be too smart for your own good!