(Image via Niccolò Ubalducci)
While this academic year is quickly winding down, I just wanted to take some time as a soon to be Senior in Meteorology to extend my personal thoughts about this field.
I’ve known for the longest time now that Meteorology was the field I wanted to go into. Plans have obviously changed throughout my 20 year existence, but it has always come back to Meteorology. Although to some it may be a relatively small thing to consider, Meteorology has pretty much always been a constant in my life.
If you will humor this metaphor, consider Meteorology to be one of the old wise men. Throughout my entire undergraduate education, it has always given me plenty of great opportunities and some harsh realities.
Right at the beginning of undergrad, absolutely no one I went to high school with was interested in making a career out of the weather! What I will assume to be a common trend that most universities share is the Freshman Studies class that may or may not be required to take. For those of you that didn’t have Freshman Studies, it’s essentially an intro to college course in which you’re placed in a class with other freshmen in your major. Again, I knew no one in my class. Little did I know, four of the people that stuck around in the class, and the major, would end up being four of my best friends that I deeply care and cherish (even though I may not act like it at times, I love y’all.) In addition to the four people that I’ve been trekkin’ through undergrad with, I have met a numerous amount of upperclassmen that I look up to for either sage advice, cheap jokes, or a combination of the two. I truly appreciate them taking the time to answer the amount of questions I had, and will inevitably continue to have. The common thread of all this is that we all met within the same department. This might border on cliché, but one thought that bears repeating is this: you do not have to go through anything alone. I don’t know where I would be without everyone I’ve met in this department.
Ask any common person about Meteorology, and more often than not you’ll be met with a response along the lines of: “Oh you go to school for that? I thought y’all just guess and get paid to be wrong!” I can confidently assert the fact that this field ain’t easy to get. One of the toughest pills to swallow from this field was this: some of the most beautiful things in existence are never easy to understand. I’ll admit it, there were some days (okay, mainly synoptic exam days!) that I just wanted to swap majors and be done with it. However, my childlike curiosity and fascination with Meteorology always kept me around, I’ll forever be grateful for it.
One more thing I want to go somewhat in depth about, and I am looking right at you, #wxtwitter. Whoever thought a free social media platform could give me so much? I’ve been able to quickly relate to other students within this field that don’t even go to the same university as me! That’s really cool, and I got to meet some of them at AMS! To some that may mean nothing, to me it means quite a bit. Another thing about good ole’ #wxtwitter that I will always be thankful for is the amount of professionals that display an immense amount of knowledge, all while lending a helping hand to those working towards it or just starting out.
As I write this I have about 15 days left of my third year of undergrad, and I have so many feelings about this. I’m absolutely terrified over a couple of things.
1) WHO IN THE WORLD LET ME GROW UP THIS QUICKLY?
2) Okay but do I want to go to grad school for Air Quality, Climate Dynamics, or do all of the things!? (spoiler: I don’t know currently!)
With that being said, through the troughs and ridges, I will always be thankful for everything that Meteorology has given and taught me.