In this day and age, overstimulated by the wealth of information at our disposal, we tend to rely heavily on predictions. With the NFL draft but a few weeks ago and primary season still continuing (well, at least for one party), armchair sports writers and pundits lay down their selections as to who will get picked in the first round and which candidate will win which state. While this mentality might putatively work for football drafts and politics, much of life cannot be adequately predicted.
As a Buffalonian, I learn this fact every time our Sabres lace up their skates and the Bills take the field. My sophomore year, the Sabres were expected by many to finish in the bottom of the league, only to go deep into the playoffs and end their season 20 minutes and four freak injuries away from a Stanley Cup Finals berth. Similarly, after losing more than half of their defensive starters due to injury early on in the season, the Bills remained in the playoff picture well into December this past NFL season (but inevitably came up short, of course). Needless to say, my college career was just as unpredictable.
Though I always had a consistent idea about my major, my academic interests went through some nuanced changes that I could not have foreseen. Coming here as a pre-med brat, I admittedly gravitated toward a biology major as a matter of convenience rather than any particular desire to study the sciences. However, I began to enjoy my upper-level biology courses and my lab gig pushing flies in a genetics lab. After I wrote an article in response to someone questioning the validity of a scientific education, I began to realize that my science degree became more than a means to an end. Instead of focusing on classes that would have more direct application to medical school, I chose a major that emphasized basic science and decided to write and defend an undergraduate thesis, decisively going toward the “scientist” side of the “physician-scientist” I hope to become.
With summer employment easy to come by back home, staying here for two summers was not something that I had necessarily planned on either. That being said, having my home but an hour away made the decision to spend the summer in Rochester very easy, but it provided a different experience from what happens during the school year. Despite being the consummate pre-med and spending these summers studying for the MCAT and then applying to medical school, respectively, I got the opportunity to appreciate Rochester as a city apart from what is available on campus. I traded Blimpie subs, a Freshman Fellow single and freezing walks from the Residential Quad, for Country Sweet chicken wings, a subletted house in the South Wedge and jogs around the Cobb Hill reservoir.
Most notably, my involvement with Campus Times was not something that I expected when I first came here. Although I fully intended to become a writer for the campus newspaper, I didn’t necessarily plan on being an editor for two years and bumming around the office for a year and a half more. I experienced my first CT production night fall semester freshman year, getting a call late on a Wednesday night (well, what I used to think was late) to come in. Wading through the organized chaos for the first time, I was introduced to my future co-editors and free food as I made my way in for a headshot that, ironically enough, I would use for nearly every Editorial Observer and Pressbox over the next four years (the collar of the MERT uniform I was wearing that night still visible). Forty-one articles later, I spent many more Wednesday nights in Wilson Commons 102, dedicating myself to a campus service that I wanted to succeed despite giving up my leadership position in it.
Whether sprinting through Heathrow Airport after World Youth Day in Germany with the UR Catholic Newman Community, learning how to read and write Arabic or writing articles for Campus Times on Wednesday nights, a seemingly predictable trajectory from high school to medical school turned into a memorable college career by the Genesee.
Scott is a member of the class of 2008.