20 Things You’ll Only Understand If You’re a Zoology Graduate
So you’ve graduated. You’ve emerged from your institutional cocoon and taken flight into the world of fully-fledged adults. Of course you’re super prepared to embark on your postgraduate degree or graduate job search… right?
1. The terrifying prospect of conversing with other human beings, when one reason you did this degree was partially your disdain for human company.
It can be challenging striking up a conversation when your main talking points are the best birding spots in the UK, or the evolution of fruit fly genitalia.
2. Or, even worse, cohabiting with other non-zoologists.
It’s hard to explain the menagerie living in your bedroom from when you were an undergraduate and thought you could pioneer your own breeding program. Not to mention the lingering smell of fish dissection that you swear still emanates from your clothes…
3. You thought you’d be wrangling crocodiles in Australia Steve Irwin style by now, but you’re actually counting flies in the university lab.
It turns out that science isn’t always as rock and roll as you’d imagined.
4. So you do weird things like analysing the behaviour of others from a biological perspective.
Look at all those people peacock-ing on student night. It’s just like, well, peacocks. It’s okay to choose partners based on what you suspect the phenotype of your children might be, right?
5. Attempting to find smart clothes in your wardrobe for that upcoming summer wedding is impossible.
Since starting your degree, practicality has been the main priority in your clothing choices. You ponder whether you can cobble together a smart outfit from your extensive selection of outdoor clothing.
6. You attend fancy dress parties as anatomically-correct but obscure animals that you presumed would be immediately obvious.
I’m an okapi, not a zebra. Idiot.
7. But when you’re unable to go to social events, you have unbelievable excuses at your disposal.
I promise, last Friday I was genuinely dissecting a dead seal, and yes, it was more important than your ABC party.
8. You wonder if you will ever stop paying for the privilege of doing science.
In your 20s, you start to begrudge paying for the opportunity to type data into Microsoft Excel or clean up monkey poo.
9. Trying to explain to your family that you may actually never leave university and get a “proper job” is the worst.
Academia is actually a very respectable career path, mother.
10. You’re never in one place for more than two months.
Between university, field trips, conferences, trips home, and work experience, you have become a bit of a nomad.
11. And you can’t understand the alien concept that some people actually have the freedom to choose where they live.
If you want to study animals, you need to go where they are. At the very least, take the jobs that are available, no matter where they might be!
12. The look of expectation on your friends’ faces when an animal-related question comes up in a pub quiz.
Don’t people realise that there are millions of species on this planet?
13. You spend your free time trying to track down training opportunities near to you that are cheap or preferably free.
Because three years at university were apparently not enough.
14. You still don’t know all the dinosaurs.
Ah, yes, the one-that-looks-like-a-giraffe-without-spots-asaurus.
15. You have never understood the obsession with Pokémon GO.
You know there are real animals out there, right?
16. You still can’t identify plants and insects.
So. Many. Species.
17. Your internet search history is weird.
Honestly, if someone reads my search history, they’d lock me up. ‘Anti-goat-anti-human antibody’? ‘Rules for the international transportation of bird blood samples’?
18. Deciding what to call yourself based on the job application title is a job in itself.
What would you like to be today… A Behavioural Ecologist? Molecular Ecologist? Geneticist? Biologist? The possibilities are literally endless.
19. And you hate the impossible lists of requirements for graduate biologist positions.
Job description: For this position, you must have an infallible knowledge of natural history, 5 years experience in laboratory work, the ability to conduct statistical tests using several computer coding languages, write for both scientific audiences and the general public, and be able to do all this whilst working from a remote location with no WiFi. [NB: Fluency in three languages would be an advantage.] Salary: £9000 a year 🙄🙄🙄
20. But at least you can be assured that you are employable.
No, really! There are graduate companies that would bend over backwards to employ someone as dedicated as you. Keep on saving China!