This post is divided into two parts.
Part 1 Should I buy Biostars books and courses Or Bioinformatics and Functional Genomics 3rd Edition by Jonathan as a person willing to set a strong foot into bioinformatics field and continue in it in the long term.
Part 2 This text takes minimum 7 minutes to read. Please help out.
Hi, the following long text is just me describing where I am not in life and looking for any type of support, please read every line as I will try to be short and on point as much as possible, follow my text please I need you.
I am a 3rd year student in Faculty of Agriculture, Biotechnology program in Cairo university.
My dream is to treat psychological disorders through tweaking the human microbiota.
Now I have been struggling with low quality education in my program and I am expected to compete with the hulks from universities like AUC (American university in Cairo, MSA, Zewail city) not to mention universities from Abroad. I will list what we have.
What we have are combined in the following brackets (Grading system based on Absolute LUCK, where you get 40% divided into a Mid term exam 5%, Oral 10% where it just depends on whether the professors likes you or not, 20% on practical exam depending on your professor if he/she has any psychological complications to ruin those for you or just a normal being that will test you from whatever he taught in his content, 60% based purely on Final exam that has 0 Excuses and No Retakes and for whatever disastrous reason you missed it for you fail the subject, and also upon failing the subject you get D- whenever you complete it no matter your actual score is. We don’t have retakes or averages or anything that would make us feel that we got more chances to improve upon our mistakes)
60years old wooden benches, 50 years old dirty pipettes and flasks, huge number of students per lab session up to 150 which barely leaves anything for the person to grasp,
Professors with no real demonstration of English proficiency, outdated references “Prescot 2012 taught in Immunology Lectures”,
Courses WITH NO REFERENCES just words that you cannot understand where they came from, that also contradict with other courses,
courses that are not in an organized manner nor in proper depth or level” What I mean is all courses are almost teaching the same thing, where Chemistry course is like biochemistry is like biochemistry 2 and genetics 1 is like Molecular genetics… They all throw just random information that doesn’t correlate to anything nor they are organized enough to help the second course follow from there and finally just not to over stretch it,
Practical sessions that has no meaning at all, as I am currently in my third year and I haven’t even touched a single micro pipette or an actual DNA Kit, I don’t even know what an actual decent level 2 lab would look like as our labs are yellow from how old they are.)
Now what I did to improve so I don’t continue in this demise, I have reached out Reddit and other social networks and they advised me to read the following three references
For Genetics (Watson) for Micro and Immunology (Prescott) for Cell Biology ( Cell biology 6th edition) for Bioinformatics I have got the (Functional genomics by Jonathan). What I did was and “Is being done at the moment.” I have made a study group of students excited as I am so we can encourage each other and we are dividing the books above because we all 1 year left to graduate.
So we all have 7 Courses this semester + 3 books from above (Bioinfo,Immuno,Genetics) + Khan academy to strengthen our ruined and nonexistent algebra and calculus back ground + Python course on Udemy to jump on the modern boat and become one of the future decent bioinformaticians so I can work on my dream without being blocked with software disabilities that other scientists have complained about.
Now Final part.
I still feel lacking, clueless, I am at this moment applying for 1 internship in Germany and the other is in Spain. I don’t know what to say about myself anymore, I have seen students at my age which is 21 with impressive CVs as it is 3 – 10 pages of achievements and hardcore GPA of 4. My GPA itself is a joke as our grading system is different where for E.g 75% is B- not C- as in other systems, my GPA is 2.61 which is actually B not C. Still I feel like a total loser as everyone else is way !! ahead of me, others are joining internships, projects, competitions, scoring top spots, traveling the world!
I don’t know what to do … If I am doing It right… I am very passionate about my dream, but I have no one to guide me or support me, I have seen students getting guided and encouraged and they all feel worthwhile … I am just getting tired of pushing through it all alone with no clue if Iam even pushing towards the right path!
I have military service for 1 to 3 years (Picked randomly) after I graduate opening even a more terrible gap between me and the other students, HOW CAN I DEVELOP A DECENT RESEARCH CAREER AT A HIGH QUALITY UNIVERSITY with all of this happening ?!
I want to write something decent in my Motivation letter but nothing comes out worthwhile, all my professors think I am special and are all okay with writing me the reference letter, but their English isn’t strong enough to make the reviewer feel like he is dealing with a high quality professor although some of my professors are really good !
Incase you managed to read through it all, thank you. Help me out please… I have always came here on various subreddits seeking help as I have nowhere else to go to…
Note1 EDIT : If any further details are required do let me know please.
Note 2 EDIT: Also one of things that I have done at the current moment is that I have applied for Financial Aid on harvard biochemistry course, as well as Evolutionary genetics course from Duke university as I feel lacking towards both intermediate topics, and my financial aid has been accepted and I will add them to my semester and do my best to balance everything !
Note 3 EDIT : Which is the closest biotechnology field so I can focus on where it leads me to treat psychological disorders through microbiome. or what is the closest field that does something similar
Note 4 EDIT : I will also be preparing for my IELTS after I finish military obligations, thought of mentioning that I have that on mind, as my current english that I wrote this (0 proof read) text is based on couple years of online gaming and watching videos and some of enthusiasm to actually speak English.