Akash Mitra

Being a Microbiology student

There is this untapped universe of beings that is covering almost every inch of whatever we know. We can’t see them but their presence is always apparently announced by our life style and habits. This thought was one of the triggering forces that intrigued and motivated me to take up the realm of these tiny creatures called microbes as a subject of study for the rest of my life. I have been dealing with this subject for five years now and the mesmerizing thing about this path is that I am not bound to a particular and specific domain of study. It is so diversified that I am bound to learn something new everyday as I deal with various aspects. For example, who would have thought that we would be in a pandemic for over a year and that too caused by an entity that is so clever that we cannot fathom the complete extension of its ramification.

Food Safety and the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) | FDA
Source: https://www.fda.gov/food/food-safety-during-emergencies/food-safety-and-coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19

Well, if we unfold this topic of coronavirus a little bit, we know that there are vaccines available now, but again, who would have thought that the old virus is going to mutate and increase its effect on the population. So, this is utter serendipity and this aspect in some very odd way is the beauty of this field.

Now, diving into microbiology from a student’s perspective, there might be thoughts dabbling in your mind regarding whether you should be taking up this subject as a prospective career option or not. Well, as a student I see it this way: If I would have taken up medicine instead, and jumped on the train of being a doctor (no offense to doctors because that is one of the most noble professions to be in), at the end of the track I would have gained complete mastery of the human body and what is required to keep it safe. That is surely something of very high value. On the other hand, when I am a microbiologist my subject allows me not to be restrained at one particular organism, instead ramify my reach to some complete different microbe and bridge the connection between the two if any.

Apart from this, the biotechnological aspect of studying microbiology opens up a whole new eye in the human brain which for example, in the case of this pandemic, allowed us the privilege of vaccines in such a short duration. Now, when you are studying microbiology, you are not always going to stay put on the subject, but, as a matter of fact you are going to reach out to a number of diverse subjects for help like genetics, evolutionary biology, computational biology and lot more. That way you will be able to reason out the intricacies related to various aspects of microbiology that the parallel subjects have to offer and in my opinion that’s the fun part.

Well, that being said, I have always enjoyed being a microbiology student right from the beginning and I am trying my level best to carve my way into the world of research every day with small steps. I am pretty sure anyone who takes up the subject can step up as well.