George: So I started to walk into the water. I won't lie to you boys, I was terrified! But I pressed on and as I made my way passed the breakers a strange calm came over me. I don't know if it was divine intervention or the kinship of all living things but I tell you Jerry at that moment I was a marine biologist!
I know exactly how you felt. I was like this too, except I was excited and anxious to go into the water on my first dive. It was absolutely breathtaking, one of the finest moments in my short life. I felt so small and insignificant surrounded by the vast expanse of the sea. I knew that life was all around me my entire life, but when diving I actually felt like I was part of the circle, the circle of life. *cue Lion king soundtrack*
Doing research isn't the only thing you can do with that degree. You could probably get a job at an aquarium, zoo, places like sea world, or be a specialist at a fish store or something. True, those jobs may be limited, but it's definitely possible.
However you don't need to be a Marine Biologist to get a job at any of those places. It improves your chances, but it isn't necessary to get a 4 year degree unless you plan on being a specialist. Also Marine vets are a different field too. Marine 'Biologist' is just for the most part a scientist that focuses on things marine, 90% of your job is collecting data and analyzing it. If you're going to be a Marine Biologist, you have to go big, or you won't love your career choice. Would you put aside traveling the world to collect and analyze data and the thrilling (not) hunt for specimens for a job in an office? Or to work in a park? Ask yourself, why did you want to become a Marine biologist in the first place? Personally, I hate the office, I am definitely a field worker, and getting a degree for something that revolves around nature but forces me to stay inside is just ludicrous.
I figured somebody would tell me something like this. Maybe I need to rethink what I really want to do and just have this as a hobby. I might just end up doing something in the hospital since I already work in one.
Sorry to shoot a hole in your dreams, but it had to be done, just like it had to be done to me. I didn't mean to discourage you, I only want you to know what you are getting yourself into well before you discover it isn't for you, like I did.
Even though I decided not to pursue the life of a Marine Biologist, I still dive with my professors, I still keep tanks, I still do everything that I would've done, minus the lab science and minus the getting paid. Who says that this has got to be nothing more than a hobby? Who says that you can't do everything a Marine Biologist does in your own free time?
I think you get my point.