Matthew Eaton

Matthew switches into exercise science

When he first started at Iowa State, Matthew was studying kinesiology and health; however, after his first semester, he found he wasn’t enjoying it.

“Originally, I wanted to be a chiropractor,” he said. “But biology and chemistry weren’t going well for me. I’d always known I wanted to be in the medical field, so I asked my adviser what career options exercise science had.”

His adviser recommended he take a look at cardiac rehab to see if it would interest him. Matthew researched it on the Cardiac Rehab Association website and realized the career aligned with his interests. It meant he could still work in the medical field but instead of being a doctor, he would help those with heart problems through physical-therapy exercises.

Matthew officially began his exercise science courses starting his sophomore year. He said transferring the credits was a bit painful, but in the end it was worth it.

“I lost about 30 credits of electives,” he said. “But when you switch in the same department it’s a lot easier. And if you work hard and put time into it, you can still be done in four years.”

Two classes stand out in his mind as the most beneficial: Sociology of sport medicine (KIN 360) and Biomechanics (KIN 355). In KIN 355 he said he enjoys seeing the research and equipment work in real life. Whereas KIN 355 took a hands-on approach, KIN 360 looks at how ethnicity, gender, social status and other demographics influence the athletic industry.

Overall, this experience taught Matthew the importance of enjoying what you study, instead of sticking with something because you started with it.

“It’s hard to get good grades if you don’t care about the subject,” he said. “But it gets easier – especially senior year when you get to take classes you’ve looked forward to the past four years.”