Ever stop and wonder what you could have done differently and how things might have turned out? I think about it all the time. Here near the end of my college career, I’m reflecting on my life at The University of Scranton; it was fraught with great joy and also sadness. I have had some of the best years of my life with good friends and I have also experienced setbacks and losses. All in all though I can’t say I am dying to change the past, though I can look back on it with a stoic eye and a grateful smile.
When I entered The University of Scranton, I was ever so determined to be a medical doctor. After my four years’ time, I would exit undergrad and enter a medical school that accepted me. From there I would continue down the daunting road of education: four years in medical school, four in residency, and then an undisclosed amount of time in fellowship. Things would have been pretty nice – sadly I never applied to medical school. Rather, during my sophomore year I dropped out of the race for medical school. Of course I still stayed in undergrad here at The University but I was no longer aiming to become a medical doctor. There were a lot of difficulties that I had encountered, some that I won’t divulge here, but what I can say is that two roads were put ahead of me at the time right before I made the decision to cease the pursuit for the MD. One road led me down the path of a medical doctor, clad in a white coat, helping the sick, and saving the world ( or so I thought at the time). The other road still held a white coat in store for me. I would see patients in a different facet, I would help them in a different capacity, and medicine would be my sword instead of a suture – this other road led me toward pharmacy. I can safely say that after a long struggle with myself, I have reconciled that I did not give up on a dream but rather I followed another one. My sophomore year held organic chemistry in store for me while senior year taught me biochemistry. Both of these courses were favorites of mine as I look back on my undergrad career. In examining the prerequisites of medical school and pharmacy, both of these fields accept both listed courses in addition to a whole slew of others that I have taken. As I have demonstrated, the fork in the road for sophomore year me was apparent. Being that I chose the path of pharmacy, I struggled with my decision for quite some time and life didn’t seem real anymore. I felt as though I had given up and that I had settled.
Now, I’m not sure of what faith any who read this may reside in but I’ll just put it like this: perhaps the actions that we perform and choices that we make are intended to happen the way that they do. Perhaps our fate is scripted and everything that does come to being is exactly according to “plan”. I’m aware that some people may not like the notion of fate and that they would insist on being in control of their own destinies; some who read this may even perform some action now just to “validate” that they chose that action and that they are in control. But how is one so sure that that action wasn’t already predetermined? How can one see into the future?
What I’m getting at is that my choice to pursue pharmacy may have been what I am meant to do, or it could be that my own free will will dictate my destiny. Whichever it is, the version of myself during sophomore year felt crushed. There was great pressure to achieve, excel, and triumph – even now I can feel those pressures. The key is really to take these stresses and turn them into motivations; I did this and it helped me to see that choosing pharmacy wasn’t selling out but simply a new challenge. In doing pharmacy I would still enjoy organic chemistry and biochemistry, and perhaps in an even greater focus on those subjects as opposed to medical school. Furthermore, I had some help from ancient aspirations; I wanted to buy my own car, own my own house, support a family, and very near and dear to my heart, own a dog. to do all these things I’m surely going to need a job so what better way to get there than to ensure that I get through pharmacy. Both pharmacy and being a medical doctor were vehicles to get to all those aspirations I listed, it’s just that now I am taking a different route from medical doctor to get there. Maybe the way I explained it is beat but it was very touching when I had these realizations! A very special thanks goes to Amanda Jacobs and Jolene Ranek, I really don’t know where my life would be without their guidance and companionship.