I cannot pinpoint a specific point in time where my appreciation for the sciences was born. What I do recall however, is that I had excelled at the sciences from as early as primary school. (I’m from the Caribbean, so there is Kindergarten, Primary /Preparatory School, High School and University/College respectively). So, in my young mind I had always said I would become a paediatrician.
Teacher:” Students, what would you like to become in the future?”
Me: A paediatrician!
I loved visiting my paediatrician; I loved her office, the toys, her vehicle, everything. She became my role model.
When I got to high school, I was introduced to a plethora of subjects. In my first year I can remember doing about sixteen this continued until my third year of high school. At the end of the third year, we were given a sheet of paper which had on it all the possible subjects we could sit in the C.S.E.C (Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate) examinations. I remember how I frowned upon students who were choosing subjects that fell under the social sciences umbrella, because I couldn’t see solid career paths attached to those subjects. I never thought one’s interest was necessary when choosing a career. I had my extracurricular activities separate and apart from my career choices. All the years I spent in the choir, girls guide, red cross, music club, I never once thought my career could lie on that side of the box.
I mean, I should have known medicine was not for me. I hated blood, didn’t care for the hospital or any thing that had to do with illnesses – ugh the thought! I remember when recruiters from universities came to the school, I collected a brochure that outlined the courses and requirements for the MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery) program, saw that the length of study was five years and I think an additional two or three to specialize (wooow). I spoke to to friends of mine, who at the time were studying medicine and that’s when I saw the part of the program I dreaded – Anatomy. They told me about the lab classes, the bodies they saw; I was mortified (I don’t even like funerals). Then my grandmother passed away, that was difficult for my family, I couldn’t even look at her in the coffin, my dream of pursuing medicine died with her.
I stuck with the sciences though! Engineering was up next, applied to the University, got an offer and didn’t take it. Went to my dream university instead and was enrolled to study Environmental Chemistry.
Things I learnt up to the point of starting university
- Be open to change