A few days ago I sat down with a friend name Amani, who is a sophomore chemistry major, to talk about what he wanted to do with the rest of his life. Amani disclosed to me that when he was younger he always wanted to be a Pokemon Master. But when told that Pokemon wasn't real, he went to his second choice which was to be a scientist.
I followed this up with asking about his passions. He simply said, "I love science, I love music, I love reading and in an ideal world, I would love to do something where I could do all three of these things. But we don't live in a perfect world." Amani agreed that his passions, however, do influence what he wishes to do with the rest of his life.
I then asked the age old question: where do you see yourself in ten to twenty years. Amani began this question by laughing at the cliche of it. He then said, "In twenty years.....in twenty years, Queen Elizabeth will still be alive and she will be knighting me because I just cured cancer." We both had a good laugh about this and finally, Amani went on to say, " Well ever since I was a little kid I always wanted to do something incredible with my life like I wanted to be the type of person you read about in books."
I then asked who influenced him to want to do something incredible. He responded with, "I was always influenced by African Americans like Frederick Douglas and Benjamin Banneker and I saw how much they influenced that world and I always wanted to do that."
Amani then described a bit of how he went for his dream once he reached high school. He said, "Once I reached high school, I tried out all the different sciences and I decided to be a chemistry major just because it's what I'm most comfortable with. I felt like I could really be myself with it and just do what was right."
I asked him if he felt like what he was doing now was helping him reach his dreams and he answered with, "Absolutely. Right now I'm learning and I'm growing and I am definitely getting the experience I need in order to be comfortable in a lab setting which is what I want to do. It will give me the chance to do what my dream is which is to one day cure like a major disease like cancer or AIDS."
I then asked what he plans to do after college once he graduates. Amani answered with, "I think once I finish college, I'm going to go to grad school. I'm going to put off any plans of getting a family until I'm much older once I've grown because I still feel like I'm in the growing stage, especially in the terms of relationships."
I then wrapped up the interview with asking Amani if he had anything to say to anyone out there who may want to pursue science in the future. He responded with, "If you are going to be science major just know that it's tough, it's a lot of work, a lot of late nights and sometimes you won't go to bed 'till three in the morning. You'll definitely have moments where you just want to give up or just want to break down, but you gotta just keep on going. But it's all worth it in the end."