Ever since I was 12, I was determined to become a pharmacist. Everything I did from that moment on, was geared towards pharmacy school. I took college classes, like anatomy and chemistry, in high school that counted both as high school credits and for requirements for pharmacy school. I had a family friend who became my mentor. It allowed me to talk about pharmacy and the growing field it was. I fell in love with two amazing pharmacy schools that I would have died to get into my junior year. And my senior year, I was accepted into Florida Gulf Coast University for their biochemistry program, a degree common among pharmacists. I had roughly about 2 and a half years of my undergrad left when I entered my freshman year of college.
You would have thought my future was set. I had good grades. I was focused. I had everything planned out in a detailed timeline. Except, I wasn't set on pharmacy school anymore. I realized I didn't have a passion for biochemistry and pharmacy school became less and less appealing as my freshman year went on. As realization set in, countless thoughts ran through my head. How could I, after six years of dedication to school and seamless plans for the future, come to the decision I no longer wanted to pursue this career? How was I suppose to tell my parents I didn't want to be a pharmacist? How was I suppose to face the people I looked up to and aspired to be?
How could I have let my 12-year-old self down?
For the first time, I was lost. Everything I had so masterfully created fell apart and I was left to grasp at straws, trying to figure out the next chapter of my life. I lead myself to believe I was letting the people I loved down and nothing would ever suit me as much as pharmacy school would have.
After calming down from the initial shock of admitting I no longer wanted to go to pharmacy school, I was able to talk out my decision with close friends and family. My realization became a blessing and a curse. I had the ability to explore different careers and follow new paths I never once considered, but at the same time, nothing was set in stone and to me, it was a culture shock.
My first few ideas for my new life change were a bit impulsive. I considered switching to criminal justice or legal studies, which are complete opposite sides of the spectrum when it comes to majors. Like I mention, I was grasping at straws. I didn't know what I wanted, but I definitely knew what I didn't want. Albeit, after several lengthy and deep conversations, I was able to find I still have a passion for the health care system, even if pharmacy school wasn't for me. Looking back, was I letting my own self down? At the moment, I truly believed I was. I felt as if I were a failure and I was letting not only myself but everyone who believed in me down.
For a long time, I denied how I felt for fear of others and instead, it left me unhappy and had I been too scared to admit it wasn't what I wanted, I would still be unhappy. My future self would be proud that I stood up against my fears and I moved onto a new chapter in my life where my destination is full of choices. It's an exciting and new experience for me considering I've never had so many options before. I've always been a strong believer in the quote, "Everything happens for a reason." To all the students who are on the fence of changing your major, or to anyone changing your career path, the only person you're letting down is your future self.
Even now, I like to think my 12-year-old self would be proud, too.