I've had an immense passion for animals and helping animals since I was a little girl. Growing up, since probably kindergarten, I told everyone around me that someday I was going to save animals. Fueled by Animal Planet shows and "Dr. Doolittle," I spent my time after elementary school playing veterinarian in my basement, which further evolved to me spending my weekends volunteering at a wildlife rehabilitation center once I reached middle school.
There hasn't been a time in my life that I ever denied that I was going to work with animals. After coming to college, my vision shifted slightly, and I made the slight switch from being a pre-vet major to majoring in animal science, but my love for animals and desire to work with them someday never diminished. Today, I hope to graduate college and potentially work in a zoo, having the ability to work with so many incredible species of animals and ensure that conservation efforts are never halting, so that our natural world can be as diverse as our zoos.
Some people tell me that I'm crazy...that I'm going to spend the rest of my days in a shoebox-sized apartment living off of ramen noodles. Some ask me why I would waste an education to make likely less than $50,000 a year. But for me, as long as I love what I am doing and pursuing the sole thing that I've dreamed of since I was a little girl, then that is worth more than any salary could ever mean to me. I understand the value of money and making a sufficient living, but I also understand the importance of finding happiness in life. I've seen so many people go into a field that they were never passionate about but chose because they knew it would make them a lot of money.
But are most of them happy? No, they're not.
Instead, they begrudgingly drag themselves to their 9-5 jobs every day and come home just as miserable as they were before they left in the morning. I want my life--my occupation--to be filled with excitement and spontaneity. I know that if I were to stray from my passion of working with animals, I will never be satisfied with my life.
Sure, I may need to budget more and I may need to pick up a side job, but as long as I love what I am doing and pursuing my greatest passions, is it really all that bad?