As high school ends, we all begin a new chapter in our lives. Whether it is college or work or another kind of adventure, we all embark on this new quest of knowledge.
For me, this new quest of knowledge resides in the world of medicine. The path to become a doctor or surgeon is a long and tumultuous one, but it is a path I hope to conquer. Working with patients, alongside other doctors, dissecting cadavers, learning about the human body...it almost makes the lengthy years of schooling look easy.
However, growing up, I didn't always want to go into medicine.
As a child, I wanted to be a paleontologist. I always loved traveling and after seeing fossils on display in museums, it seemed like there was no other career for me. I could be far away in distant countries, unearthing the hidden secrets of Earth's past. This passion grew out of a love for science classes.
Somewhere along the road, I strayed away from dinosaurs by deciding to be an archaeologist.
History and language has always enticed me, from as far back as I can remember. I wanted to learn more about ancient civilizations, ruthless kings, epic battles and every aspect of history that came together to create the era we are currently living in.
The world of Latin tempted me because it bridged my interests of language and history. It was a window to another world. The Romans left us a rich body of literature and the roots of romance languages originated from Latin.
The idea of being an author grew out of my interest in Latin. I had been writing and illustrating short stories as soon as I learned how to hold a pencil. My summers were spent reading the stacks of library books I would bring home. So it only seemed ideal that I would go into a career of writing. Perhaps I could write for newspapers or magazines and my own book on the side? The choices were endless. All I knew was that I loved to write.
I'd like to think that it was the accumulation of my previous interests -- writing, reading, science and history -- that drew me to medicine.
The world of neuroscience beckoned me when I opened my first issue of National Geographic about the teenage brain, just on the cusp of becoming a teenager myself.
I found it to be an entire universe yet to be discovered, both by scientists, doctors and myself. I was not intrigued just because Amy, a neurobiologist, is the coolest character on The Big Bang Theory, but because neuroscience is a world of possibilities – ones that can be studied, tested and corrected. It is a continuously expanding and ever-improving existential philosophy.
Here was the foundation of my behavior, as well as countless others.
I found it fascinating that the collection of cells, neurons, synapses, axons and dendrites residing inside the organ between my ears was solely responsible for the way I saw and perceived the world.
Combined with encounters regarding medical problems and a strong desire to help others, I found myself drawn to the thought of a career in medicine. It is one that continues to be important in our society, with lengthy schooling, intense focus and a need for dedication. But it is this chaotic life that is the perfect fit for me because I believe that in the end, the rewards will make it all worth it.
The decision to begin my post-secondary career in pre-med was produced by my personal beliefs and values instilled in me by my family. College may be just another blank chapter in my story, but I will know how to write it into a masterpiece.
It is also the need for more women in medicine, a profession that was previously only for men. Many demanding careers in medicine, such as surgery, see very few women involved. The balance of juggling a career and family life is often the setback. But I believe it is important to instill the belief in girls that it is possible to have the best of both lives.
Helping others lead happier and healthier lives could not be more rewarding. It breaks apart any sort of boundaries, because medicine reaches far beyond the walls of language, race, socioeconomic status, religion and ethnicity.
The awe of discovering the human body, the honor of being trusted to heal the sick, the gratitude for caring through a grueling illness.
Such experiences never grow old.