When I was younger, I wanted to be many things. I frequently pretended to be a soldier, a doctor, an inventor, the president, and sometimes even a secret agent. As I matured, I began to realize that I couldn’t always pretend, and that one day I would have to ultimately decide on a ‘career.’ It was only within the last few years that I was certain I wanted to be a pharmacist. Some people are in the career for the money, others for the prestige, while some just like to treat patients. As for me, I’m in it for all three, as well as family influence. As a child, I rarely looked up to my sister as an influence, but rather my cousins. They were a lot older than me, and as any child would think of an older cousin, they were ‘cool.’ As I progressed through elementary and middle school my cousins began to go through college and obtain degrees. A few of my cousins majored in engineering, others business, while the majority of them seemed to have some kind of doctorates degree.
Being young and naïve, I wanted to be a doctor as well, but little did I know there are many kinds of doctors to be. As I grew older, I began to research more about potential career paths. From what I saw through my cousins, I realized that being a doctor, specialist or not, takes a plethora of time and devotion, not to mention finances. Although these were seemingly good career paths, I decided that I did not have the patience or financials to support such a decision. Still, I wanted to be a doctor. Coincidentally enough, another one of my cousins graduated from Florida A&M University with a degree in pharmacy, so I decided to inquire him about his job and education, and as it turns out it was exactly what I was looking for. I realized I could still help patients, make a good living to support my family, and have some free time to myself in between. As opposed to a twelve year doctors program, I could graduate within 6 years under FAMU’s College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences program and spend considerably less money.
Although being a pharmacist is not as direct as a doctor, I could still help patients cure their illnesses, which is very important to me. I’ve never noticed when it began, but I’ve always known that I’m a fixer and I like to understand how things work. Ever since I was little, if any of my toys were broken, I would take them apart and try to fix them. To this day, I would take apart electronics and tinker if they were malfunctioning. In addition to objects, I’ve also always liked to help people out with their problems, giving advice and aid whenever possible. These qualities, along with an interest in the sciences, greatly influenced my decision towards becoming a pharmacist. In addition to helping people, the practical side to Pharmacy is the pay grade and the prestige. My mother always told me “do well in school, and you will do well in life.”
Many times I have sat in a math class and wondered “what would knowing Y=mx+b do for me?” As I got further and further through my academic career, I realized what she meant; if you do well in school, obtain a decent degree, then you will get a good job which means a good salary to support your family. Although the case may not be similar for everyone else, repaying my mother for all of her kindness is my most important goal in life. The only reason she gave up a life in her home country was to provide her children with the best education possible, and it would be disrespectful and ungrateful of me to throw that away. Aside from the salary of a pharmacist, there is also the prestige. In today’s society, if you tell anyone you’ve got doctorates, they will surely hold you in higher regard. Although this may not be much of a concern for others, being raised in an immigrant family I have seen how people look down at you and underestimate you when you are different and come from an underprivileged background.
To me, being a pharmacist means respect and shows that I have worked hard and earned my position. Coincidentally, I also don’t mind wearing a suit to work. As such, I have worked arduously throughout my academic career to pursue a degree in pharmacy. Upon graduating from the program, I plan to work as a Pharmacist in the Hospital setting. From there, I could collaborate with doctors and nurses to distribute drugs to the patients and provide consultations. I feel that the hospital setting is most fitting for me because I have always been in and out of hospitals as a child and have consequently grown quite comfortable in them. In addition, the hospital is mainly focused on helping patients, as opposed to the marketing aspect of retail pharmacy.
Courtney from Study Moose
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