I went to UBC for my undergrad and did a degree in Integrated Sciences – Microbiology/Nutritional Sciences. I graduated in 2015 with that degree, and then came back to UBC Sept 2017. Crazy how time flies! I never thought I’d be back here, but here I am 🙂
I think your last year of undergrad is probably the most stressful, because you leave the safety net of being in school. You fall into the habit of always going back to school after the summer..and now you are not. My parents mentioned me doing a masters, and while it was tempting (just to have something planned), I decided not to. I didn’t want to do any further schooling, just for the sake of it. I wanted to make sure every thing I did going forward would be my idea, not my parents, or someone else’s. I had been on the pre-med path, so started getting my application together, stalking the pre-med forum and looking for a job.
I had a brief intro into digital marketing like the summer after my first year, and really liked it, so I was super lucky to get a digital marketing job very soon after graduating (actually started the day after my graduation :)). So I was starting a new job, working on applications, and somewhere along the way, I just lost interest. I don’t know, I got contacted by a school, and that was exciting but when I got a rejection, it didn’t really feel like a gut punch. It should feel like a gut punch. That was around when I started realizing this may not be for me. I was working full-time being a mini-adult and started actually thinking independently. And everyone has a different path, but I was pretty certain about 7 months post graduation that medicine was not for me, and I better start thinking on what I want instead.
I liked digital marketing, and thought about continuing with that, I considered dentistry, I considered sticking to medicine. I considered computer science. So safe to say, I considered everything and just didn’t want to rush into a decision. At the same time I was taking online classes to strengthen my GPA should I apply to a graduate program. I liked digital marketing, but didn’t feel like I had the personality to work my way up. Also I don’t necessarily require a diploma or certification to do digital marketing, while it helps, it’s not absolutely necessary. If I ever want to go back to it, it’s still an option. I hope to learn it on my personal time and find a way to use it, because I did like the field. However, in a corporate setting, it wasn’t the right fit for me.
So then I considered dentistry, this phase lasted about 2 weeks. I am so happy that I volunteered at a dental clinic, so important to do this! I just assumed it was a more creative and glamorous form of medicine. Regardless, once I found this golden jewel of a career where I got to mix science with aesthetic beauty, I bought DAT books, and read up on it. I then found an opportunity to volunteer at a dental clinic in the downtown east-side. I don’t know why but within a few hours I was like yeah this is not for me. I decided to continue volunteering, but for the price of school, I better LOVE it, so that was a no go. Also it is insane how pricy dental school is. Compared to other health professions, dentistry probably has more expenses with all the clinical practice, but in the states, tuition goes up to like 100k/a year :O
So at this point, I had a reasonable amount of varied work experience under my belt with a solid understanding of what I wanted for myself. I looked into computer science and pharmacy. My friends had brought up pharmacy a while ago, and a random questionnaire once chose pharmacy for me (go figure) but I didn’t really look into it. I have family in computer science, and with the tech boom I was interested in that. But after talking with family and realizing the amount of hardcore math that CS entails…I sort of fell off that. I don’t really want to pursue something that I don’t have natural skills in. I am decent at math, but I use my fingers from time to time when counting..so I looked into other professions.
And then I decided to shadow a pharmacist, and talk to pharmacists, and it was like a breath of fresh air. Why didn’t I look into this like years ago, I don’t know. It was still a scary decision (4 years of school and expensive tuition), but I’m glad I made it. I’m not sure if I will be pursuing residency, staying in Canada, but so far I think the program at UBC is really great!
I chose the picture above to sort of describe my experiences through undergrad, and post-graduation as not a straight path but a lot of curves and changes in direction. I could’ve applied right away but I’m glad I actually looked into different professions, really makes me feel a lot happier about my decision and future.
So now one semester down, one to go until summer. Happy New Years everyone. My next post will be less of an introduction, and more of the stuff I get emails about, midterm tips + past exams.