I actually did it! I applied to 4 pharmacy schools in my state!
Here is some back story…
As a child, I’ve always been interested in the health science field. Both of my parents were nurses, my grandmother was in charge of a health care building in Nigeria, and science had always been my favorite subject. I remember begging my mother to tell me stories about her patients when she would come back from work, and marveling at the fact that everyday, my mom was changing someone’s life.
In high school, I joined the health care professions track and took classes such as Medical Terminology and Intro to Health Care. These classes expanded with world of health science to me, and I knew that this was the field that I wanted to be in.
It was great, I was in the right building, but I couldn’t seem to find the right room. I had it in my mind that I wanted to do something in health care, but I didn’t really know what. I haphazardly fell into the lap of becoming a doctor. I watched House religiously, and the thought of working in scrubs, and talking to patients everyday excited me.
Then, something happened. My mom decided to go back to school to pursue her Pharm.D degree and suddenly a whole other world was opened. I saw her memorizing facts about prescriptions and their interactions with the body, talking to me about the medications I was already taking, there was a spark in her that I hadn’t seen before and I found myself wandering away from the doctor route.
Fast-forward to my freshman year of college, and I’m still on the doctor train. Thoughts of becoming the next Meredith Grey (but a little less whiny and a lot less drama) filled my mind. I started researching medical schools and preparing myself to sell my soul to student loans and the next ten years of schooling. My mom still tells me about her work as a new pharmacist, and I’m still intrigued.
Then I got sick and was in the hospital for quite some time. And while I was bedridden and unable to do much except for watch daytime television and adjust the incline of my hospital bed, I started thinking about the medications that were being administered to me everyday. I thought about what they looked like as molecules, how they were made, the process of making them and how many different medications there were for the same ailments.
It was at that moment that I knew that pharmacy was the room in the building of health care that I was looking for. I was so moved by the power that medication has to heal lives, and to give opportunities to people, who in any other situation, would not be able to live in a manner that is fulfilling. Medicine gives me the life that I am living right now, and I want to be able to do that for others as well. To help others is the greatest thing that one can do with their lives, and it is all I want to do with mine.
So, now here I am, two years later with my foot in the door to accomplishing my wildest dreams. As I went through the application process, stress, doubt and sadness were my constant companions. I felt disappointed in myself because many things hadn’t gone according to my life plan, and it felt like I was in a free-fall with my life shattering to pieces all around me.
There was a certain component of vulnerability that I wasn’t expecting to feel while going through the process. As I asked for letters of recommendation, and as I wrote my personal essay, I had to expose myself to the people around me in a way that I wasn’t used to. I also had to grapple with my self doubt, thinking about whether my application was competitive enough to even submit to schools.
Then I visited the University of Texas and walked the halls of their pharmacy buildings. I imagined my mother walking the same halls before me, scurrying to class as thoughts of her education, her job, and her children bounced around in her brain. I thought of the motivation and persistence that she had to have had to go to school as a single mother, support me and my sister, and still keep her life together.
I thought about my life and how early it would have ended if advances in medicine hadn’t been made. I thought about the pains that I have been able to endure because of the prescriptions provided to me. I saw myself feasting on knowledge, scavenging for information, searching for ways to change the world one person at a time. And I knew in that instant, that it was worth it.
I knew that this was the calling of my life.
I can almost feel the white coat against my skin and I can hear the chiming of hospital equipment. I feel the urgency to start helping and to start healing. My love for this field has increased exponentially in the days since my campus visit, and I am so thankful for that. I know that I’m not out of the woods yet, I still need to get an interview, and also getting accepted is kind of necessity before I can be out in the real world of science. I still have four years of schooling to get through and a whole lot of experience to gain.
But I’m ready for it. I’m ready for the challenges and the triumphs for the struggles and the gains. Applying to pharmacy school as really tested me, but I think that I have come out with a new outlook on life. Hopefully I will get accepted into my dream school, but even if I don’t with future is still bright, and hope still exists.
I’m ready for this next adventure!