On this rather mundane and rainy Sunday I thought I’d put out a throwback to my pre-STLCOP days. The days before Friday night studying and short nights filled with caffeine and a complementary box of Kleenex in case my emotions got to the best of me.
Lately I have been seeing many updates on my feed from kids who I last remembered riding tricycles that are now well on their way to college. The excitement and overwhelming feelings of applying, waiting, and deciding what college to attend is a feeling that I can still remember all too well. The feelings of uncertainty, doubt, possible regret and determination are what I remember the most from three years ago when I was deciding where I would go to fulfill my dreams in my career path of choice.
What I remember the most is writing my college essays. Needless to say, there were many hours I had spent just thinking about what to write. How I could stand out from the rest and really bring out my personality. Days I had spent wondering if I had even done anything special with my life at all. Countless hours were spent perfecting, tweaking, and re-reading my essays in hopes that they would be perfect and ready to go. In particular, the essay I remember spending the most time on was the one I had written when I first applied to STLCOP.
Looking back a this piece that I haven’t touched since I had sent it years ago, I sure wish I could have made a few edits. However, I would say this was definitely a good reflection I was feeling at the time I had applied. I was nervous, scared, and anxious about the possibility of not being accepted into the program. Regardless, there’s a lot that I’ve learned from the application process and my overall experience in college in general.
Any crisis life throws at us is like an algebraic equation. The components? At least two variables and numbers which can be anything from integers, non-integers, to rational, or worse, irrational. These numbers can also have negative and positive signs, can be hidden in parenthesis, or embedded in square roots that only make it all the more complicated, seemingly impossible. As far as my philosophy goes, we are always metaphorically grappling our life equations, each differing in their individual complexity. However, what makes all of our life’s equations universal is that they all have an equal sign, an indication that no matter how difficult our problems are, they are indeed, solvable. What we don’t understand is that while we only see the solution to our problem, we struggle to figure out how to get there. The key to solving our problems is to solve for X, the variable that we need to get to Y, our solution. The only way I was able to change my life as an overweight child was by solving for my X so I could ultimately achieve my Y, something I had wanted for years but didn’t know how to grasp.
My issue with my weight was not unfamiliar to me; in fact, it’s something I’ve struggled with since I was 8 years old. For years, I faced verbal insults from classmates who noticed how I was always the last one to finish the 100 meter dash, and the usual lecture from my pediatrician about how the needle on the weighing scale was tipping too far. Relatives had no other piece of advice except to poke my chubby cheeks and tell me to “ease on the Twinkies”. Other than my size, my untamed, frizzy curls and giant silver glasses were of no help when I entered middle school, along with what I dreaded the most: the formation of cliques. After being labeled a “nobody” for almost two years, I decided to quit pouting and ditch the Doritos once and for all. I joined the track team, not knowing what to expect, but realizing that if I wasn’t going to force myself to lose weight, my trophy hungry coach would. During the next three months of grueling practices and exhausting track meets, the pounds were shed, replaced by stamina and a boost of self confidence. While I didn’t become the fastest runner on the team, I learned was that if I want to achieve anything, I have to do what it takes to get there, not just hope that my goals would be met.
I want to be a pharmacist because as a child, I always questioned how doctors knew how to prescribe the right medication, let alone knew the usages and properties of every drug known. It wasn’t until I googled “pharmacist” that I understood that if there was one person whom my pediatrician would turn to about what medication to recommend, it was a pharmacist, the answer to my lingering question. After losing weight, I’ve realized that what I want in my life is to help others solve their own equations. Likewise, a pharmacist’s job is just that; they are the X variable in their patients’ recovery, leading patients towards the right drug that will help them achieve their Y, not just the people that count the pills needed in the bottle.
I’ve applied to STLCOP not only for the chance to get an early hands on experience, but an experience that will better prepare me to achieve my goals. At STLCOP, I don’t just see myself as the girl who overcame her weight problem. Nor do I just see myself as the girl who wants to be a clinical pharmacist, volunteer abroad, and cure Autism using a pharmaceutical approach. At STLCOP, I don’t just see myself wanting to contribute to further advancing pharmacy nationally and overseas, because I see myself being X.
Until my next blog post,