“Chance favours the prepared mind”
So last time I was writing about my long term aim of Medicine and how it all changed when I slipped up on my Chemistry Alevel. A new problem was about to present itself in my assumption that I had a place at my second choice. Ah how naive of me to think it was that easy, after all AAC wasn’t bad right? One quick phone call to Newcastle later and erm, actually it looked like I wasn’t going anywhere. I knew I hadn’t met the ABB entry requirements but I’d just assumed it would be fine-after all some of my friends had been accepted with way below the grades they’d been asked for!
A full day of sulking later and I had dusted myself down yet again and come up with a brand new plan involving a year out, reapplying closer to home and taking a part time course in dress making. Generally indulging all my passions before I had to start the serious stuff that I’d never really wanted to do but knew I had to. Looking back I want to shake myself for being such an utter idiot but I’d been so brainwashed by my parents (who meant well bless them) and teachers into believing that because I was smart and good at science I should go study science and get a respectable career with respectable hours and a respectable wage. The trouble is I’ve never been all that respectable and I started to realise what a huge mistake going into Science let alone Medicine would have been. It was like the kiss that woke the sleeping princess, only my knight in shining armour had been a particularly difficult question on benzene!
Now you may have spotted the crucial flaw in this fuzzy tale of happy endings. I’m writing for the Newcastle Careers blog and I’m studying Human Genetics. A week after I’d rang Newcastle and they’d given me the cold shoulder they rang me up and gave me the “great” news that a place had opened up and they wanted me after all. At this point I’ll admit I threw an almighty tantrum that consumed most of my first year in a general haze of refusing to get out of bed for lectures and getting a little more than tipsy four or five nights a week. Not the best coping strategy but if I wasn’t in Uni for the education I may as well be here for the social life. I’m as stubborn as a mule sometimes and I’d already decided this wasn’t what I wanted to do with my life.
Thankfully as well as being stubborn I’m not afraid to admit I was wrong. While I’ll stick to my guns for as long as I believe in them the second doubt creeps in I’ll calm down, reassess and change path. At some point or other reality had to set in. The overdraft had run out and I had to come up with some sort of general life plan. I quit drinking so much and started to knuckle down on my work. I thought long and hard about where I wanted to go with my life. Why didn’t I want to work in the labs? I decided that it was because I just wasn’t a scientific person, I’m too creative. So I tried to come up with something that indulged my creative side while still utilising my degree. Teaching was one option and the other was Scientific/Health Journalism. I strongly recommend this approach to anyone struggling to decide on a career. Stop thinking about what people want you to do or what people expect you to do and start with what you enjoy. It doesn’t even have to be related to your course. If you’re happy being a lab monkey then go for it but if you enjoy drawing then why not think about doing diagrams for text books? I don’t even know if that’s a career to be honest but someone’s got to do them right? So look into it, you don’t know what opportunities are out there until you really dig for them. A while ago I wrote about emailing the life centre. I never actually got a reply, but that’s not to say that I won’t get a reply to any email I send out. I dream of the day I can write a blog post about getting an email back and actually organising some sort of work experience but until then I’ve just got to keep trying and keep positive. Failing that the most unexpected things tend to crop up when you put out feelers. But that’s a post for another day when my pipe dreams are a bit more concrete. For now I’ll just say watch this space; I’ve never let anything get in the way of doing what I want before and I’m not about to start now!