When I was in kindergarten, I was going to be a roller skating waitress. Or a lifeguard.
When I was in elementary school, I was going to be a vet. For horses.
When I was in high school, I was going to be a doctor.
When I was in university, I was going to go insane from not knowing what I wanted to do.
The sheer number of possibilities blew my mind. There was no shortage of potential career paths, all with their own layers, various certifications and course prerequisites. For the first time in a type-A life, I was sort of ... lost. When I failed first year chemistry, all of sudden, all bets were off. The medical dreams went out the window, and I trundled through the summer, in shock that I had failed something for once in my life.
In retrospect, I'm glad I failed. I failed fast and realized early on in the university game that I wasn't cut out for the typical medical world. That summer I sat back and tried to figure out what I could do, and how I could parlay my marks into a major. One of my best friends took a health course and told me I should check it out. I pored through the course guide, a one-inch manual on how to get through university, checking out the path that this one course could lead me down. In short, it looked really amazing. Determinants of health, nutrition, social marketing, program design, research methods. Aside from the math course, every looking amazing. And exciting.
So I grabbed a highlighter and started to chart my course. The program was a new one, and I was starting a year behind, having not taken any of the first year courses. But I was determined to major and finish in only four years. And I did, by hacking the system, taking correspondence courses year round, and eking by with prerequisites earned at the last minute. I also found my passion-- public health. I discovered my niche, something that articulated my interests more than I ever thought possible.