So many people have been discouraging me in the past two weeks to not switch out. Some of them even told me how the struggle is part of the process and how I should just power through. Many people I’ve told thinks I’m switching out because it’s too hard for me, which in honesty is really amusing to me.
Biology is not hard for me to understand. I’m really fascinated by it, especially the Microbiology and Immunology aspect of it. There’s just something about microbes that intrigue me. Maybe it’s just the irony of how we, humans, have the weapons and the abilities to kill anything we see, yet we are killed by the things that we cannot see.
But to be 100% honest with you all, Microbiology was never part of my plan. I was in 10th grade when I was already panicking about what I want to go to college for. This guy I had a crush on at that time really loved Microbiology and Marine Biology. In fact, he is actually studying Biology right now at another UC. After spending so much time with him, I was convinced that Microbiology was something I want to pursue. However, as time went on, I started to change my mind.
A lot of counselors, therapists, psychologists, and life coaches I’ve seen asked me if I ever considered going into Psychology. They told me how I had a great insight for someone my age and how I’m a great listener as well as a very empathetic person. I shot down the idea at the first because I had little doubts that someone like me could ever handle other people’s emotions. But I think the idea always lingered in my mind.
When senior year hit, I chose to take a special english class offered at my high school. They called it Global Connection; it was an English and Civics class combined. We studied a lot of social issues as well as social behaviors. We were looking at the legal system in details as well as multiple different case studies domestically and abroad. We had to explain why certain events happened using many different social-psychological terms. One of my favorite topic to learn in the class was actually the Holocaust and the rise of Nazi Germany.
It intrigued me and made me think about why people do the things they do and how people behave differently when they’re in a group environment. Thus, psychology slowly started to become something I wanted to learn. For my senior project, I decided to do research on whether students prefer individual therapy or group therapy and how much of their decisions were impacted by the media. It was very challenging. I conducted surveys and learned first-handedly that wording matters a lot.
Interesting enough, I learned all about that this quarter in my Intro to Psych class. I was really surprised and had the “AH HA” moment where I realized that there were so many experimental mistakes that I made. It also made me wonder if the results were even accurate to begin with. Maybe sometimes in the future, I will conduct something similar again to see how different things might be.
Besides Psychology, social justice became something that’s important to me too. I actually participated in one of the Black Lives Matter protests in Oakland, California earlier this year. It was my first protest, and it was one hell of an experience.
And of course, mental health has always been a big thing for me ever since I was a child. I really want to help people. There are so many things that I’ve been through in my life so far, and there are so many mistakes I made and so many lessons I had to learn from to get to the place I am today. Even now, I’m still constantly working to improve myself. I want to make sure that some people have the resources that I am so grateful to have had in the past. I want to let people know that they always have a choice. I even want to help children who suffer trauma of any kind.
There just so much that I want to do in this area that I don’t even think Biology is in the picture anymore. Yeah, Microbiology and Immunology is still fascinating, but I can just take a class in it or just study about it on my own. After all, some professors suck at teaching, and you end up reading and learning the material all on your own. So I much rather get a degree in something I love and something I feel passionate about.
This guy told me that you don’t have to have passion in what you want to do nor do you need to love what you do. To him, the job that makes the most money is what is going to get you far in life. I still remember responding to him that I couldn’t live that way- that life is too short for you to do something you don’t love or feel passionate about just so you can have lots of money. Life is just too short for that. Money doesn’t buy happiness, at least not in that way.
Money can buy experiences, and in return, those experiences can give you happiness.
But at the end of the day, it’s those experiences that make you happy. So why not live doing something you love and live experiencing all the good and bad things that may come with it? Life is always going to be a struggle in one way or another. There are always going to be obstacles in your life. If you want the best of everything, you’re always going to be a fixated on achieving such perfection. And what happens when you cannot gain it? You beat yourself up. That’s what normally happens. We gotta let go and just have faith in where life takes us. After all, there is just too many variables we cannot control.
If any of you are questioning what you want to do, be honest to yourself. Think about what is going to make you happy and is still going to be something that is financially plausible. The goal is balance: doing something you love and making enough for you to live comfortably. It might hard, and it might even seem impossible. But promise yourself that you will be just fine and just remember this whenever you feel overwhelm
Life is a shipwreck but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats