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What Do You Want to be When You Grow Up?

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All though my childhood, I can remember family members and strangers asking me this question. And I can remember my response to this question was always, “I don’t know”. As a child, I was more interested in playing doctor with my sister or performing autopsies on Barbie dolls than I was in my future. I told myself that there would always be time later for me to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. Years passed, and all of a sudden, I was in high school.

Everyone around me knew what they wanted to do. They had their whole future planned out. They knew where they wanted to go to school, and what they planned to do after graduating. It seemed like it was only I who didn’t know what to do. I felt so left out. The question from my childhood seemed like it had come back to haunt me. To make me feel guilty for not paying it any attention when I was younger. To torture me for not knowing.

I rushed home and looked all over the internet for occupations that i might be interested in. I took all these tests to determine my strengths and weaknesses. I tried to use these to assess my future career. I looked at education requirements and pay. I spent hours and hours trying to find the perfect job for me. Exhausted from all this searching, I gave up. I decided that I would never find it, and I gave up.

Nights passed, and I hadn’t given any thought to my future career. I sat down on my couch and on a hunch, turned on the TV. Bones was on, and I immediately was engrossed in the show. I was amazed at how Dr. Brennan could always name the different bones of the human body, and I was delighted at how Montenegro could always identify the different angles of impact and the possible murder weapons. The show finished, and that left me sitting all alone in the dark on my couch. Images of the show kept flashing through my mind. And then it hit me.

I realized what I had wanted to do my whole life. I knew then and there that I had found my future career. I wanted to be a doctor. I wanted to improve the quality of life for humans, and I wanted to be able to save someone’s life. I wanted to make a difference in the world, just like Dr. Brennan and her scientific team did every episode. I knew that the path ahead of me would be difficult. I would have to go through years and years of medical school and struggle to memorize thousands of facts about the human body. Nevertheless, the challenged didn’t throw off my determination, and I headed off to school the next day feeling very pleased.

Now when someone asks me, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I have an answer. I tell them with a steely glint of determination in my eye, “I want to be a doctor.”





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