“I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. I mean, I don’t know who I want to be exactly.” –Me, almost a year ago.
First I wanted to be a Veterinarian, then I settled for a position as a Vet Tech, then I was destined to work in forensic, I declared Biology as my major, I was going to be a midwife, no, a prenatal nurse, No! A social worker, that’s it!! Then I thought, let me work according to my strengths, so, I’m good at writing so I might as well become a journalist. How’s the pay? Anyone can be an entrepreneur and own their own business…that’s what I’ll do to make up for the slow trickling pay! Matter of fact, I’ll travel the world and show off the “Young Loud Proud!!” So there we have it, I’ll become a writer and publish my own magazine “YLP.” (This is where I am right now. I am content with this, promise, but I’ll elaborate more on this piece.)
This is an ode to the young girls whose future(s) didn’t pan out as expected.
Get ready for a roller-coaster ride:
I’ve changed my major in college, my goals, and my ideas (of what success and happiness will look like in my life) so many times. I think it’s safe to assume that after 26 years on this earth (almost ten years (since age 16) of planning my life out) I’ve finally found what/who I want to be as a “grown up.”
It seemed to be so easy for some people. Some people dream of being a doctor and just like that they begin their journey, but for me, it’s never been that simple, and now I understand why.
I’m multi-talented, and I’m capable of creating my very own avenue to feel accomplished and fulfilled by combining my interests and strengths. It just took a while to figure out what they were and how to make myself work for me. If only I were able to identify my true passion early on instead of trying to be what everyone suggested or thought was good for me. I’m finally finding myself, recognizing my strengths and finding what makes me happy.
I realized at a young age that I had a strong passion for animals and I desired to be a part of the Veterinary care system.
I fell in love with a German Shepard named Smokey when I was six years old. My grandparents rescued him from the SPCA, and as soon as I laid eyes on him, I claimed him as my own. Shortly after we adopted our dog, he was due for a few vaccines, so I decided to tag along to his Vet visits. The feeling of helplessness swept over me as we convened in the hospital; it was fast-paced and a bit overwhelming, but it was a feeling that I will never forget.
I demanded that the Veterinarian let me assist him to do whatever it was to keep my dog in a functional status. Once it was explained to me that it was only a routine visit and my nerves calmed a bit, I began to ask a ton of questions. I saw the collaborative help from the Veterinarian and Veterinarian technicians as they worked through Smokey’s visit and I wanted in! I admired the Veterinarian and Veterinary technicians on their gentleness, kindness, efficiency, and practice.
I perused my interests in Veterinary care by attending Walter Biddle Saul High School for Agricultural Sciences, completing four years, and graduating with a diploma in animal science. While in High school I was a current member of the Horse club, the small animal science team, and also a member of the aquatics division. During high school, I had the opportunity to explore the Veterinary care field further by acquiring a part-time position at the Mount Airy Animal Hospital.
Working as a kennel assistant was my first real job when I was only 14 years old. I worked in the boarding facilities within the animal hospital, and in the three years that employed, I was able to gain an abundance of experience in caring for sick animals within the hospital and also learned a ton of lessons on the strength it takes to be young and professional at the same time.
I experienced monitoring the health status of various species such as cats, dogs, and birds. I also assisted the Veterinarian and Veterinary technicians with appointments, administration of oral medications and surgery. Also, I groomed animals, provided comfort for boarding pets and got the chance to interact with a diverse group of individuals. Attending to sick animals and giving them comfort was exactly what I envisioned myself doing in the future.
I got the first glance at what a Veterinary Technician entailed and the success of the practice within the field of Veterinary care. This was my first experience and a stepping stone to what I THOUGHT I ultimately wanted in a career.
(Honestly, after this experience I really just wanted to own my own hospital/business because working in some underdog positions, as young people, can be discouraging especially when working with people who think they’re better and may treat you like crap.) I always thought “as an employer, I want to hire young people and help them grow professionally instead of trying to tear them down.”
But anyway, after High school, I attended Widener University with a major in Biology. I wanted to major in Biology and incorporate that later into my career goal in Veterinary science but realized it was not suitable for my goals. I concluded that I enjoyed the hands-on aspect of my previous job and wanted to peruse a position closer to what I experienced. Even though I began to feel lost and like I was not on the right path, I excelled in my academics and had an overall great experience proven by my academic record and personal growth. After a year of completion, I moved on to acquire a position at the University of Pennsylvania in the hopes of gaining more experience and ultimately fulfilling my career goals.
Right now my official title is a Vet Tech Sr. -I am currently a Diagnostics Health Monitoring Technician at the University of Pennsylvania. I am responsible for the health surveillance and viral testing of sentinel animals through ULAR’S research program at the University of Penn’s campus. In my working career, I gained my LAT through AALAS and am now a certified Laboratory Animal Technologist. My interactions working alongside my successful peers at the University of Pennsylvania and Principal Investigators have had such a positive impact on me. This position has helped me develop personally and has helped my growth within Veterinary care.
I am working with animals, hanging around medical professionals, providing training and one on one support to individuals while writing my life away; I even have a hand in producing my department’s newsletter. So I have a chance to work with animals, which I am passionate about, animal care and I love to write so I should be content right? Wrong!
I once asked a question: How many times can a person reinvent themselves? I didn’t receive one response from the Twitter community so, I just assume that means as many times as you want (bish).
Perspective. It’s all about perspective. I called 2016-2017 my quarter life crisis year. For an entire year, I let so many terrible thoughts fill my head that I could never pick or stick to any one thing and the truth is that’s OK.
I realize changing your perspective and reinventing yourself is needed and growth is truly everything. I realized that although my young life hasn’t panned out exactly how I pictured it, it’s falling into place rather nicely.
I’m not saying I’m living the dream (yet) I’m only saying that I’m not as bad off as I tried to make it seem and guess what YOU’RE NOT EITHER!!! Everything takes time to fall into place but hold on girl, hold on.
How young were you when you got your first job? Where was it? How was the Interview process? What were the requirements? Were there generational differences? What was your first impression of the current staff? Are you skipping around trying to find what you’re truly passionate about? Are you like me??
I WANT TO HEAR FOR YOU! Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org