I was raised by a hard working, motivating, and humble family. My grandparents started a business geared toward outdoor enthusiasts. Shortly after, my father started his own business. When both grandparents fell ill, my family worked hard to maintain both businesses. This was a long period of great stress. Through all of this, I had to get through elementary, middle, and high school. My social life was lacking. I did not fit in with my peers, and while I was involved in extracurricular activities, I still struggled with answering the question of, “What is my passion?”
While my parents were working and helping my grandparents, I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. Well. . . watching my parents handle these real life challenges inspired me to want part of them too. Why so young? I do not know, but, at the time I had a passion for working with a cash register and becoming a registered nurse.
As I was growing up, the phase of playing with a cash register ended. At the time, my grandfather was living with my parents and I. My grandfather spent a lot of time working from home. He counted all the money and created invoices for those who owed us money for our services. For some reason, I had an interest in what my grandfather was doing. There were days I skipped school, just to stay home and work with him. There was not a lot I could do. My grandfather allowed me to double check the money he counted and prepare the envelopes, which contained invoices to be sent out. As time moved forward, I signed for my working papers and started working for the family business. I was getting my feet wet.
My grandparents who were once ill had passed away. I realized I enjoyed helping my family care for them. From visiting my grandmother, on my mother’s side, in a nursing home to watching hospice nurses take care of my other grandmother, I had the dream of becoming a registered nurse. It felt so rewarding to be able to give back to other people. I was doing something for the good of another person and my time was being used efficiently. However, I knew that I had to get my feet wet first.
Toward the end of my junior year of high school, I was informed about a program offered to high school seniors interested in health-related careers. The program was called New Visions Health and Career Explorations. I applied without contemplation thinking that it would be a perfect opportunity to be able to learn the roles and responsibilities of a nurse. I wanted to get my feet wet.
The night of the informational meeting about the program was the night I left thinking to myself: “How am I going to do all of this? High school AND now this.”
During the informational meeting, my peers and I were given various different summer homework assignments. We were also told what our responsibilities would be as students part of the program. Some of these responsibilities included: clinical rotation reports, community advocacy activities, clinical observations, team collaboration projects, college-level classes, and a lot of driving. To make a long story short, this program did not clarify my passion to become a registered nurse. This program, instead clarified what stress felt like: stomach distress, poor eating habits, chronic fatigue, procrastination, and disorganization. This program challenged me, changed me, and tested my will to keep going or to give up. Guess what? I persisted because I am the one who wanted to get my feet wet. This stress was my decision to develop myself.
Getting my feet wet meant experiencing my passions at the forefront. Getting my feet wet meant working for a small family business. Getting my feet wet meant committing to a year of stress. Getting my feet wet meant deciding whether to fight or to quit. Getting my feet wet meant exploring to find my passion. So, was my dream really a dream? Was my passion really a passion? Were my childhood experiences indicative of my lifelong career?
To be continued…
Please Note: The views of our student bloggers do not necessarily reflect the views of the UAlbany Advisement Services Center. These are their stories and their voices.
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