As undergraduate students, we walk a fine line between letting go of childhood tendencies and accepting full grown adult responsibilities. Yet there is one question that seems appropriate to ask both a kindergartener and a senior year college student. And that question is, so what do you want to be when you grow up?
Starting back when I was a kindergartener, I was as naive as any typical 5 year old kid. Although I didn’t want to be an astronaut or rock star, my goal was to be a veterinarian. A veterinarian isn’t too preposterous of a goal, but my reasons behind it were. I knew I liked puppies, I was never allowed to have a puppy growing up, and I knew if I became a veterinarian, I would be able to be with puppies all day long. At the time my plan seemed flawless, but as I got to high school I realized there wasn’t much depth to that ideal and started coming up with alternative career plans.
During my freshman year I was undeclared and in a different college within UMD than I am today. If you would have asked me what I was going to be when I grew up, at that point I would have said some sort of Physician. I knew that math and science came easily to me and decided to go with that. I soon found out that just because those subjects were easy for me, that it would not be able to hold my interest for the remainder of a 4 year undergraduate degree. What I did learn was that if biology and chemistry were relatable in the context of the processes of the human body that it would hold my interest. It was from there that I decided to become an Exercise Science major to be able to tie in my love for fitness as well.
If you were to ask me today what I want to be when I grow up, I would say, to be a Physical Therapist. Along the way, I didn’t forget my desire of wanting to improve the health of others, something that first drew me into wanting to be a physician. I found that if I became a physical therapist, that I could still help the overall physical health of individuals while also tying into the functionality of understanding how the body systems work.
So what’s the point of me telling you my whole life story about what I want to be? What I think is important is to keep asking yourself that same question. Even if you don’t have a clear idea, refuse to let that answer be ‘I don’t know’. At least when you have a tentative answer to this question, it gives you something to shoot for until that goal is either accomplished or you decide it’s time to try out a different answer until something fits!