I’ve always been told: “Don’t worry everything happens for a reason” and don’t get me wrong I’m a firm believer in that statement… Unfortunately that reason isn’t always clear at first. If you asked me when I was 5 years old what my dream career would be I’m sure that answer would vary from what I would say if asked when I was 10, 15 or even today at 20 years old. The truth is this question enters my head everyday and I still have trouble coming up with a concrete answer. But I’ve learned that’s okay, if I had everything figured out from the start I wouldn’t have any surprises and new experiences in my life or ultimately be where I am today.
Coming from a family where both of my parents are teachers, when people would ask me this question of what I wanted to be when I grew up their expectation was always well of course, I want to be a elementary teacher like my mom. It made sense… I love kids, snow days, summer vacation it sounds like the perfect fit doesn’t it? I tested out the waters over the years and spent many days in mom’s class with her students and realized this profession wasn’t for me.
So where to next? What was I meant to do? People often ask me how I ended up in Chemistry and a science program in general. I think this path I’m on now all started back in my days at Memorial High School and my encounters with my female science teachers. My Chemistry teacher specifically had this passion, and enthusiasm for something she loved—Chemistry. I remember walking into class on the first day of Grade 11 and thinking wow… I want a job where I love every minute of what I’m doing everyday. To me she wasn’t coming to work everyday, she was sharing her knowledge of something she truly loved and was enjoying every minute of it (except I’m sure when us teenagers had our… lets call them “moments”) She made Chemistry fun! We weren’t just learning new material and looking for a passing mark we were learning about everyday life and how Chemistry surrounds everything we do.
In my Grade 12 year I decided I might as well go to CBU and take science. What was my reason? Well, again I still don’t have a simple answer. Maybe I wasn’t ready to move away or maybe I liked the idea of a small close-knit university or maybe it was the fact that I was going to get to sleep in my own bed every night… The real answer doesn’t matter because everything happens for a reason and I’m glad that reason allowed me to choose CBU.
I have no regrets. Walking across the stage at my high school graduation wondering what next, I don’t think I could have predicted I would be where I am now… but that is part of the excitement! I’m currently in my third year as a Chemistry major at CBU and loving every minute of it. Finally, I’ve found something I truly, thoroughly enjoy. I’m not going to school everyday, I’m building a foundation of knowledge and skills that will lead me to the next chapter in my life. How did I choose to major in Chemistry? Again, who knows… maybe part of it relates back to my high school experiences. Another large contributing factor was the inspiring women in science I met in high school were present in a university setting too! These teachers and professors become your mentors and role models. What I think as students we sometimes forget is they were in our shoes not long ago. Listen to their advice! In my first year at CBU I got to know Dr. Stephanie MacQuarrie and she hired me to work in her research lab. That was all it took and I was hooked! Chemistry has turned out to be the right path for me.
Now, as my third year is quickly coming to a close I again find myself asking what next? I surely by now should know what I want to do for the rest of my life right? Wrong, I’m still trying to figure it out. Medicine has always been in the back of my mind since I was a kid. Maybe 10 years from now I will be a doctor or maybe I’ll find myself somewhere I never could have imagined but that is all part of the surprise! The truth is, I’ve learned you don’t need to know, you only have to be happy. Just keep your head on your shoulders and follow where your heart takes you; it hasn’t failed me yet. You can do anything you put your mind to and hard work pays off. Remember things can change in the blink of an eye and everything happens for a reason–we just have to find it!