Teal is honoured to finally feature one of her Plattsburgh State Women's Hockey teammates as a guest writer on bronze & gold. Jenny is not just a great athlete but you'll soon learn from her post that she is a true inspiration in going after what you want and making things happen. Jenny is an amazing family girl, a beach lover, and overall someone who I'm always proud to call my friend.
When Teal approached me about being a guest speaker on this blog I was honestly very surprised. As an avid reader of all the interesting and juicy stories, I didn’t see what I could possibly contribute, so I figured I would stick to the vibe from the other writers. As they have talked about exploring and finding yourself in your 20s, I figured I would talk about how I have followed my passion to where I am today.
Ever since I was a little girl I just knew I wanted to help others and I think a lot of that is from being the youngest child and only girl in a family of four rowdy hockey players. I was constantly picked on, tattled on, punched on, and many other awful things older brothers do out of love to their perfect sisters. But from that I learned that I never wanted people to be picked on or not involved because they were different. From never letting a teddy bear sleep on the ground at night to asking the shy girl to play at recess I was passionate about spreading the love. So when my teachers would ask what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would emphatically say that, “I want to help things.” And at the time those “things” were animals, so I explored my first passion, working in a vet clinic in hopes of one day becoming a Veterinarian. I worked there for about 2 years cleaning kennels, bathing dogs and cats (still have scars), and any other odds and ends that needed to be done. When it was obvious to the head veterinarian that I wanted to pursue vet medicine as a potential career, he thought it was best that I started getting into surgery to “get used to it.” Well, I’ll save you the details, but the surgery went wonderfully, I however passed out as soon as the first incision was made. Turns out I LOVE animals, but I would never be able to cut them open on a daily basis. Needless to say I was devastated and thought I was having a midlife crisis at 17 because I didn’t know what I was going to be when I grow up anymore. And then my boss had this crazy idea that while I may make a lousy vet, I would be able to use my passion for science in the drug and compounding area at the clinic.
And so began my love (literally) of drugs. I was absolutely fascinated at the positive impact that they could have on animals that I was completely hooked. I had no knowledge of the “real world” at 17 so the thought of a pharmacy was so foreign to me. I continued to work at the vet clinic until I left for college. It was in my undergrad experience that I spoke with a professor about what I was passionate about and she introduced the thought of becoming a pharmacist. This conversation will be one I remember forever. She opened my mind into the retail side of pharmacy where I began working for Walgreens and again was hooked and found yet another side of drugs that I was passionate about. I absolutely loved seeing people come in for a medication and coming back saying how much it helped them or how much better they were feeling. It was the greatest high I had ever felt (disclaimer: I do not do drugs) I knew at this point that this was going to be the career path for me. I would be able to help the people who needed it most in a way that I never really had thought possible.
Now fast forward to graduate school and I am in my first year of pharmacy school where I am learning everything you could possibly want to know about those medications you take everyday and I absolutely LOVE it. Don’t get me wrong, the schedule is ridiculous and I think I’ve called my mom crying more this year than I have in my whole life combined, but every time I get to use what I have learned to help someone at the pharmacy I STILL get that same high. When I hear from my friends who are already working full time jobs and getting engaged, I sometimes feel like I am a bit behind the 8 ball on their 10 year plan, but then I realize, my passion is only mine. While spending 4 more years studying compounding techniques and drug formulations might seem like the worst thing to do, I just remember that someday, this will help me take better care of someone’s mother, family or child.
I, in no way, intended for this to be an autobiography, so let me get to the point of what I’m trying to say. I’m 24 years old, have gobs of student debt, currently procrastinating studying for a midterm, but I am so excited to be working towards something I am COMPLETELY passionate about. So don’t settle for a job/relationship/hobby because it’s convenient, find something you love and follow it, because you truly never know where it will lead you. Your 20s (and maybe some of your 30s) are about YOU. Get the degree you want, get the promotion you deserve, get that dress you probably shouldn’t buy, just do something for YOU. If I would have listened to every person who told me that I couldn’t do something, I would never be anywhere close to where I am now…so stop trying to be like everyone else and do what everyone else is doing, take your 20s to do YOU. There is literally NO harm in trying at least once. So be fearless in your drive to find something that you are passionate about, because I promise once you find it, you will stop at nothing to get it.