Let me inspire you, please.

Illustration by Justine Liang.

One last PSA before I dive into the vast field of biology.

On Feb. 8, I was at Muir College’s New Leaders Conference, which aims to provide students the resources and skills they need to emerge as leaders on campus. As part of the New Leaders Conference Committee, I was responsible for helping plan the event. While checking in students who were entering late, our keynote speaker Dr. Sean Powell made his way to the podium and prepared to share his leadership experiences at Muir.

Did I mention he was a doctor practicing family medicine?

We wanted Dr. Sean Powell as our speaker because with so many students aspiring to enter the medical field, we thought a Muir alumnus who successfully entered the world of white coats and hospitals would provide the students the inspiration they needed. What I did not realize is that his words would be so inspiring that I would find myself seriously considering changing my trajectory and becoming a doctor. I was ready to work eighty hours a week for years in a residency and stick people with needles even though I have a phobia of them myself.

At the end of the day, my perspective on becoming a doctor had not changed like I thought it did – I still have no desire to become a doctor. But I do want to talk about whatever my future holds with such passion that I can sway almost anyone to my perspective.

What is it about medicine that makes doctors this way? Almost every family friend who as been a doctor, or every friend I have that is genuinely interested in becoming a doctor, speaks with such fire about medical school and going into practice. They yearn for the extra schooling like I crave dark chocolate. Perhaps it is because they know they are destined for something great. Being a doctor is definitely one of the noblest professions because you actually get to impact people’s lives (more on that in a later post). But can you not argue that you can find some way to argue a need for utmost everything? So why do we not argue for the importance of alternative paths in biology?

I guess what I am trying to say is be passionate. Like I posted earlier, really do some introspection and figure out why you want to do what you want to do not just to articulate it to someone aiming to give you a scholarship or research position, but to inspire others to follow your footsteps. Even if they do not end up joining your bandwagon, they will know that you truly do care about your field, and that makes all the difference.

This is the last I’ll touch on these abstract ideas for a while. Starting with my next post, I’ll be doing what I promised from the beginning: exploring the vast field of Biology from every unseen angle with inspiring stories from professors and students alike. Please, let me let them inspire you.