Hey, kids… I’m out of town this week. Finally taking that vacation I’ve been thinking about for eight years. Anyway, while I’m gone some friends have agreed to write some guest posts for my blog. Today’s post comes from Shaz. I asked her the question, what do you want to be when you grow up and what has inspired you to choose that field?
For as long as I could remember, I could not wait until the day school was over. I wouldn’t have to wake up at 6 everyday, have a number of obligations to fullfill on top of my 6 classes, take classes I don’t like, you get the idea. But that all changed in college. College was different. I kind of liked college. I took the classes I wanted, when I wanted, and none of my obligations felt too hard to manage. I majored in Health Sciences, originally wanting to become a physician.
I struggle with ADHD and severe anxiety and never got the proper care I wanted. So I wanted to become a physician and implement something that would make these disorders easier for a child/adult battling these.
Along the way, I discovered the field of public health. I slowly realized this is actually more suitable for my goal. I also discovered my passion of teaching. It was too late to change my major, so I switched into Public Health as my concentration and added Psychology as a minor. I thought this was perfect because I want to teach college level students and Public Health is my passion.
I talked to many professors and they said I’m on the right track if I want to be a professor, they said majoring in what I love and conducting research in that field was the first step. And I did all of that. So now what? Well, “you need a Master’s or PHD to teach” they said. Oh. Of course. Most colleges in the U.S require a PHD to become a professor, some only require a Master’s.
So I knew what I had to do. I had to get a Master’s! I did a lot of research. I have extensive background in psychology, public health, and education- so I had to narrow down exactly what I wanted to get my Master’s in. Finally it came down to a Master’s in Education (M. ed) or Master’s of Public Health (MPH). After looking at my past courses, thinking about future career options, thinking about my love for science and statistics- I decided an MPH was the way to go.
I studied for weeks for the GRE, cut down so many social activities, and started applying for programs. Just as I was about to give up because I didn’t get into any schools I applied to, I started receiving an acceptance letter one by one to almost every single school I applied to. Including, the 10th best MPH school in the country. After a lot of thinking, I accepted their offer and I look forward to moving to Boston in the fall.
Many people ask me what is public health and what could I possibly do with a Master’s in that. I just laugh because, public health is everything. Public health is my life, it is everyone’s life. Look around you. What do you see? Pollution. Homelessness. The increased amount of gun violence. Your colleague not being able to come into work because they are not feeling emotionally/physically sick. THAT my friends, is public health. Keeping everyone healthy and reducing the rate of death so everyone can be safe and well.
At the end of the day, it comes down to this. In my worst of anxiety attacks- I had no one to help me. No doctor, no educator, no professional was able to understand what I was going through. This was not okay. I could have lost my life over one simple thing. So many go through this everyday. Whether their illness is physical, social, or emotional. Our healthcare system has got to change, we need more empathetic individuals who can help.
And I wish to create this change and teach others about it.
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You can read more from Shaz at For The Love Of Sass. She is a student who is about to begin graduate school to work toward a Master’s in Public Health. Her favorite movie is Bridget Jones’s Diary and her favorite book is Freedom Writers Diary.