Someone once said it takes 10,000 hours to master anything, but I believe, with a purpose and self-determination, one can reach their full potential and be successful. My life experiences have shaped and developed these beliefs in me. This conviction might not be shared by many, but these beliefs have kept me moving and made me who I’m today.
Coming to the USA at 17 years old, speaking no English, I did not know what to expect. I had a lot of ambition, but I was also very realistic... While applying for college in the USA I was only looking for a school that would accept me, a school I could attend, and where I would receive an excellent education. I came from a modest background and I lacked guidance when it came to selecting a college. I chose York College, a public school in New York. It was not the best school around me, or the closest, but it was the only place I felt conformable. Not everyone I met at York was supportive or believed in me, but there were people who did. One of these people who I’m the most grateful for is Dr. James Popp. Dr. Popp is a particle physicist who works at Fermi Lab. He gave me the opportunity to be his Teacher Assistant after taking my first physics class with him. I had never liked physics before taking this class. I remember him jokingly tell me that if I wanted to become an orthopedic surgeon I should be able to get A's in his classes. That was my motivation. Dr. Popp knew about my interest in medicine but his mentoring was more focused on particle physics. In my sophomore year of college, I got accepted into the Early Medical Education at SUNY Downstate College of Medicine which gave me a guaranteed acceptance into their college of medicine once I graduated and to get a certain percentile on the MCAT. The same summer Dr. Popp wanted me to work with him at Fermi Lab but I was required to take classes at SUNY Downstate. This was a large dilemma, but I followed my heart and my passion. I want to become a physician, so I chose to attend Downstate that summer. I did not do very well on the MCAT. But that experience helped me realize that not everyone needs to understand why you make the choices that you do as long as you are happy.
I believe everyone has a purpose in life. I believe my purpose in life is to become a physician. By having this purpose, my life is going in a direction with meaning. Once I do something with purpose, I do it with determination. I see every obstacle or bad situation as a catalyst for growth, as an opportunity to enlighten myself, and to shape me into the person I’m meant to be, so I can live my purpose, which is becoming an orthopedic surgeon serving in military or underserved areas.