Monday, October 20, 2014
After leaving the United States in 2012, I felt like I was at an academic crossroad. From literally training forty-five hours per week PLUS university studies, to sitting on the couch at my parents' farm twiddling my thumbs with no responsibility...it took a good three weeks for me to stop having a pity party for myself. I remember I would get so angry for no reason, maybe because I missed the regiment of basketball and school? Maybe it was that I just missed basketball? Maybe I did not want to be at my parents' farm at 23 years of age with an amazing degree with nothing to show for it? I had to slowly take a step back from my life and ask myself: "What do you want to do now?" For me, this was a very tough decision. Do I go overseas to play professionally? Do I apply to Queen's like every single Kingston girl does? Do I apply to Toronto and pack up my stuff and head for the city? What I decided to do was: work.
I have realized over my five total years in the states was the fact that student- athletes have no time to have a job. Basketball was our job. We would eat, sleep, train, repeat...and we needed every ounce of spare time to study and eat more (ok..maybe that was just me!). I remember being on an away competition to Maine University, which is a grueling 10 hour bus ride to the most coldest gym EVER..ok..maybe because it is used for both a hockey rink and basketball court, but I could never forget that gym. It is the most dreaded away game that each athlete despises because you miss at least two to three classes that week. For me, missing three classes of organic chemistry, plus my labs puts me back about a weeks worth of reading. I was lucky enough to meet some amazing students in my classes that would help me out tremendously, with giving me photocopied lecture notes, stapled together, and dated (Sarah..I don't know what I would do without you!) I always made sure my little light above my seat was bright enough to study on the bus, as I would always bring my books with me. If the entire bus was pitch dark and everyone was sleeping, you would notice a little light in the back where I would be going over what I had missed in those couple days. It was a tough four years...to say the least. Point of the anecdote: I had no work experience. Problem: real world likes work experience.
I decided to move to Kingston and work at lululemon athletica. It was there where I had met some amazing people who motivated me beyond my own expectation of myself. It was refreshing. Very refreshing and it was during that time I really learned about myself. I still talk to many "lemons" and I am grateful to have worked at such a fantastic Kingston store. That being said, I finally had some customer service experience, cash handling, shift-work, late night and early morning product stocking-I could feel myself itching to move on to the next best thing. Traveling! I was fortunate enough to travel the world before I finally settled down and applied to medical school. I encourage everyone to go to a country they would love to go to..just do it. Set a date. Buy a plane ticket. Buy a cute dress (or shirt and pants for the guys :) ) and just go. You will be forever changed. I promise you. From Australia, New Zealand, to Vietnam, I have learned tremendously about myself that I could have never learned inside a classroom. It gave me the motivation to figure out what is important to me, which I am so thankful for. So here I am, at age 26, finally pursuing medicine and I do not think I would have gotten here if I did not work, travel, reconnect with Stephen (that is a whole other blog post haha), and really find myself. Being a student-athlete is such hard work and having that end so abruptly, it is easy to lose yourself.
It is Monday Oct 20th and in about a two weeks I will be moving to Toronto to start my pre-medical course and I could not be more excited. I am anxious and nervous as well, but as soon as I start studying again I know I will remember how to do it! I am so thankful for my support system that I have, and for every blog post that I have ever read about medical school-a support system is the number one thing to have before you venture off. I am so lucky.
I have attached some pictures of my travels last year as they are too epic not to share!
Bye for now,