Changing Directions

My third semester at Appalachian has been one of the most exhausting and rewarding experiences of my life. I began the semester by declaring my major as Political Science with a concentration in International and Comparative Politics. I was excited to finally declare because I felt relieved to have something finally set in stone amidst my uncertainty with continuing as a pre-med student. After spending a summer taking organic chemistry and volunteering at the local hospital in my hometown of Raleigh, I got a glimpse of what my future would look like a medical school student and as a doctor. As much I love medicine and science, it lost some of its glimmer after this summer. I realized that my interests in foreign policy and post-conflict development were more attractive to me than the career in medicine I have been pursuing my entire life. I have always wanted to be involved in policy-making at some point in my life, no matter what version of my future I was contemplating. I decided that if this was always part of the “plan” anyway, why not make it my actual career path?

I finally accepted that I should just take a leap of faith. This was the most intimidating part. I had been thinking about the possibility of not pursuing a career in medicine for many months prior, but actually letting go of the dream that has served as my drive for the past 19 years was daunting. This wasn’t quite an early life crisis, but I felt torn. As much as I love medicine and serving others, I didn’t want to risk living the rest of my life wondering if I made the right choice by committing to a career in medicine. Once I accepted it, I took matters into my own hands to explore the possibilities that seemed available now that I had seriously begun considering a career outside of medicine. I applied to public policy conferences and summer internships that didn’t revolve around hours in a lab. I’m excited for whatever the future holds, and I am forever grateful for even being able to consider the possibility of changing my career path because of the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. Wilson.

This semester I decided to become more involved around campus. I was elected to become the Residence Hall Association Representative for Summit Hall. As an RHA Rep, I vote on behalf of Summit Hall at the weekly RHA meetings as well as help develop events for the residents of Summit Hall. Also as an RHA Rep, I am a member of the Marketing and Planning Committee that brings events to campus on behalf of University Housing. I also joined Appalachian Popular Programming Society (APPS) and became a member of the Cultural Awareness Student Engagement Council (CASE). The CASE Council brings diverse acts to campus, and I feel like I am making an impact and learning more about other cultural communities. Despite what I had going on with my extracurriculars, I still did exceptionally well in all my classes, even the pre-med classes I had kept in my schedule. I genuinely enjoyed all of my classes this semester and have built lasting relationships with several of my professors. The various organizations I am part of all understood that school came first, and I am grateful to be among such understanding people.

This upcoming semester, I have a full course load of 18 hours (yikes), but I am genuinely interested in all the classes I have registered for. I am forever grateful for all the opportunities that are available to me because of the generosity of the Wilsons. I wish I had a more powerful way of saying thank you. I am excited to see what the future holds.

Written by: Fahiima Mohamed

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Published: Mar 16, 2018 12:12pm

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