It’s easy to want to be on the path you’re on for the letters behind your name, to make your parents proud, or for the paycheck at the end of the road. But in reality, uncovering the true reasons why you’re on this journey will help get you through the rough times, hard assignments, and all-nighters. Knowing your “why” separate from others’ expectations will help you find happiness in your work along the way. Follow along to see how these future doctors found or are still discovering their “why”.
Aaron Wells is a senior at Oakwood University You can follow him on Instagram to see his journey.
I never really wanted to be a doctor.
Don’t get me wrong, I had nothing against doctors and the work they did, after all, without them we’d all be in a pretty sad place. I could even support others who wanted to pursue a future in medicine (my sister being one of them). However, as for me and myself, there was not one of my heartstrings that was pulling me towards a career in the medical field. If anything, I was being pulled away from it, and towards another career: ACTING!
If you ask anyone that knows me, they’ll tell you that I’m a huge movie and entertainment buff. If you need to know of a good stage play to attend for a special occasion, I’m your guy. If you’re trying to remember a song you heard on the radio, hum the tune to me, and I can tell you the name of It AND the artist. If you want to know the exact time Jack dies in Titanic (yes, he could have fit), or how to perfectly time the Death Star explosion in Star Wars to the ball drop on New Year’s Eve… ask Google. Of all the forms of entertainment, however, movies are and have always been my favorite. Since I was young, I enjoyed getting lost in their storylines and empathizing with the characters the actors and actresses portrayed. Also, since I was young, I knew that simply observing the lives on screen would not be enough for me—I wanted to be on the screen! But as life would have it, and in perfect theatrical fashion, I encountered a plot twist on my journey to prospective stardom.
As I grew older so did my love for acting—grow that is. I had resolved in my heart that no matter what I eventually ended up doing, I would want to help people and make them happy. I thought that I was going to do this by making it to Hollywood and becoming a critically acclaimed actor, but here’s where the plot twist happened. I had previously attended a career fair at my church, where I spoke to an Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon (OMFS) about his profession. The main reason I even attended this career fair was to appease my parents’ wishes, but come to find out, the work of an OMFS was actually interesting to me. Soon, largely in part to the encouragement from my parents, I decided that I’d major in Biology. However, I wasn’t giving up on my dream of acting that easily. I planned to double major in Biology and Theatre. That is, until one fateful day as I sat with my Dad in our gym’s parking lot. As we spoke about life, I told him my plans, and as most fathers would, he shared with me his “two cents.” Long story short, he wasn’t with it. Not because acting wasn’t great, but because He explained that it wouldn’t fulfill the desire, he knew I had to help people. Medicine would allow me to do this, and there would be no one and nothing that could keep me from reaping the fruits of my hard work and one day wearing my white coat as a doctor.
Those words my Dad spoke inspired me, not to change my dreams, but to reevaluate my priorities. I knew that I wanted to guarantee an excellent quality of life for not only me but my future family. I knew that one day I wanted to travel the world and visit exotic new places. I knew that I wanted to change the lives of people around me and bring smiles to their faces, and I knew that pursuing a career as an OMFS would get me there. So, as you have probably guessed, I am currently a Biology major. I attend Oakwood University in Huntsville, AL, and in fall of 2022, I will move on to dental school, where I’ll continue to pursue my goal of becoming an OMFS. I know that plan sounds succinct and foolproof, but it’s definitely not a walk in the park. It gets challenging at times, but what keeps me motivated is knowing that it will all be worth it once I reach my goal. Also, watching Grey’s Anatomy on my study breaks helps me to know I’m not alone in this struggle. IYKYK.