I wanted to be a doctor my whole life but ended up doing BBA, and life changed

Published: September 16, 2018
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I could not come to terms with the fact that I was doing BBA now and could not leave the world of medicine which I was dwelling in since I was a child.

As a child, I always wanted to pursue medicine. I was the kid who would memorise the names of bones from a skeleton drawn in her book and tell her dad about this achievement. Medicine was my passion from the start. As a teenager, I wanted to do something substantial in life and my goal was to be an independent woman like my mother.

Working hard had become both a passion and a liability to achieve what I always wanted to do. But last year, when the time for admissions into medical colleges came, things didn’t play out so well. And as many variables are responsible for a certain thing to happen or come about, all the factors responsible for my admission into a medical college played against me. Hence, last year, I ended up in a business school in my city, enrolled in a BBA program. For a girl who never wanted to do anything other than medicine and whose dream universities weren’t Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) or Institute of Business Administration (IBA) but King Edward Medical University and Allama Iqbal Medical College, I struggled immensely in the first semester of university. From being a person who laughed in fits, I turned into someone who used to cry to sleep every night and wanted to be rescued.

Although I had the luxury of finding good people who became my friends, I could not come to terms with the fact that I was doing BBA now and could not leave the world of medicine which I was dwelling in since I was a child. I know many people end up in universities that they had not thought they would go to, studying subjects they had never planned to study. Although they eventually move on and start having fun at university and make new friends, they still feel that their purpose of life has been lost and that their life is worthless. Speaking for myself, I have the same state of mind every now and then because I have studied science all my life. I wanted to be a doctor and the passion for studying the complexities of the human body is what drove that desire.

But what I and someone like me can do to come out of this state of mind is to really think why they wanted to opt for a particular career. For some, because they haven’t studied anything besides a particular field of study throughout their lives, they think they won’t be and cannot be interested in some other subject. But when you actually study something else, only then can you realise what else interests you. Studying macroeconomics in the second semester has gotten me interested in how a country’s economy actually works and how hard it is to run it. Think why you wanted to pursue a particular career; was it because you wanted to help people? Because you wanted to invent something? Because you wanted to do something for your country?

If you find out the reason why you wanted to pursue a particular profession, you would realise that your goal in life was that reason itself and not just the profession. It might be possible that you cannot achieve that reason with the profession you desired but it does not mean that you can’t achieve it at all! If the purpose of your life earlier was to help people or to invent something then why should that purpose change now? What we often misconceive is that we can only do something if we have a certain degree, that perception is entirely wrong. You can do all the things you want to do with any degree. Let me give you a small example; if you want to help people, why not work in an NGO? Where the hours of work are equally as tough as a doctor working in a ward.

Moreover, most of us don’t want to be bored at any certain point in our lives, where we regret the chances we didn’t take and evaluate all the ‘what ifs’ in our lives. Some of us don’t want to end up in corporate jobs wearing a suit all day in an air-conditioned office, contributing to nothing at all and really detest it. A wise man once said that if you follow your passion, you never have to work because then work isn’t work for you. You’re simply doing what you love doing. I’m not suggesting any of you to necessarily find your passion within the boundaries of the university you’re currently studying in but if your passion even lies outside them, go for it and try it because as clichéd as it sounds, in the end we only regret the chances we didn’t take.

At Lahore School of Economics, I intend to double major in Economics and Finance because these subjects have really caught my attention and because this is a tough and challenging degree, and I’m someone who gets satisfaction out of studying and achieving academic goals in life. I would like to give the example of a girl here whose story inspired me to come to terms with my new reality and my university. Marriam Musa who came to the same university I’m currently studying in, after being rejected from her dream university, worked her way up the ladder and ended up doing her Masters from Stanford University on a Fulbright Scholarship. Am I aspiring to be like her and go on a Fulbright Masters? Yes. But even if I don’t, that will be okay because I’ll still have done what I enjoy most, which is studying something which pushes me and makes me burn the midnight oil.

For all those who are currently struggling in university, find something that you enjoy studying because as Albert Einstein famous said,

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

If you find your passion and work in its direction, you’ll end up being more satisfied.

I hope this blog was able to lift up the spirits of people who feel let down by life. Always remember, wherever you are and whatever you’re currently doing in life is only making you stronger.

To lifted spirits and hearts!

Shehrbano Shaukat

Shehrbano Shaukat

I am currently studying in Lahore School of Economics and will begin my third semester in August and I aspire to double major in Economics and Finance. She tweets @SPittafi (twitter.com/SPittafi)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • HaSeeb AhmAd

    IMO, See you can write well that makes you a writer as well, I feel sorry for the girls going through this especially in Pakistan.Recommend

  • Muhammad Idrees

    Great blog and I do appreciate your time to write such blog which can inspire other ppls as well to find their passions..

    My story is simillar to your story and once i start reading it I stoped at the end after finished it and the words and example you have used are worth appreciated.

    I am the person who had dream since the childhood to be in Army to searve his beloved country Pakistan but I got rejected three times..

    I left my study and start searching a job due to circumstances at that time and finally end up to move to gulf on a labor work visa in which my profession was Carpenter but I kept try to move forward and was reading and finding in which I can found my self satisfied and finally I found myself satisfied in Human Resources and Administration.

    Facing lot of struggles, difficulties in last 6 years, today I working in a company as Human Resources and Administration Manager.

    In life we lose onething or the other, it might be study, a job, relationship etc.. it’s normal but dont grieve over your losses why?
    Because Allah always have better replacement for them..Recommend

  • Hannan

    “Although they eventually move on and start having fun at university and
    make new friends, they still feel that their purpose of life has been
    lost and that their life is worthless” sums up my life. Btw hats off to you for addressing this issue. My story is similar to yours. Dreamt aboutt being a doctor all my life. Failed miserably in achieving that goal. Now studying Computer Science which i totally HATE. I just want to complete my degree and join Civil Service.Recommend

  • Parvez

    Nicely written and I liked the way you described how and why you had to shift from medicine to economics ……. you have understood, very early on, that things don’t always work out the way you want but that does not mean that you should go sulk in a corner. You have provided an excellent motivational example for others.Recommend

  • Guest

    There are millions like this…not sure why this essay needs to be published in a national newspaper?Recommend

  • Guest

    Exactly my story but the only difference is, doing MBA ending up in a corporate never satisfied me. Now I am working for a top tier bank, but still not content in life. I don’t enjoy my work. Never wanted to do a corporate job but that’s where I ended up. I earn 6 digit salary, but still not happy, I teach at one of the top universities also, but still not happy. Whenever I see someone wearing a white coat, (I’ll be honest) it hurts. I know I sound unthankful, trust me I cannot thank Allah enough for what He has given me so far in life. It’s just that, I just couldn’t move on in life. I am not happy with what I am doing in life but doing it for my livelihood only.Recommend

  • Shahid Salim

    Some 45 years ago I wanted to do medicine since i was a child i was totally dejected and felt bitter since i knew some rich kids had gotten in by either influence or getting papers beforehand or bribery i left my studies and went to England where i did some degree in pharmacy as i had to earn a living then i moved to the USA where i started my own healthcare business now i have doctors on my payroll, keep your head high and never lose hope as one door closes and others open.Recommend

  • muzammil

    very very nice article my dear!
    really very helpful, i thought this is very good way to deal young generation.
    live this moment happily, because this moment is your lifeRecommend

  • Parvez

    The very fact that there are millions like this ( your words ) is reason enough for this to appear in a national newspaper.Recommend

  • Doc

    U just need to see ppl who cudnt achieve anything in life. May be tht helps.Recommend