From studying the intricacies of the human body to the way electrons move in a chemical reaction, so began a love affair between me and the sciences.

Throughout high school, I was that wide-eyed, eager-to-learn student, who told all her teachers how much she loved science and how much she wanted to pursue an education in science. Western became my dream school. 

When I received my acceptance to Western’s medical sciences program, naturally I was ecstatic and couldn’t wait to embark on an academic journey where I would continue to study what I loved.

Flash forward two years later.

I’m not sure if I like science as much as I had originally thought. I'm having doubts about my program but I'm still trying to keep my options open. I can tell you it’s both a terrifying and confusing feeling to have, especially when you've thought all your life you thought you knew what you wanted to do

Suddenly, there are so many questions you have to ask yourself and so many options to explore. 

You really have to consider whether the work you’re putting into your program is worth it for your future or if there are other options that are better suited for you. You have to contemplate whether or not you like what you’re learning and whether you genuinely dislike your program or only dislike the few courses giving you copious amounts of stress. 

As terrifying as this has all been for me, what I’ve realized in this strenuous time is that it’s okay to have doubts about your program. It’s okay to have doubts about the direction you’re headed. It’s okay to change your mind.

For those in the same boat as me, don’t be afraid to ask for help. It’s an incredibly daunting conflict to have to face alone. Talk to your friends about what you’re going through and ask them for advice or book an appointment with academic counselling to explore your options.

If you’re having doubts about your program, don’t be afraid to try new things even if you’re worried you don’t have enough experience or skill. Even if you don’t take a course in something, you can always try out new extra curricular activities or explore work opportunities that aren't in your field. If you want to try something new, just go for it. You might discover something you're more passionate about than your original goals. 

As midterm season approaches an end, take the time to figure out what you’re passionate about and what you want to do long-term. Don't be scared to redefine your goals. Maybe your program is something you should persevere through or maybe you should switch into something that you’d be more interested in. Just remember that at the end of the day, nothing good comes easy.

- Vivian Cheng is a second-year medical sciences student at Western. 


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