Did I choose the right course?

It would be interesting to know that I rewrote my personal statement and began researching engineering extra-curriculars two months before UCAS applications opened. My heart had been fairly set on medicine since the age of ten, having always been interested in the human body and learning about illnesses. So why the last minute change after joining the medical society, volunteering at care homes and hospitals, and a part-time job working with disabled children?

Quite frankly, I just loved physics A-level way more than I was expecting. I had it all planned out, I took maths, physics, chemistry and biology, with every intention of dropping physics and putting myself in a perfect position for medicine. When I started college and taking my lessons, I took material science and immediately fell in love. This along with the chances to do creative assignments and build and design experiments, I knew I couldn’t give up the subject that I had begun to enjoy the most after maths. The disease modules in biology were amazing and I do believe I would have enjoyed a medical degree, but it had become clear to me that there was something I was finding more fun, and not doing it as a degree made no sense.

I went to a careers interview and was distraught at my mathematical leanings and we discussed engineering, a combination of my two favourite subjects as well as design. I had always loved design and art, but my family was always confused at my enjoyment of art, questioning my choice of taking a GCSE, which I got an A* in, not that it made the subject anymore worthwhile to them. So a subject that lets me sketch and design as well as use maths was perfect in every way and from that moment medicine was pushed aside.

I know some people don’t have the good fortune of realising their passion before having to pick a course at the very young age of seventeen. I’m lucky it clicked in my head right before, or I would always have this nagging feeling that I’m missing out on something. I had many friends from my course and many other courses drop out, change course and rethink what they really saw themselves doing in the future.

An internship was what finally calmed my worry that my departure from medicine could have been a mistake, especially since I did so well at biology. Working as a mechanical engineer and actually enjoying a day at the office was so rewarding, especially in giving me confidence. If you have the chance to work shadow or do some interning early on, it would do you a world of good in deciding. Mind you, every time I went to the hospital to volunteer, I was beyond in love with the environment, and it almost made me change my mind back. However I can confidently say that I prefer modelling at a desk to whatever a hospital could have offered me.

-Chi

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