Giving my "Why" the Old College Try
Hi everyone, welcome to my first blog post! I can’t believe I’m actually writing to all of you here. This blog has been an idea baking in the back of my head for quite some time. I have a little description about myself under the ‘About’ tab, but I wanted to dedicate this first post to properly introduce myself. Here we go…
My name is Liana, I’m an incoming senior at the University of North Texas studying Business Analytics and Computer Science. I will be graduating with my undergraduate degree *fingers crossed* in Spring 2021. Post graduation, I hope to be working in the Dallas area in a management consulting role!
I originally applied to college wanting to pursue a degree in a sciences/pre-med field. Since the beginning of high school, I wanted to be a pediatric psychiatrist. This idea rooted from my passion of wanting to help people on a personal relationship level. I’ve always been a ‘go-to’ friend when problems arose in friends’ lives. I loved being a sounding board to family and friends! I loved spending time with them and making sure they had someone who was there for them. I was interested in understanding why people are the way they are while helping them sort through issues that could be both mind & heart-tasking.
Towards the end of my high school career, my older brother approached me with a simple, yet heavy question: “Why do you want to study medicine? Why do you want to be a doctor someday?” A question that I thought was so easy to answer for years, suddenly had me speechless. I took quite a bit of time thinking about my why, and I couldn’t come up with anything. I felt like I was grasping at straws trying to come up with an answer, and that’s because I wasn’t passionate about it. I realized that my “why” was never really mine. “I don’t want to study something because others see it fit for me to do so.”
I loved the healthcare industry and the aspect of physically/mentally helping people because I was accustomed to being around that field. I was used to hearing that it was a career others thought I’d excel in. The moment that glass thought shattered, I sat in my room not knowing what to do. By this point, I was leaning towards going to a university that was known for their nursing program. I had toured the campus and facilities with my dad - my heart was already set on that school. Now, my plans had shifted, and I needed to come up with something else - fast.
So What Happens Now?
The following months after my high school graduation, I was taking a few community college classes to keep my mind going. I had been taking summer classes through a dual-credit program (a partnernship between my high school & a nearby community college - for high school students to earn early college credit) in previous summers, so it felt pretty routine to take some classes that summer too. My older brother was interning in a data analyst role at the time, and he sat down with me to talk about his experience studying and working in the world of data analytics & finance. I felt little sparks in my head as he told me about his classes and the rigor and challenges it brought him. It was in that conversation, when I had my second epiphany. “I don’t want to study something that doesn’t challenge me. I have one life to live, and in that time, I want to find and develop skills I haven’t had before.”
For me, these skills are related to technical fields of study. My older brother and dad helped me research different majors in the college of business or engineering. I decided to accept my admissions offer with UNT, and about three weeks before my first semester, I had my eyes set on studying Business Analytics & Computer Science. I had absolutely no idea what I was getting myself into, but I felt passionate to learn. I felt incredibly happy to be going into the unknown, and I’m so glad I hit the ground running with it. Since my first semester, I haven’t changed my fields of studies, and I will be graduating with my BBA in Business Analytics & a minor in Computer Science soon!
* here's a little pic of my best friend & I visiting the UNT campus
It Was Worth It!
I’m glad I took that shot in the dark because I can’t imagine my college career being any different than the way it has been. Sometimes, reflecting on your “why” from time to time will lead you to make unexpected decisions. If I hadn’t taken the time to figure out my “why”, I can’t say I’d be as passionate about what I’m going to college for. I also don’t think my spirit of determination would wholly be there. I’ve had stressful days, pulled all-nighters, and have had nights when I went to sleep with tears because of how challenging classes have been. Regardless, I’ve gotten through each class stronger, not only learning more about analytics/coding, but about myself and how I take on challenging situations.
So, if you’re sitting in a similar situation where I was two years ago, I’d say to leave the door open for possibilities. You really NEVER know where you’re going to end up, and sometimes that uncertainty can bring you on a crazy, fulfilling ride.
* getting my admissions letter in the mail!