Engraved within every child’s heart is a scripture of a thousand dreams. Labels we want to carry, things we want to be. As a child, you remember the words whispered by your parents, “You can be anything, kiddo”. Anything. I was five years old when they gave those words to me. Seasons passed and suddenly I was sitting by the window of my room, trying to breathe in what was left of my childhood before I had to pack it all away and board a plane. College is such an exciting adventure, until you see tears run down the faces of your parents and siblings. I remember standing in the middle of an airport, embracing my family until my arms went weak. Leaving home can destroy you a little.
I was initially a freshmen biology major, the typical pre-med. But as I met brilliant people who inspired me, my interests constantly changed. It’s exhausting when you lose yourself. It’s a constant beginning and ending, but the best life stories come from that. Medical school was still in the crevices of my mind, but my interests began to flourish into sociology, psychology, French and my fingers were still fascinated by piano keys. It seems as though the world expects you to devote yourself to one dream, yet I had a million that I refused to let go of. Then one day, someone asked me a question that ironically answered my doubts.
“What do you want to be? What made you interested in the medical field?”
“My mother… My mother has been battling depression since I was a little girl. I would always tend to her, read books I was too young to understand, and play doctor. As I grew older it was no longer a matter of playing doctor, but becoming one. To save and help people like her.”
That night, I declared Neuroscience as my major and sociology as my minor (my sociology professor became my mentor!). I aspire to help people see the correlation between biology, psychology and sociology and make a breakthrough in the future. The medical field has somewhat forgotten to look at patients as people. They are more than a structure of cells and case studies.
Many of my fellow pre-med classmates thought of my sociology interest as a weakness. Wisdom that I have grasped through my wonderful advisers is this: do not become typical. Do not give up your interests to bore yourself with what they find suitable. Your major does not define your value. The brilliant cannot be categorized under one label.
My name is Joey Aisa. I am a student who is constantly fascinated; a soon-to-be doctor who also plays piano and speaks French. If there is any simple advice I can pass onto you, it would be this. When your mind is troubled, you miss home, you’ve experienced a break up, or you lose sight of your own aspirations, grab a cup of coffee and sit by the lake at sunset. Remember the way your family smiled at you. Remember your dream. In a world with people who only see black and white, show them the gray, always.