Do Not Give Up!

"Stay true to yourself, yet always be open to learn. Work hard, and never give up on your dreams, even when nobody else believes they can come true but you. These are not cliches but real tools you need no matter what you do in life, to stay focused on your path." -- Phillip Sweet

This journey has been such a long but rewarding one! There have been times where I wanted to throw in the towel, but I am glad that I didn't. Those trials and tribulations I molded me into the woman I am today, and I would not change anything about my journey. There have been people, including professors and peers, who have flat out said that I was not good enough and that I should think about pursuing something outside of medicine. I am so glad that I did not listen to them!

In high school, I played varsity basketball, and my dream was to play collegiality and eventually in the WNBA. I was told by coaches that I was "too small for my position," but that never stopped me. Though I tore my ACL, which ultimately ended my basketball career, I still never gave up. As well as being a star athlete in school, I also had good grades, especially in my science classes. If basketball did not work out, I wanted to do something in medicine. I remember talking to a "friend" one day about college, and she flat out said, "I did not know you were the studious type." This fueled my desire to pursue a career in medicine.

Once I got into college, I admit I did not take it seriously the first 2 years. In high school, I did not study and was still making good grades, so when I got into college, I did not know how to study, so this was a major transition for me. When I finally figured out what I wanted to do, I buckled down and became serious. Once my senior year approached, I met with one of my biology professors to discuss my transcript and applying to medical schools (I was originally pre-med). While he was looking over my transcript, he looked up and said, "Amber, I honestly don't think you will be a good candidate at any school. Have you thought about pursuing something outside of medicine?" (mind you I had an A+ in his class, which was molecular cell biology). I was so flabbergasted about what he said, that it took me awhile to process what was transpiring. I picked up my stuff, and kindly said, "no, I haven't. If you don't believe in me, that's fine, because I believe in myself," and walked out of his door. From that point on, I made it a mission to prove everyone who had doubted me wrong. 

For those who have had people tell them that "they are not good enough," or "you don't deserve this," you are good enough and you do deserve it! Never let anyone deter you from your dreams! If I would have listened to all my nonbelievers, I would not be where I am today, and because of that, I thank them. Thank you for giving me the fire and determination to live out my dreams. Thank you, for providing a platform for others who have been in my situation. Keep working hard! You are almost at the finish line.

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