Tales from an Existential Crisis🤩

One of my majors is Bioethics which requires me to take a bunch of Philosophy courses. Which, unfortunately(?), has led me to be more cynical and question everything. It’s like the more you know, the more you realized you don’t know. Along with this are weekly bouts of an existential crisis.

Recently this has been surrounding my academics, career and future. I chose to study Global Health and Bioethics because I believed it would help prepare me for a future where I’m able to influence policy making and make healthcare more accessible. Unfortunately, if you were to ask me exactly what I wanted to do, I couldn’t tell you. It’s even harder when you hear other people tell you about their 10 year plans, what they’re planning on doing and when they plan on doing it etc. I on the other hand, am trying to get through the next week that filled with midterms 😫

Thankfully, as they always say, to every dark cloud there’s a silver lining. In this case, the silver lining was the Human Biology Student Union.

Photo of Sidney Smith

After doing a deep dive into the Human Biology (HMB) department to find out more about the resources available, I came across the HMB Union and they were planning a panelist event featuring past students of the HMB department who spoke on their experience navigating their careers! It’s not everyday you get a chance to actually chat with people that have been through the study you are in and chat with them about their journey’s.

But first, introducing the panellist…

Mathieu Jacob: Associate Director, Regulatory Affairs at AstroZeneca

One thing I really appreciated was that they offered unfiltered advice that you wouldn’t get elsewhere. And the best part was that some of them had just graduated recently while others had a few years back. So, without further ado, Here’s what I learned:

For when you feel you’re not good enough

Be kind to yourself. It’s not your job to count yourself out, find opportunities that resonate with you and give them a try. The worst thing that could happen is things don’t work out and that’s okay. - Delphine Ji

Follow your curiosity - Sarry Zheng

Photo of Sarry Zheng

One thing that Sarry Zheng had mentioned was the importance of doing things that intrigued you because you wouldn’t want to be in a field that you find no fulfillment in. To be honest though, I think this is also easier said than done because not everyone really has the expenses to explore different field of study. To that, Zheng brought up the importance of being proactive and reaching out to different people in different areas (ie profs! )so you can learn first hand what it’s REALLY like.

Everyone's path is different!!! - Mathieu Jacob

If I had a dollar for everything someone told me this, I would be rich! And to be honest, I had begun to think of the quote as a cliche. But, it does hold a lot of truth. For example, some people prefer working in the real world and choose to do that after their undergrad while others prefer school. So if a person works in the real world for about 5 years and someone else chooses to do their masters, those two people could be qualified for the same position. For a huge part, university doesn’t prepare you so much for the workforce it more so prepares you for the critical thinking aspect. So, you might want to look into bridging a career. This can look like shadowing a researcher, internships, getting certificates like the CFA, fellowships etc. All in all, you should be making decisions based on what works for you!

It’s ok if things don’t work out the first time- Daniel Li

Daniel was an aspiring med student but the first time they’d applied to med school, he didn’t get into his choices. Instead, he decided to take a year off to do some research at the UHN. Of course, this may not be the case for everyone but it also reinforces the idea that you shouldn’t give up on the first try.

Last thoughts...

If you're someone that feeling a bit confused about knowing what you want to do post-grad, I hope this post helps! And if you're a Human Bio student, make sure to check out the Human Biology Student Union to stay up to date and be the first the know the next time they'll be hosting another event!

Check out their Instagram at this link ➡️

-Bolu 🫶🏾

P.s a huge shout out to the Human Biology Student Union execs for hosting such an incredible event!!

Photo of the Exec members of the Human Biology Student Union

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