The End of Someone Else’s Dream

Today was my second to last day as a pharmacy technician. I’ve been one for 3 years and 7 months. I had all my ducks lines in a row and yet I never applied to pharmacy school.

Long story short, it’s the typical Asian parents want doctor child story. I’ve always been unusually good at test taking, and paired with my love of science and lack of squeamishness, my mother was persuaded I’d make an excellent physician. Eight year old me never realized that getting perfect grades and getting accepted into the Gifted & Talented program would translate into years of hagwon (학원), an institute run for profit that’s a cross between school and tutoring. At one point I counted the number I’d been sent to and the count was well above a dozen. I spent anywhere from 3 weeks to a whole year at those places in addition to my normal schooling.

Some people do great with this type of education. I did not. I went to college and became increasingly dissatisfied. There were so many options and I’d never been allowed to explore any of them. I felt trapped by my mother’s expectations. Over the next few years I would switch from pre-med to psychology to pharmacy to physician’s assistant school, never straying far from medicine. Every career change would satisfy my mother’s desires and yet give me a little more freedom. I still love medicine but I was never certain that it was what I really wanted to do.

I finished almost all my prerequisites, scored in the 92nd percentile for my PCATs, and worked 3+ years as a pharmacy tech and yet the thought of applying to pharmacy school filled me with dread. Every decision I’ve made in the last few years has filled me with varying  levels dread but for the first time ever I am looking forward to the future. The thought of moving to Ukraine only fills me with excitement.

That being said I will miss a lot of my patients. Patient A who brings me fancy chocolates once a month. Patient B who is the sweetest man I’ve ever met and tells me I’m a darling. Patient C who has the best wardrobe I have EVER seen of anyone of ANY age group even though she’s well over 80 (seriously, I’d raid her closet) and she always calls me dear. Patient D who’s crazy (literally) but oh so polite. Patient E who has a wicked evil eye but is actually very nice (as long as you’re not stupid ::coughcough::). The list goes on and on.

I might even miss the not so pleasant ones. Patient F who likes to call 5 times a day (this actually describes multiple people). It’s not a good thing if I recognize your voice. Patient G who insists she gets special treatment. Again, describes a lot of people. Patient H who swore she’d write about me in her book. Haha, looks like I wrote about you first.

I’m also going to miss all the wonderful people I’ve had a chance to work with over the years. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll want to pick up the white coat again, but for now I’m excited about my new adventure.

Here’s my parting gift. This is what happens when the printer breaks in the pharmacy. 😀

Shortie Problems


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