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STEM Student Voice: Nicole Rowe

White Coat

By Nicole Rowe

nicole rowe

About Me

If you know you’re meant to do something you should never give up. I knew I was meant to be a physician senior year of high school. We got to wear white lab coats for my AP environmental science lab. As soon as I put one on and looked in a mirror I knew this was what I was meant to do, it was simply a feeling. I grew up in a small town in Nevada and always saw myself becoming a nurse. Now, at age 20 I have done enough research and experience to proudly say I am pursuing a degree in Chemistry to obtain my goal of going to medical school. 

Finding my Passion

My next struggle was deciding which degree to pursue. My first choice was biology, but as I advanced in my biology coursework I became less fascinated. I do love biology, but mainly at the molecular/cellular level. My affinity grew for chemistry. Chemistry keeps me on my toes. There is always something new and it’s very structured like mathematics. Chemistry is more challenging than Biology for me.

My Career Goals

In the future I believe that I will go through the same problems with choosing a specialty in medicine. Currently, I am interested in reconstructive plastic surgery. I would like to work in a trauma unit as a reconstructive plastic surgeon. Once I am an established plastic surgeon I would like to donate my time in the Peace Corps under their response team!

My Challenges

The only thing that discouraged me was the finances of going to medical school. I grew up in the middle/lower class and we lived comfortably but neither my parents nor I have the financial stability to support me through medical school. This caused me to change my major. I switched from a degree in biology to biomedical engineering. It had a good job market and I would only have to pay for school in 4 years. Ultimately, I sacrificed my own dreams because I was scared. Recently, I came to terms with my fears and decided that I am stronger than them and will pursue my dreams no matter the potential consequences.

My Advice

What I’ve learned through my few years in college is that there is no reason to stress about changing your major. I really thought it was putting me behind, which it is but it’s more important to pursue something that you care about and could actually see yourself doing.

Another piece of advice is to never be discouraged academically, financially, or even emotionally. Every goal can be attained it just may take a little bit of courage and hard work!

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