This section will spotlight a student who has come through the Health Professions Advising office at CSUF on their journey to professional school, and wishes to share his or her experiences and advice with current and future students.
Michael Gonzalez - Future Pharmacist
“How is it that 21 years ago a newborn child was brought into this world without any knowledge but so eager to experience the walk of life, which can be heard through the cries he bellows out as the lights hit his eyes for the first time? As he grows, an innocent young boy with unforeseen challenges along his journey of life is raised by a single mother and grandparents that are his support. Experiencing the death of his grandfather due to outstanding health problems who he held dear to him because of his father figure role was lost in what felt like an unknown world. This young boy grows to display a reserved and quiet personality who keeps to himself holding back his true self not knowing what is to come ahead. As he matures into a young man who is diligent with his studies, he has gotten himself to be the first in his family to attend college and now have the opportunity to pursue a dream of a professional degree in pharmacy that is within reach of achieving.”
First off, let me say that the paragraph above is the introduction from my personal statement that I wrote when applying to pharmacy schools that I feel sums up my journey thus far. I believe that everyone has a unique story to tell that solely belongs to them. My story has been a fun ride and is about to get even more exciting. However; keep in mind it wasn’t an easy one but doable as long as one keeps their mind to it.
Growing up, my true interest into the health professions started during my teen years reassuring me that becoming a health professional was something I could see myself being one day. However, I just didn’t know what I wanted to be exactly. In high school I was part of a program called Advancement Via Individual Determination “AVID,” which I believe really helped me and guided me at an early age. The program was all about preparing students early on for college and informing us about what steps we needed to take to get there. Once I knew that I wanted to go into the health professions I initially wanted to be a doctor. As time went on and I did some research I wasn’t too sure if being a doctor was something that I really wanted to do. I will admit, the number of years needed for school did discourage me a bit. Then I was introduced into pharmacy which caught my attention and started to slowly intrigue me.
During my senior year of high school was when I knew pharmacy was the path that I wanted to take. I was introduced to it by a friend who was taking a pharmacy technician class through the North Orange County Regional Occupational Program “NOCROP.”. It sounded interesting to me at the time so I gave it a try and decided to take the class during senior year as an elective. As I took the class it exposed me to the pharmacy world getting an insight of what it was all about with a hands on approach since I had to complete 160 hours of externship at Walgreens Pharmacy. From that point on I knew that this was the career that I wanted for myself later on in the future. With this in mind, I chose a degree to pursue at CSUF that I knew would give me most of my prerequisites for pharmacy school which was Biochemistry.
Attending CSUF was a new experience for me and one that I will never forget. While at CSUF I met so many new people and made friends that I can say really inspired me. Meeting new people is not always easy, but as time goes on you will learn that you can take away so much from them. The people I met shared their stories with me and how they got where they are. After a while some of these people seem to be more like family since they are in most of your classes year after year. Together we went through the stress, panic, and accomplishments. Undergrad was not easy, there were times that I felt like giving up because a class was too hard or because I didn’t get the grade that I wanted. However, I always had to remind myself why I was there to take those classes and that was to accomplish my goal of becoming a pharmacist one day. There will be times when it may get overwhelming but just remember the opportunity you have been given to pursue your education.
Now is the time that I can say that what I been through so far has paid off. I have been accepted to Chapman’s brand new School of Pharmacy which I will start fall 2015. I will be a part of their inaugural class to pursue a doctor of pharmacy. The process to get here hasn’t been easy but well worth it. I have gotten a lot of help and advice from friends, family, and the Health Professions Office that we have on campus. My suggestion to any of you applying is to get a committed letter packet like I did to help support your application when applying to professional schools. Also, I worked as a pharmacy technician to give me that experience which I think will help to have on anyone’s application. Remember to always be involved and try to be a part of something more. I know that there’s a lot in store for me ahead and it hasn’t even begun yet, but one thing that I can say is that I am very grateful for the opportunities that I have been given so far. I am eager for what the future has in store for me as I move onto the next step in my life and continue my journey that I know will allow me to take care of other people’s lives and mine.
The time that seemed so far away and unachievable for me is finally here. As I continue to take on my journey to achieve my dreams and goals, I leave you with this…
As an individual, remember to always stay true to yourself and never let anyone tell you that you can’t do something. I know you probably heard this plenty of times but believe me on this one. If you put your mind, effort, and hard work into anything you will accomplish your goal; it’s just a matter of time. Trust me, I never thought that I would be where I am today, I never thought it would be “me.” I must say going through it all has not been easy but well worth it. There will be times where you may want to give up and try something different because it’s too “hard,” or it take too “long.” Yes, this was me once. The classes you take to get there may be interesting at times as well as a nightmare at other times. However, don’t let grades, a GPA, or test score stop or discourage you. I was not a straight “A” student nor the best student but what I did do was try, always try your best. The best thing you can do is leave what you did knowing that you tried the best you can. Always try to stay organized and manage your time, start early and don’t procrastinate. Be your own person, stay positive, and follow your dreams. It may or may not be easy for you, but one day it will all fall into place. Put the time in now to be able to enjoy all the time later on with an education you worked so hard for.
Well my friends, it’s time for me to continue my journey but remember you decide the life you want to live. Have fun and I wish you all success with your future endeavors. If there is any way I can help you feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
"It's not time itself that matters. It's what you do with that time that counts. The time will pass no matter what you do, so you might as well do something Great!"