I can’t really pinpoint the moment where I realized what I wanted to do with my life. I know my family did have a little influence on my decision, but I know it was mostly my own choice. It was what I knew I wanted to do, something I knew would fulfill my life; something that would give my life purpose that would leave me feeling really satisfied.

I think it might have been during one hospital stay at UCSF’s Children Hospital. I had a younger nurse who told me that she herself had fought cancer. Actually, when I think about it, I think that was the most influential moment in me figuring out what I wanted to do with myself. I saw myself in her shoes, helping children and teenagers who were just like me; stuck in a hospital bed, but fighting for their lives.

It’s a sad thought to think of so many children in a hospital and to think that that is where I want to spend the days of my career, but I know that I am meant to be there. My nurses were the ones who helped me. They saw me as a brave little fighter, which helped me see myself like that in the long run. I want to help children smile when they don’t have much to smile about.

Sometimes I wish I had chosen to go straight to a university out of high school. I had been such a slacker in the last two years of high school, so I guess I didn’t motivate myself to do what needed to get done. I’m currently trying to finish my prerequisites at Napa Valley College so I can get on the waiting list for the nursing program there. It is still a decision, though, whether I want to wait two years to do the program there or try to transfer somewhere else. With the economy the way it is now, it is a scary thought to go to a more expensive school. I know that if I do stay at NVC, I will have the chance to get my BSN after completing one more year at Sonoma state after completing the nursing program, which does sound like a good idea.

I have a long road ahead of me to get to where I want to be… but I just keep thinking about where I will end up, and nothing makes me happier. I cannot wait to be able to help children and give back what I was given. It will be an amazing career, I just have to be patient and stay dedicated to completing my schooling.