[UC DAVIS 웹사이트]
Since I was a child, I knew that I wanted to work with animals. My passion for animal science was evident in the way that I memorized all my family member’s Chinese zodiacs and the way I would love to read books pertaining to the physiology of animals. I knew since the age of three that I loved animals, and the age of five that I would like to become a veterinarian. Despite what many others have said throughout my schooling years, my goal has not changed and my ambition has done nothing but grow. This fall, I will be going into UC Davis as an animal science major, a school known for their prestigious veterinary graduate program.
Though I knew that my interest were only in regards to animal science, I tried my hardest to participate in both my classes and other academic clubs. Even for those who don’t know what to do, studying hard in middle and high school will open up your opportunities for college and therefore careers. There Is no point in closing doors before you even know which one you want to go through. Joining the Academic Decathlon and CyberPatriot and keeping my grades up (even though those were all things that many people said were not related to the animal science career) were things that allowed me to get accepted into UC Davis. I even went out of my way to take a multitude of community college courses that would allow me to take more AP courses in my high school as well as taking courses such as Psychology and Music to further and explore interests, new and old. I did well enough on my standardized tests and my academics, yet I knew that there had to be more that I both needed and wanted to do.
I was born in the city of Las Vegas, grew up in Chicago, and moved to Los Angeles when I was in the fourth grade. As someone living in a predominantly urban society, it was hard to try and expand my expertise and working with animals. I didn’t live on a farm or had parents who worked in the zoo; no Korean adult around me had the experience in job or even studies that I could model. As someone who didn’t know how to even remotely approach field of animal science, I had to find my own way to find experience, mainly through the internet. With everything digital now-a-days, it was easier to find opportunities simply by typing things into an online search bar. Of course, what followed wasn’t a simple but, as it is commonly said, when there’s a will there’s a way.
It was only when I reached high school that I was finally old enough to apply for volunteer opportunities such as the local animal shelter and the Los Angeles Zoo. Of course, my Korean mother at first wanted me to think of other professions that would be more respectable in both income and name--doctors and judges over scientists and veterinarians--yet I was fortunate that she still did her best to support me with my career goals. She helped me with small things--transportation, timing, managing my schedule--as well as motivating me and supporting me emotionally to help me through the hardest of times in my life. I felt I did much by myself, but it was obvious that my mother was one of the biggest contributing factors of my success and acceptance into UC Davis.
The greatest experience that I probably gained, however, were the courses that I took in Cornell University for three weeks for two consecutive summers. Both courses that I took (Sustainable Animal Husbandry; Captive Raptor Management) were animal science college courses that I gained credit and units for. Not only was I able to live on my own as an independent college student, I was able to learn more in both a classroom and lab setting. Doing considerably well in school also helps with financial aid that comes with the expenses of college classes.
It takes an amount of courage and risk in trying to carve out your own future, without help from an older mentor guiding you through. Even as the first child of immigrant parents with limited contacts, it was hard to find out about programs and clubs and academic shortcuts that other Korean American students seem to know so much about, especially about college. Hard it may be, however, it is not impossible. Our generation and future generations to come are encouraged more and more to pursue what they want, instead of just what they see. For me, that “impossible” dream was to become a veterinarian.