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  • Areej Shafique

When I Grow up I Wanna be a...

Doctor. I was sure of it. Having a Dad who doubled as an eye surgeon, and having spent hours watching my sisters watch Grey's Anatomy, there was no doubt in my mind that I was meant to be a doctor...at the age of 5. I even had the toy stethoscope and everything. That is, until the age of 7 - I know, pretty short lived. Age 7 was around the time I really got into BBC Food and my love for Jamie Oliver and Nigella Lawson blossomed. After nailing the infamous Blood & Gut Potatoes recipe by Nigella, I knew that my calling was culinary school. But life isn't a Netflix Original movie. My next endeavor took place at the age of 10, when I won my first ever art competition in Pakistan. This was a momentous occasion in my life; as I struggled in Math and Science classes (the only two classes that seemed to matter in Pakistan). But, for the first time in middle school, I finally found something I was somewhat good at. Age 13. I move to America for high school, where I found out I could take a class called Actor's Studio for a grade. I traded in my paintbrushes for scripts, and was soon cast in my first play as Anne Frank (I understand the hilarity of a Pakistani girl playing Anne Frank, trust me). 4 years flew by, and I finally needed to make the executive decision of what I wanted to major in. The thing about my prior aspirations was that I never professed them to my parents. They always assumed they were hobbies and nothing more. In the back of my mind, I always knew I was tied to the cultural importance of becoming a Doctor, Engineer, or Lawyer. So, when I entered college as an undecided major, let's just say my Dad wasn't exactly thrilled. But I knew I had to act fast - overwhelmed, I was constantly scrambling to learn about professions that seemed to strike the balance between 'practical', as my parents called it, and creative. My perfect cure for stress at the time was watching Friends on repeat. Season 9, Episode 11: Monica is helping Chandler find his new career interest. She puts together a binder of professions in alphabetical order. A - Advertising. Chandler stops her. I paused the show. Advertising? That kinda makes a lot of sense. I started to connect the dots, and ask myself why I liked food, art, and acting. Because they told a story. Isn't that exactly what Advertising does too? Age 18. I finally declared Marketing as my major. I continued to be involved in theatre productions, and started @shafreaky_doodles as a way of telling my story. I would try my hand at Gordon Ramsay's recipes and discuss the practicality of Medicine versus Marketing with my Dad as we ate. Age 21. I've graduated college, and am excited to enter the workforce with my new found passion, where I can break norms once again.

#CareerDecisions #BreakingNorms

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