Below is a letter to my 17 year old self. Currently I’m juggling two jobs after being made redundant last year.
Dear 17 year old self,
You are currently in your first year of 2 studying biology (A-levels), but your teachers are not good, so it is hard. Do not give up! You chose biology because you are interested in health. You do not know what career you want, you also chose chemistry, so you had two sciences in case you need that. You are doing an A-level in history, because you always enjoyed that at school. You also enjoy writing therefore, you are doing an AS level which takes one year, in English.
Unless you remember that one of your biology exams is in the morning rather than afternoon you, get a call when you should be in exam. This means, you miss morning you thought you had to revise and start the exam late. Would you have done better, if that had not happened? As it was although you worked really hard you got a D. However, it really was the teachers not you! You go on to get a first class degree in Human Bioscience which is basically biology.
You study Human Bioscience at Sheffield. Sheffield is a great place to live and it is good that it is only an hour on the train to parents. During placement you get to live in London for a year, which is an amazing experience getting to go round lots of tourist sites on days off. You get to rotate around three departments. In the clinical department, you perform assessments on healthy volunteers such as blood pressure and take samples of blood. You write the results in a form called a case report form. The tasks have to be done at precise times. In the scheduling department, you get to plan the rotas for clinical staff. Finally you work in the laboratory, processing blood and urine samples. This is your least favourite part of the three.
After university, whilst you look for jobs, you work as a sandwich artist at Subway. Then for 10months you work as serious adverse event associate near Manchester. You take reports that come in of a patient having something untoward, whilst taking a drug and enter them into a database.
You then get to move back to Sheffield. You work as a data manager. Case report forms are sent to you, another team in the office enters them into a database then electronic checks run over the data and output discrepancies in the data, which you review. Where something is unclear you write queries which are sent to sites. When sites send the queries back you review the responses. Within a year of moving back to Sheffield you buy a house. The job later allows you to move up the property ladder. You now live in a beautiful house. The job also allows you to go on some great holidays including; China, Cuba, Croatia and Bulgaria.
Redundancy does happen, but it is nothing personal. You just have to do what you can to keep earning to pay for your beautiful house in Sheffield. So stick with the biology! It will not all be plain sailing but enjoy life as much as you can.
Love Sara 35