9 Goals for a Student Pharmacist

What are your goals as a student pharmacist?

Each New Year brings another set of generic resolutions. After many unplanned successes in 2015, I’m more motivated than ever to set goals for 2016.

A simple Google search for “goals for a student pharmacist” produced no results, so I came up with the following 9 goals to help kickstart this New Year.

1. Do what makes you happy.

“Late nights and early mornings” is a phrase commonly heard in pharmacy school.

Unlike traditional students, many student pharmacists have jobs, are married, and even have children. At times, it is easy to commit your time to things other than yourself. Getting lost in responsibilities and obligations are simple ways to not spend time doing what makes you happy.

As someone who finds joy in shopping and nice outfits, I wondered why I had resorted to a sloppy, “just rolled out of bed” look. The truth is, I was drained from school, work, and everything else, which led me to stop putting effort into the small things that brought me joy.

So, in 2016, no matter how bad the weather is, and even if it’s a test day, a pair of boots and a nice jacket won’t hurt.

2. Get published.

As a person who loves the sciences, it is easy for writing to get lost in the background.

In chemistry, the joke was, “I read and write numbers and equations, not words.” As a pharmacy major, I feel as though I rarely have the opportunity to write anything in much detail, aside from the occasional research paper. These feelings have sparked my goal of tapping deeper into the world of writing.

I believe that through writing, I can share my thoughts and impact those whom I may never have an opportunity to meet. I personally love reading a great book or article, so I hope I can supply someone else with that fulfillment.

3. Present a poster.

In an effort to pursue my professional goals within the world of pharmacy, I need to present a poster at a conference. Every article and book I have read in regards to pharmacy careers has essentially agreed upon that fact. I have added it to my to-do list for 2016, and I am currently working on a plan to ensure its success.

4. Maintain a 3.5 GPA.

My GPA goal may seem low to some and high to others, but it is my personal standard. It is a goal that is not unobtainable, but will definitely take a little more work.

I know that a GPA doesn’t define your worth, knowledge, or wisdom, but each time I reach a 3.5, it’s a personal hoorah. I’m a Millennial who was raised in a system that glorifies grades, so the least I can do is strive to meet this goal.

5. Maximize rotations.

I want to do the very best I can to make sure I secure the best rotations possible.

Last year, I started researching top hospitals and clinical trial sites where I would dream of having rotations. Then, I began making phone calls and sending emails to efforts to locate opportunities.

I’ve pretty much solidified which direction in the world of pharmacy I would like to pursue, so my goal is to steer most of my rotations in that direction to ensure that I am adequately prepared to compete among my peers.

6. Network.

Through networking, I can find individuals who have been in my shoes to answer all sorts of questions, such as:

  • How was your interview process?
  • What was your career path to get to this point?
  • What advice do you have for a current pharmacy student?

I enjoy hearing different opinions on various topics concerning the pharmacy profession. Most of all, I love hearing stories about people’s career paths, including every job they hated that led them to the job they now love.

7. Live a healthier life.

Pharmacy school is ugly in the weight department. I never gained the freshman 15, but the pharmacy pounds came overnight and just keep coming.

Not many of us can still fit into the skirts or pants that we wore to our white coat ceremonies just 3 years ago. In an effort to avoid even more weight gain in my fourth year of pharmacy school, a healthier lifestyle is in order.

Decreasing the number of bags of popcorn I devour the night before a test and trading candy for nuts are small tricks I hope to employ while trying not to gain any additional weight, and perhaps even shed a couple of pounds throughout the year.

8. Fill a gratitude jar.

While I think about everything I want in the future, I never want to forget about the numerous things that I’m grateful for each day. I believe a gratitude jar will be a strong contrast to any bad day, offering a feeling of gratefulness and retracting from any frustration.

I hope to drop a note in the jar at least weekly, if not daily. At the end of 2016, I will have records of precious memories and joys that I can reflect upon at any time.

9. Improve leadership skills and inspire others.

As a student with a multitude of leadership positions, my goal is to be the best leader I can be. I hope to lead with transparency and always encourage the team that I am working with.

My goal is to continually help the community through events while inspiring students to become more involved in not only school, but also our community and profession. I plan to host more professional development workshops to help inspire students while seeking additional leadership skills from mentors and conferences.

I hope this list can serve as inspiration for other student pharmacist to make and pursue goals this year.