Often times, life provides opportunities that some people would perceive as “once in a lifetime.” My father once told me to take advantage of anything positive life threw at my feet. Whether it was a dollar I found on the ground or a job opportunity, I was taught to take them.

Recently, I was presented with a chance at an internship where I would shadow a physician for a day. In typical Vinh Tran fashion, I imagined myself in the shoes of J.D. from the show Scrubs. Solving medical mysteries with a group of quirky friends sounds like the dream. But then I wondered if I could handle the work hours and mental strain of working in a hospital.

“Would I just be wasting my time at a job I probably won’t enjoy?”

Suddenly, instead of being J.D. playing basketball with Turk, I imagined myself in the perspective of the always-stressed-out Dr. Cox. I thought to myself, “Would I just be wasting my time at a job I probably won’t enjoy?” Not only that, but I could be wasting the time of my internship supervisor.

But at the same time, I lost my chance at interning at a dental office, so maybe this opportunity is life’s way of giving me a second chance at an internship.

There are people in the world who would laugh at my first world problems. “Oh no, you have a chance at helping out your future boo-hoo.” And I wouldn’t even disagree, the fact that I’m contemplating this makes me seem like I take my privileges for granted.

But there’s a piece of me saying that I could have let someone else take this opportunity, someone who wouldn’t double back at the chance to escalate their future of being a physician.

I’m at a crossroads because all my life, I was told to appreciate the things people do for me. Trust me, I do feel grateful having this application fall into my hands. But there’s a piece of me saying that I could have let someone else take this opportunity, someone who wouldn’t double back at the chance to escalate their future of being a physician.

As I stared back at my still empty application, I wondered where else this internship could take me. I could fall in love at the thought of being a doctor, I could land a future job because of this experience or I could just have fun. But there’s a possibility that I’ll achieve nothing by taking this opportunity.

Although I haven’t made my decision yet, it’s not normal for one to feel the same way I am. Jumping at every opportunity certainly would help but it wouldn’t guarantee that life would turn out the way you want. There are risks and terrible outcomes that can result from taking anything given to you. However, taking the time to think or denying an opportunity shouldn’t be seen as foolish. It just means that you care about your future.

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