Growing up in Venezuela, I really wanted to be a writer. I loved writing short stories with fictional characters named Petunia who overcame challenges and provided a moral in the end. I remember writing one story in which one of the characters tragically dies. My mom (a psychotherapist) thought it reflected a hidden trauma and sent me to one of her colleagues for evaluation. Fortunately, the therapist concluded (correctly, if I may add) that I was just being creative.
At the time, it never crossed my mind to become a doctor. This sentiment persisted through adolescence; when discussing my future in my college application essay, I stated: “I do not want to become a doctor or a lawyer.” And yet they still accepted me! Continue reading This is how I write science papers