Two weeks ago, I went from having no degree, to graduating with a Pharmacy Doctorate! If that’s not zero to one hundred then I don’t know what is.
After eight crazy years, I finally did it! And it was no basic degree honey, I graduated with honors…Cum Laude.
I kept much of my school life away from the blog because this space was my escape from the stress it brought me. When I started this blog, I had just begun pharmacy school and the stress had driven me to the point where I felt like I had made a career mistake, one I could not back away from as I had already invested four years of pre-pharmacy school. Looking back, I wouldn’t change a thing. Those down days toughened me up and made me appreciate what I have now even more.
When people need a release, they get a drink, go party or smoke a cig. Me, I write, or go on an adventure. This blog was a space that reminded me to live and not simply exist. Creating content for this site required me to do stuff that wasn’t school related, which gave me a break from my routine and kept me sane.
Transitioning from undergrad to a doctorate program was really tough on me and my grades suffered. That’s what was stressing me out so much–I’d never had to worry about my performance in school and yet there was, test after test, performing below my expectations. I had to get into the culture of studying everyday and being very disciplined about it.
My journey throughout pharmacy school has been insane, to say the least. A lot of people cry on graduation day, I did not. I left all my tears in pharmacy school. I like to joke that the Pharm. D. program took all my emotions from me, and I’m now dead inside.
Graduation day for me was not emotional (thank God, cos I hate being all up in my feelings). I only get emotional when things unexpectedly happen to me (that’s why I hate surprises).
My graduation didn’t take me by surprise, I worked for that shit. I have never worked for something so hard in my life before, like I did for my doctorate. I knew how much effort I had put in, going up to 32 hours straight without sleeping, the emotional toll it had taken on me, and how much my parents had invested. I walked up on that stage ready to take what was mine and when they called out my name, the first thought that came to mind was “Kiwedde,” a phrase in my language Luganda, meaning, It is done. I had attained something that no one can ever take away from me.
My day went just how I wanted, with high energy, positive vibes and everything good. Most of my family came, we celebrated and the whole moment was simply amazing.
My time during pharmacy school is worthy of a book. The program itself isn’t too bad if you do everything they ask, but that’s not how life works. What makes it challenging is that it requires a lot of your time and focus, while at the same time you’re dealing with life’s shortcomings…that’s what makes it tough.
I have literally grown up in Pharmacy school. I had just turned 19 when I came from Uganda to start university. I had never been to the United States, knew no one in Texas, but had a lot of determination, a winner’s mindset, family support and Allah by my side. Since then, I have taken life one day at a time, tackled challenges as they have come and today, I am here, Dr. Mahbuba Matovu. With time, I will tell my stories, but for the next few posts, I want to share this amazing, this life changing, this best moment of my life!