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STUDENT PROFILE

Patrick Papa

Patrick Papa
Major:
Biochemistry
"I discovered that I can handle any challenge that comes my way, and I'll come out even more resilient."

How did you feel when you found out you did not get accepted into the major you chose straight from high school?

I had applied to McCombs for business and College of Natural Sciences as my back up. I didn’t get into either. I felt shot down, dejected, and I was very close to not coming to UT because I didn’t have a major. My mom and friends came together and told me to just go for it anyway.

When people asked you what your major was how did you respond?

I felt slightly embarrassed until halfway through the semester. I was doing really well in my classes and my friends who were in their major weren’t. So I realized having a major was just a title.

What were the circumstances that led to your current major?

Coming out of high school I knew I wanted to be in the medical field. I didn’t want to be a doctor so when my brother suggested pharmacy school everything clicked. I wanted to get into CNS because I wanted do pharmacy. I ended up getting into a chemistry class that had seats for DSP students. It ended up being my favorite class and I even became a course assistant for the class and worked with the professor for two years. I didn’t know I wanted to be in CNS until I took that chemistry class. Having the support of DSP in my freshman year played a role in my success. I applied to CNS and got in.

Do you think you would have questioned your choice had you gotten into business straight from high school?

I am so glad I didn’t get into business! I think it would have slowed me down as I would have still been pursuing pharmacy school. I would have had to take business classes and science courses. That sounds miserable, taking chemistry and accounting at the same time!