By Kayla Pineda
Takylia White, 18, is a pre-med major at Eastfield who works three jobs and is a Phi Theta Kappa honors student. In spite of her busy schedule, she makes time for friends, family and herself. She recently sat down with Et Cetera contributor Kayla Pineda to talk about her dream of being a pediatrician and how she juggles her work and school life.
Q. Your first semester was very different due to the pandemic. How would you describe how it went for you?
A. I like the online transition a lot better. It gave me a lot of time to finish my assignments at my pace and still be able to meet the professors’ deadline.
Q. What were the biggest challenges you went through this fall that will help you in the spring?
A. The biggest challenges I faced was getting in contact with the professors. In class you can talkto them face-to-face or during their office hours, but they are kind of slow at responding [to emails]. Something I will take into spring semester is to pace myself on the workload. I was figuring things out first semester, and now I have a general idea on how to pace myself.
Q. Are involved in any extra-curricular activities?
A. I am in Phi Theta Kappa and I am a scholarship student.
Q. Tell me a little more about life outside of school. You work several jobs—how are you able to manage it all?
A. I have a younger sibling, so I schedule my work schedule around what time I have to pick himup from school. That’s my everyday part time job. I am also a weekend receptionist at a nursing home. Sometimes I work at the mall park when the nursing home doesn’t need me.
Q. What is it like working at the nursing home during the pandemic?
A. The first three weeks I started working there we weren’t allowing visitors in. They were only allowed to drop off. As we went [further] into the pandemic, they started [allowing] facial visits, so it would be a one-hour sit-in and I would have to sanitize the area. They were not allowed to hug or touch anything. Then it escalated to 2 hours where family members were actually allowed into the residents’ rooms, but they had to wear the masks. We knew some of the residents weren’t wearing the masks behind closed doors, but we still try to enforce the rules. It was a big transition and it took a toll on the residents, but we try to keep them in high spirits.
Q. What do you do to relieve stress?
A. It actually is pretty stressful because I wake and I either have to go to work or I have to do this assignment. What I try to do is set aside one day or two days to myself to say “Hey, I am going to hang out with this friend, catch up with them,” to make sure they know I’m not abandoning them. Or I sit down with my family and talk to them. I listen to music that gets me through a lot of the work day or school day.
Q. What kind of music do you listen to?
A. I listen to Alternative Rock. That is like my go to music. My genre of music is a variety of country, rap, alternative, gospel, R&B—it really doesn’t matter.
Q. Do you have a dream job?
A. I want to be pediatrician. I was [trying to decide] between being a pediatric surgeon or just a pediatrician. I still go for pediatrician because I took anatomy my senior year and I was just not going for cutting up brains. I was like “Yeah, this is not what I want to do.”
Q. On your days off work, what do you enjoy doing with that free time?
A. I enjoy watching romantic comedies. I go to those, and then I go to my comfort shows like “Friends,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” and “Criminal Minds.” I turn on my LED lights and I’m like “OK, this is relaxing time.”