Published in The Accra Daily Mail, June 21, 2004

Staring out of the office window, I have a view of the Mississippi snaking its way through the city of Minneapolis. What am I doing here, so far away from home, is the question I have had to endure several times.

Another has been how come you're in advertising, when your major is Biochemistry.

Oh, I haven't done any proper introductions, so I might as well just go ahead. I am a 20-year old Ghanaian gal, currently in the Midwest of the United States, of all the places in the world, exploring opportunities that I never imagined I would.

Thanks to American generosity, I came to the States in 2001 for college. I was one of those people with a plan. One of those people who would confidently answer the "So, what do you want to do with your life?" question. Well, thanks (or no thanks) to life and how things can take unexpected turns, I am now at the completely opposite end of the spectrum.

When I am asked this question now, and believe me it comes at me every minute of the day, I throw out a number of things and try to avoid the subject while trying to look as serious as I once was.

The combination of my Ghanaian and International school education set me on the track towards a career in science. It's no joke, ask any international student what he/she is studying and these are the constants: medicine, economics or something finance-related.

I don't know if it is a cultural thing, but most of these students will tell you that they can't go home with a subject like art history. After my secondary school education I was fixated on studying science and had not really considered broadening my options. My parents never forced me into anything, but I thought I had to do something substantial with my life, and substantial meant becoming a doctor or a scientist.

So first year, second year of college went by, and thankfully I had to take other classes outside of science, because knowing myself, I could well have stuck to only science classes. I began to realize there was a whole world out there that I had neglected or never even considered.

In my JSS days, I used to write and draw. What happened to that person? I had stifled that part of me for too long. Soon I knew something was amiss when in biology classes I started looking at the clock every minute and outside the window as well.

Some time ago, I was the person whose notebook everybody would look through before a biology exam (no modesty here). Any way folks, all too soon my time is up, I will be back soon with how I got to the land of 10000 lakes as it is called...