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A Health Science Degree Changed My Outlook on Life 

Updated: June 19, 2024 | Published: October 21, 2022

Updated: June 19, 2024

Published: October 21, 2022

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I believe that my studies at UoPeople have given me the tools to move forward on my journey through life. It has given me the courage and confidence to articulate discussions around sensitive topics. I’ve used my learning to promote and encourage others to make informed decisions concerning their health and well-being, not only for themselves but for their community too.  

One of the main reasons I chose to pursue a degree in Health Science at University of the People was my curiosity for the scientific truth concerning vaccines and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and their influence on our community and on human lives globally. I used to be an anti-vaxxer and also anti-GMOs at one point in time. In fact, for most of my life, I was an enthusiastic member of a pseudoscience community. 

But the journey I was on as an anti-vaxxer was largely based on my protective instincts as a mother. I wanted to shield my children from the side effects of vaccines. I truly believed I would harm my children if I got them vaccinated.  Studying Health Science at UoPeople opened my eyes and helped me to gain fact-based knowledge about vaccines, GMOs, and the purpose they serve in our community. The Health Science program at UoPeople has fundamentally changed my worldview. It has helped me understand the underlying scientific knowledge needed to make life-changing decisions.  

I chose UoPeople because of their pedagogical approach. It’s an inclusive global institute, and the grading system includes both summative and formative assessments. I began the program with a fear of writing exams. So UoPeople’s pedagogy worked perfectly for me. I could take my exams in the comfort of my own home eliminating many stressors that I knew I would face at an exam center. I also chose UoPeople because of its affordability and I was honored to be awarded scholarships for my degree program to help with my finances. The broad range of courses that impacted my change in perspective and decisions were biology, philosophy, psychology, sociology, community and public health, infectious diseases, ethics, and responsibility. These courses have opened my mind. The vast number of academic and scholarly assignments we had to produce weekly at UoPeople made me a better writer and gave me the confidence to publish my first novel in 2021.   

Now, I respect the ethical decisions made for the greater good. I’ve also mastered critical thinking skills to develop innovative solutions for the social determinants of public health.  

The knowledge and principles I’ve gained through personal reflection have helped me to communicate with more empathy, and compassion and perform a scientific investigation in a logically balanced manner. I’ve learned to engage with others and behave with great social responsibility and scientifically researched facts rather than pseudo-beliefs. My understanding and worldview have widened and now I convey the same facts to my children. 

I choose to be candid on this subject not hoping that anti-vaxxers or non-GMO advocates will change their minds. I understand everyone has individual reasons for their beliefs. My intention is to help others make decisions about studying Health Sciences. 

I’ve always been passionate about helping people. I highly recommend the Health Science program at UoPeople to prospective students because the scientific knowledge gained is irreplaceable. It will help you to make critical, logical, ethical, and informed decisions for yourself, your family, and the greater global community. If your passion lies within social and economic justice take the plunge into this degree. I promise you may go down a rabbit hole. It will undoubtedly open your mind to developing the much-needed systems that our world needs right now. Don’t just earn a degree, learn intentionally to better yourself and all lives around you.  Pursue your degree with intention and always keep craving to know more. Facts are enlightening—they are profoundly beautiful. They can be tough to accept at times,  but they are the only truth in the end.   

About the Author  

Pragashnie Naidoo has a BS in Health Science and is currently earning her M.Ed. at UoPeople. She is an author, poet, activist, public health advocate, children’s rights activist, and a humanitarian at heart. She also works as a curriculum developer for an app start-up company called Gopele that’s aimed to improve matric results in South Africa. Her current writing project is Wrinkles Through Time, the prequel to her book, Specks of Dust. Her writing is used as a creative form of activism exposing the cracks of society by immersing in topics dealing with discrimination, abuse, psychology, and philosophy. She is also the Secretary of the South African Secular Society (https://www.secularsociety.org.za/). 

At UoPeople, our blog writers are thinkers, researchers, and experts dedicated to curating articles relevant to our mission: making higher education accessible to everyone.