Growing up with a pharmacist for a grandfather, Megan Wary always knew she wanted to work in the medical field. So, after earning her undergraduate degree at the University of Arkansas, she had a crucial decision to make: Where would she call home for the next four years and continue her education?
Ultimately, the pull of Colorado’s outdoors coupled with the high reputation of the pharmacy school and the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus attracted Wary to the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.
Today, Wary will join her fellow graduates in the 2018 Spring Commencement Ceremonies. Looking back, she said she’s glad she chose the top-ranked veteran-friendly university and the outdoor-oriented state, both of which helped shape Wary’s future.
Ticket to outdoor paradise
“I knew I was ready to move out of Arkansas,” Wary said. “I wanted to be able to hike and snowboard, to spend time in the sunshine.
There’s no better place.”
In between studying for her challenging courses, Wary enjoyed all that Colorado has to offer, especially hiking fourteeners and snowboarding Peak 6 at Breckenridge.
“There is such a special vibe about Coloradans,” she said of meeting new friends. “Everyone that moves here has something in common, whether it be hitting the trails or the slopes.”
While taking full advantage of Colorado’s outdoor sports and recreation two years ago, Wary slipped during a kickball match and tore her ACL.
She didn’t let her serious injury hold her back. One year after the tear, Wary participated in a “Tough Mudder,” a grueling race that involved trudging through thick mud while tackling a challenging obstacle course.
“This was something that I was really proud of,” she said. “If soldiers can recover from traumatic injuries and live their everyday lives, then I can heal from this ACL injury and finish this race.”
The symbolic victory highlights Wary’s passion for working with veterans.
Service through pharmacy
“It has always been a sweet spot for me,” she said. “I have a lot of family members in different military branches. I just really love working with that population. I know that I want to be with these people and serve them as they have served us.”
Faced with leaving Colorado, she will miss the great outdoors and the people she’s met along her journey, said Wary, who intends to complete a pharmacy residency with the Veterans Administration, her top choice.
“It’s going to be tough to leave this wonderful place,” she said. “But, I know that my education and training will help me achieve my goals in the years to come,” said Wary, who advises incoming pharmacy students to keep their studies first. “But, enjoy Colorado. Denver and the surrounding areas have so much to offer. Keep the faith. You will make it.”