It’s hard to believe that this semester is coming to a close, though so much has happened since we all moved in this past August. As I reflect upon these last three and a half months a few particular experiences stand out to me. The first of these was my experience throughout general chemistry. Entering into fall semester, I was still toying with the idea of pursuing an MD/MPH dual degree. After taking the intro chemistry class, I realized that I had no real interest in the hard science of medicine. The observations that I took part in as a part of UC 105 reaffirmed this as well, since I had a hard time imagining myself working in a clinical setting like the ones I got to visit.
While these experiences discouraged me from continuing on a path towards medicine, several things were pushing me more and more towards public health. The most influential of these has been my experience in UROP. Currently, I’m working on a project at the School of Public Health, focusing on how gender norms and expectations affect modern contraceptive use in rural Niger. I am very thankful and very proud of this experience. It is still kind of unbelievable to me that I have the chance to work in my chosen field in my very first semester here at the University of Michigan. This coming summer, I look forward to building upon what I’ve learned in this project when I go to Uganda to volunteer at an orphanage, caring for displaced and disabled children.
The last, and most impactful experience of my first semester has most definitely been being a part of the HSSP community. Being a part of this community has helped me to become a stronger and more confident person, and has given me the opportunity to build relationships that will last for years to come. As I look towards next semester, I hope to continue building these relationships and continue to pursue my passion for public health in both my academics and extracurricular activities.