I have changed drastically personally and professionally this semester. I realized that being a perfectionist will sometimes hinder me from doing the things I want to do because I don’t want to make a mistake. I had to remember that making mistakes are okay as long as I learn from them in the end and try not to make them over again. I have learned my limits and gotten to know myself a little better. I know what I am okay with and I know what I am not okay with. I am proud that I have gotten to know myself and I met several new people along the way. I now know what classes I want to take and what classes I don’t want to take. This semester I want to improve on my grades and be more involved in my organizations. Looking back at my letter I saw that I still have high expectations for myself, but I just did not meet them this semester. Next semester I will because I am more focus and I now know what to expect.
College is harder than I thought. A lot harder. It’s also more fun than I thought it would be. The friendships I have made here are deeper than I thought would they would be. This semester has shown me so much more about what I value in life. In my letter to myself, I wrote that I wanted to grow both intellectually and personally. I without a doubt did. The one thing I am proud of the most is how much I have grown. I have found organizations that put me with some of the most spectacular people I have ever met. I am doing research that could make an actual difference in medicine. I have found professors that actually care about me and are trying to give me the future that I want. There is so much support here, it is incredible. My biggest fears for the next semester is my increased class load. I am taking three more credits next semester. The classes will also be much more difficult, but I think with the help of the people close to me I will be able to make it through. I also want to join different organizations, ones that are a little more creative and a little less about volunteering. I would love to write more than I do now, and give myself more time to relax without worrying about the future. All in all this semester has been so much more than I would have ever thought. I have loved every second of it.
This semester really taught me how to have an open opinion and how to remember that nothing is set in stone. A lot of what I had previously believed and thought about health care and different majors was definitely tested, but it overall helped me grow to start off college. I thought that you had to major in a science in order to get into med school and I thought the only way to help people was through being a doctor. I was exposed to health disparities, the falsehood of those myths and even the field of Public Health. Now I am heavily considering those paths I am really excited to know that there is more hope than I thought there was. I also was really pleasantly surprised to learn about Holistic review. I was able to gain new perspective that I think a lot of my premed friends who are not in HSSP haven’t got the opportunity to learn yet. I am really proud of myself for expanding my view point and also for heavily considering backup degrees.
Next semester I want to work on honing in and not only doing my best to get the observations I want, but to also be more timely. I need to take more time to make sure that I am scheduling when I need to get things done instead of procrastinating. I also want to have more faith in myself and knowing that I can achieve. When I opened the letter I had thought of how much of a different place I was at and looking at how things have changed. There are friends I no longer call friends and classes that I am actually doing well in that I didn’t think I would. I need to have more confidence in my academics in order to push on next semester.
This semester has been interesting. From snowball fights at 1 AM to breaking my rib and being immobilized, I’ve had a first semester full of ups and downs. Life here at the University of Michigan was much easier to adjust to than I thought it would be. I hadn’t ever been away from home for an extended period before, and because of this, I was obviously worried about transitioning into college life. The only thing I was excited about was HSSP. I’d heard good things about the program and I knew that it would make the university feel smaller, which is exactly what I wanted. After welcome week and the first week of classes, I felt right at home. I was comfortable with my new peers and still had many high school friends I saw daily. I loved the balance of my new HSSP friends and those I had already known my whole life.
Academically, it was a slightly different story. I knew college would be hard, and I never expected to get straight A’s, but I don’t think I ever fully processed just how ridiculously smart everyone here would be. For example, biology is one of my favorite subjects. I loved it in high school and always did well. As a result of this, I was pretty surprised when I got my first biology exam back and saw that I scored significantly below average. From that point on I have been adjusting how I prepare for exams and it has generally worked out better for me. I’m not happy with my performance from first semester, but there definitely were some positive lessons learned along the way.
When I opened my letter, I was generally satisfied that I had met my goals I had set for myself at the beginning of the semester. I had told myself to make friends and to not give up. I told myself it wouldn’t be as hard to adjust to college life as I thought it would be. These goals I had set for myself have been met. The only thing I want to improve upon in the future will be to do better academically. I think I know how to do this now, and I’m looking forward to a fresh start next semester.
This semester did not go how I imagined it. In most ways, it was for the better. But there were a few things I definitely thought would go better.
In my letter to myself, I wrote about how I need to remember how immensely lucky I am to be here on this campus. And to remind myself when things get hard that I was given the opportunity to come here on someone else’s dollar and learn something I was “passionate about”. I also wrote to try my very hardest to stay happy and healthy, and I created a goal for myself to not have any panic attacks all semester as my senior year was plagued with them daily. I achieved only 2 of the things I wrote to myself.
While I did remind myself all the time how lucky I was to be here, I did not find myself passionate about what I was learning. This semester caused me to question every future plan I had for myself. However, I am thankful for that. I learned about so many different fields and future paths that I was absolutely oblivious to for the past 18 years and I learned that questioning my plans is a wonderful opportunity for me to create bigger, more ambitious dreams.
I did not stay happy and healthy, as I was sick for 80% of the time I spent here. I also did not achieve my goal of not having any panic attacks, but that was due to the existential crisis caused by not being certain of my future plans anymore, so I deemed those “productive” panic attacks.
I am most proud of the fact that I am still alive. As cliche as that may be, I struggled harshly this semester so I think that simply still existing is a pretty big accomplishment. I am definitely going to work on staying healthy next semester. Self care is going to be a huge priority for me, and I probably will not eat as much candy as I consumed this semester. Probably.
This semester overall has had a big impact in my life. First of all, it was my time to see what all the buzz being talked about the fall semester during my time at Bridge. What I heard from Bridge held true during my time here, things like seeing less minorities as I saw in Bridge, having more difficult classes, and a lot more work. Looking back at the letter I sent myself, there were many things my past self wrote that are very much valid. I wrote that I was going to be very stressed and exhausted. I also wrote that I would lazy about starting work (which is true). However, the one thing that strikes me I was confident in myself and I let myself know that if I was ever down to call my family (which i do). As an individual I feel that I’ve grown a lot. I’m proud for the fact that I’m able to keep multiple things like homework, studying, work, and PreDental organization balanced. I’m also proud that I’m just not surviving college but I am actually did well in my classes. There are a couple of things that I need to work on for next year. The first one is to fight procrastination. The second is to be more organized. Lastly, just make more friends. Well, that’s pretty much it.
I don’t think I’ve really changed dramatically personally and professionally. My mentality has mostly remained the same and my decision to enter the health sciences hasn’t been altered either. The only noteworthy personal change that’s taken place is that I’ve become a more open minded to not achieving the best grades possible.
Coming from a high school where I was at the top of my class, the transition from being consistently at the top to being somewhat above average was a bit difficult to swallow. On one hand it was immensely exciting to think that I was surrounded by so many talented people, and that I had so much room to improve; on the other hand, however, it was a little sad when I realized the results I obtained weren’t as good as what other people got.
I quickly realized the error I made, though. “Stop comparing yourself to others. So what if you’re not the best? Everyone’s different, so focus only on what you can do, not on what others can do.” Telling myself this was pretty easy. It made perfect sense logically, and any effort spent frustrated about where I stood relative to others was just wasted effort, as it wouldn’t have gotten anything done. But just like everything, it’s easy to say something, and often more difficult to put it to practice. The small fragment of dissatisfaction lay at the back of my mind – not consuming my every thought – but acting as an annoying reminder that lingered with every test score.
Nevertheless, I got used to the idea overtime. Previously, I would’ve been fairly annoyed at getting “a mere B+,” as I would’ve put it back then, but now the thought of getting a B+ in Orgo actually makes me fairly complacent. I’m certainly not at the top, but that’s not what’s really important. What’s really important is that I make the most out of my education and understand what I want to do. If people being better than me or a B+ in orgo are what stymie my dream to become a pediatrician, then I wasn’t cut out for the job in the first place. A difficult dream like that is something that requires a firm determination and an unceasing desire, and if those break due to a mere B+ or insecurity over people’s superiority over me, than I wouldn’t be able to handle what lies further down the road.
This realization that I don’t have to be the best, that I just need to focus only on what I can do rather than the efforts of others is what lies core on how I changed personally this semester.
Professionally, I haven’t really changed at all. My desire to become a pediatrician has remained the same, and I don’t really have any insecurities about my ability to become one anymore.
The thing I’m most proud of is my ability to relax and separate the emotional baggage that will hinder me from the ones that will abet me. I’ve seen other students work way too hard and stress out over things to an extent that their own physical conditions decline, so my ability to stay calm when I’m getting fucked at five different angles due to essays, presentations, and exams is what I’m most proud of.
Something I want to work on improving is my frequent procrastination. Granted, I am very good at managing time and not letting things dramatically affect my mental state, but this comes at a cost; I lack the paranoia and stress that drive people to immediately work on assignments, and so I neglect to do them until the last possible moment. This is a bit irresponsible on my part, and my frequent procrastination will no doubt negatively affect my professional life down the road, so I’d like to improve it next semester.
My first semester at the University of Michigan was definitely not what I had expected. In my letter to myself, I promised to stay organized, make friends in HSSP, “get at least a 3.8″, and restore my faith by going to church. When I opened the letter and read it, I laughed because of how many thing I did not do.
It would be very easy for me to say that this semester went perfectly, and that I am so happy with how things are going. However, I want to be honest. I knew that the University of Michigan would be challenging, but I never expected myself to be struggling to pull off a B+ in intro to Bio or spending two hours a night working on Spanish homework. Never the less, school is school, and I have learned to deal with not getting the straight A+’s that I got in high school. While I have made friends at U of M, the vast majority of them are not in HSSP. If I knew that many of the HSSP friends groups would be set after welcome week, I would have tried a lot harder to make friends within HSSP instead of hanging out with my friends outside of it.
I think that the cherry on top of a rough first semester was missing my second observation yesterday. For some reason, even though I checked Ctools last week, I was convinced that my observation was this morning. After about thirty minutes of very awkwardly standing at the reception desk of the Cardiovascular center, we figured out that I had the wrong day. So, now I have deal with the fact that the only class I should have easily gotten an A in will now be at highest a B.
Even though my first semester did not go exactly how I thought it would, it was definitely a valuable learning experience. I came in to U of M thinking the only way to medical school was through a science major. Now that I know it is not, I have switched my major to International Studies and Spanish. Like most freshman, this was my first time living without my parents, doing my own laundry, and having complete freedom. Even though my GPA is not what I wanted, I am most proud of myself for getting through Spanish 232 and maintaining my desire to keep learning the language. Also, after a lot of “networking”, I found myself a research position outside of UROP. I am optimistic that next semester will be better than this one, and I will definitely enter next semester with a more positive attitude as I think I have finally adjusted to life at U of M.
Before coming to school, I had no idea what college would be like. Therefore, I didn’t have many expectations of how things would go. In my letter, I expressed that I was scared for the future simply because I had no idea what was coming for me. I knew classes would be hard, but I didn’t know just how hard they would be. I knew there would be times where I was stressed, but I didn’t know if I’d be able to handle that well. I knew that I would be around other people almost all hours of the day, but I didn’t know that sometimes I would feel lonely.
On a professional level, I wrote that one of my goal’s for this year is to be more confident in myself and my abilities. Growing up, I struggled with self-confidence issues. Coming into college, I wanted to overcome these struggles once and for all. I think that I have made great progress in this goal. This progress was shown in my reaction to my second general chemistry exam. I did not do very well on it, and although some of my classmates did slightly better, I never questioned my intelligence. I am confident that I am smart enough to be here, and do not let the accomplishments of others make me feel like I am not good enough. I am proud of this, because it is so important to believe in yourself whenever you’re doing something that is important to you.
On a personal level, I wrote in my letter that I didn’t want to be afraid of what other people thought about me and wanted to make friends by being myself. HSSP has really allowed me to do this — I always feel like I’m loved and accepted.
This semester has taught me a lot about what the college atmosphere is like. We here all about it our senior year from out parents, our siblings, and our teachers, but none of us know how it really feels until we get hear. Being from across the country in a small neighborhood in California, I felt a little out of place at the start of the year. My goal at the beginning of the semester was to find my comfort zone, and to find a group of people I could share memories with. And while that may have taken a little while to develop, I can say that I am happy with my current situation. I feel like I have found my comfort zone and have found a group of people which i can rely upon. But now, there comes the real challenge, and that is finding out what I want to do with my future. While my first semester of college has helped me narrow it down, I can’t help but feel a little lost. I’m not sure if I haven’t found my passion or that I just haven’t realized it yet. Regardless, i look forward to finding it. What college has taught me is also to not get down on yourself. There will be difficulties and bumps in the road, hitting you harder than the grade you received on your last midterm. Sometimes when we feel the worst is when we achieve the most, but we fail to realize it.