If I could travel back in time to talk to myself at the beginning of freshman year, I would tell myself that I was about to have the best year of my life. I should take advantage of every night out, of every second hanging out with friends, and every moment in Ann Arbor. Although rush is the worst thing ever, it will end up being your favorite part about freshman year. I would tell myself to take advantage of the warm weather and go outside as much as possible because it isn’t as sunny and warm in the winter as Colorado. As far as school, you really underestimate yourself. High school really prepared you well for college, and it is possible to get all As, so try your hardest. Make sure you call your mom once in a while and make time for them when they come to parents weekend. Most importantly, make sure to have fun, but also work your hardest. And get ready for game days because they are about to be the best days of the year. Don’t take them for granted!
In the same way that Hitler convinced an entire army to kill almost an entire population, people can ignore the truth and see only what they want to see. The term for this in psychology in confirmation bias. Confirmation bias is when we interpret what we see as evidence of what we want to see. Hitler manipulated is army into seeing the “benefit” of their actions. In Tuskegee Experiment, the researchers were asked if what they did was wrong, and they said no. They believed that what they were doing was necessary and important, even if it meant killing many people. They are so focused on their goal that they block out the truth. In both circumstances, the “good” of the experiment blinded them from the “bad.”
As I move forward in my career, it is important that I always consider how the other person will feel. We must consider the outcome of our actions from all sides of the situation. Sometimes things that we think are “good” others might think the opposite. We must recognize that others have different lifestyles and values. It is important that we discuss these topics to recognize that horrible things like this still occur. It’s not an issue that happened a long time ago and doesn’t come up anymore. The question of what is right and what is wrong can never be answered. Not to mention that cultures all over the world have different values and ways of seeing life. Something that seems “wrong” to Americans may be completely normal somewhere else. In the medical world, the question becomes, what happens when you treat someone from a different culture who has different ethical standards than you do?
I remember writing the letter to myself and feeling very apprehensive about HSSP, making friends, Michigan, pretty much everything. I didn’t know where I would fit in and who I would be friends with. I am from Colorado, and I didn’t know anyone coming here. Immediately everyone got together with people they knew from high school, and I just tagged along. Looking back, I think it’s funny how worried I was. Now, I am so happy, and I love everything about Michigan. As far as what I want to do with my life, I think I am more confused than I was coming into Michigan, but that’s okay. I am grateful for HSSP because it is showing me different parts of health care that I have never considered before. I want to explore public health and other majors. As far as the social aspect of college, I am proud of myself. I have the best of both worlds because I love my friends in HSSP that I hang out with every day, and I also joined a sorority. I don’t really consider myself super introverted anymore. I like socializing and meeting new people. This semester I also discovered that I can be successful in college, even at a really good school. I didn’t know what to expect coming in, but, I am surprising myself by how good my grades are. I am learning that I can survive on my own, and (unlike my friends who live in Ann Arbor) I can do my own laundry. Next semester I want to get involved more and join more clubs. I held back this semester because I didn’t want to commit myself to too much. Now I know what I can handle and how to balance everything.
The organizational aspect of SEM plays a huge role in socioeconomic disparity in healthy eating. Fast food and other unhealthy meals generally are very cheap. In some cases, the $1 menu at McDonalds might be a person’s only option. In comparison, someone of higher economic status might be more likely to not only eat well, but eat all organic or become a vegan or be gluten free by choice. The prices of food largely limit the availability of healthy options because people simply cannot afford it. Another aspect on the organizational level of SEM is food availability. In college, students eat what the dining hall offers. It doesn’t matter if it is healthy or not, people will eat it because that is their only option. On the interpersonal level, people generally follow the same health patterns as their friends and families. As children, we completely depend on our parents to decide what we will be eating each day. Because of this, their healthy or unhealthy habits are generally passed down to their kids. Finally, on the intrapersonal level, each individual’s knowledge about food defines how healthy or unhealthy a person is. Someone of lower socioeconomic class might not have the same education and knowledge regarding diet and healthy eating as someone of higher status. In addition, we are not all chefs, and do not all have the skills to create grand yet healthy meals.
A simple intervention on the interpersonal level is buying a cookbook. Cookbooks can provide a variety of healthy meals. They are usually easy to follow and allow others to teach us their cooking skills and ideas. Regardless of socioeconomic class, anyone can follow a cookbook and make a good, healthy meal. In doing so, we expand our cooking knowledge.