Prior to Adam’s lecture I really did not know much about research. I am not a part of any research projects currently, nor have I ever been, so I found “Research 101” quite beneficial. The thing that shocked me most in this week’s lecture, were all the variables and parts of research you must consider in order to have a flawless experiment or observation setup. There are so many aspects of research that it is a wonder projects are ever completed. This week’s discussion also furthered my knowledge of confounding variables, and how often enough researchers may forget the tiniest variable when designing their layout. As I go forward in my schooling and into my career path, I am certain that research will play a prominent role in my life. Since I attend one of the greatest research universities across the country, I hope to find at least one opportunity to engage in. I want to be a sociology major and I am considering joining a program the department offers that is similar to UROP, but focuses solely on observing the social aspect of a chosen topic. After college I plan to become a Physician Assistant, and no matter where I practice, whether it be in the hospital or in family medicine, I will most likely need to consume, learn from, and refer to various sources of research. In the health and medicine field, professionals are continuously learning and I will probably need to adapt my practices to new findings from up-and-coming research at least a few times.
A ton has changed for me over the course of this semester. I feel as though I have matured and grown immensely since the first day of moving in. I have faced my share of struggles this semester, but in the end I am thankful for every single experience I have had. I am proud of myself for adjusting to living on my own and venturing outside my comfort bubble this semester. I am also proud of how well I did in the majority of my classes thus far. As I wished for myself in my letter from the beginning of the year I stayed up to date on my assignments for the most part and kept my schoolwork organized. What I want to work on is taking care of myself. I severely lacked in taking care of my physical, emotional, and mental well being. I did not keep up on workouts or eat the best this semester. My goal is to overcome this problem and to learn better healthy behaviors. As far as my emotional health goes I need to overcome my timidness and socialize more. Most of my problem with socializing comes from my poor mental state. I was not caring for my anxiety and I put myself in unnecessarily stressful situations. College is tough, but facing adversity this first semester has shown me how I need to change my lifestyle. I feel better prepared to balance every aspect of my life and I am ready to tackle the second semester head on.
As we learned this week our unique social identities shape our health in numerous ways. One of my identities that may positively shape my health is my race. As a Caucasian in this country the truth, however horrific, is that I have privilege. Racism has been prevalent in our nation since its founding. Discrimination of minorities still rages on through many aspects of life. Although we would expect healthcare providers and practitioners to be bias free and treat everyone equally, this is not the case. Whites often receive better quality of treatment than those belonging to other racial and ethnic groups. An example of this is the fact that Caucasians receive more pain relievers than other races do.
An identity of mine that may have an adverse effect on my health is my socioeconomic status. As a family in the lower- middle class we have had our share of struggles: waiting to see if going to the doctor is really necessary, refusing prescriptions that come with a high cost, deciding if expensive dental care is really worth it or if it can wait, trying to find medicines or treatments for my dad’s psoriasis that won’t break the bank, and many others. Living with a lower SES can be difficult and may result in poorer health due to the fact that it is harder to access healthcare.