Now that I am done with freshman year of college I can look back and reflect of the time that went by oh so quickly. If I could go back and tell myself something at the beginning of freshman year it would be this: Don’t limit yourself. The beauty of this idea is it covers so many ideas. In terms of academics, don’t limit yourself to just the classes I need to take to get the degree I want. Take other classes for fun. Take hard classes to challenge yourself. Take obscure classes to expand your thoughts. The possibilities are endless and who knows, maybe it will pay off and you might find your calling. In terms of social life, don’t limit yourself to the people in your hall. Yes, make friends with those people and hang out with them but there are 50,000 other kids at Michigan: go meet them. Go to sporting events all the time, go to shows, go to parties etc. College lasts 4 years and some people meet their life long partners and best friends in college. It is extremely important to meet people and make connections. I’m reminded of a quote that I often think of in situations like this: “Its not about the grades you make, its about the hands you shake.” It seems funny and stupid because of course grades matter, and this is true. But that quote is extremely true to its meaning in that when you have connections to build upon it makes it a lot easier to get internships, jobs, etc down the road. In terms of the school itself, don’t limit yourself to just your living area. Go out and see the campus. Go out and see Ann Arbor. Go to the arb, go to the stadiums when there isn’t a game going on, go to the restaurants way down in the heart of AA. Go experience the world around you and make the most of the 4 years you have here. Looking back at my freshman year, I can remember welcome week like it was yesterday. That is a scary thought. You blink a second time and sophomore year is over. Turn your head once and you’re down with college. These 4 years are way too short to not live them to the fullest value. Join as many clubs as you can, most of them don’t require attendance so join them and then see if you like them or not. Do NOT spend your free time watching movies or TV shows all day, finish your work, and go out and see what there is to see. Of course there is going to be times where you watch tv thats fine, but do it with a friend or make sure you’re not missing something else you could be doing. Those movies aren’t going anywhere but the time at college is. Make sure you have your priorities straight. Despite this letter to myself seeming regretful, it is actually mostly experience speaking. I didn’t watch many movies, I did go to a lot of sporting events, I did go out and meet new people. I am happy I did so too because I can look back and thank myself for the memories I made and the friends I made in that time. I have 3 more years to expand on those and I plan to take full advantage of that time. I am thankful for all of the support I received freshman year from hall-mates, friends, family, etc. I look forward to next year.
Personally, I was very surprised at this panel because I knew almost none of the logistics behind the rehab and recovery of drug abuse. I learned so much in this panel and it was extremely interesting to hear the personal stories of some of these people. Hearing their pasts and thinking about how they turned their lives around through this program made me realize how important recovery is for the well-being of these people. This is the first step to take as a future health professional to understand and be aware of the people in need of recovery programs. I feel like the addiction and recovery programs are highly neglected in the health profession and the education of this. Even Adam said he had so much to learn about this subject. The reason it is important to educate students on this is because of the growing opioid epidemic in America and the world so more and more people need to invest their time into recovery programs. After hearing this panel, I have a different perspective on people in recovery programs. I have a new respect for them as well because I can see that people who could be in the worst shape of their life can turn around their lives completely. Considering this, has your perspective on people in recovery changed from this panel? What kinds of things did you learn from this panel that you think is important for future health professionals to know?
Overall, I think it is uncanny to say anyone in this class hasn’t changed personally and professionally at least somewhat. For me, I have been exposed to a lot more than I thought possible in terms of the health care world. I didn’t realize how many people and opportunities there are in health care- not just doctors, nurses, and PAs. Personally, I think I have really been opened up to the idea that there are so many opportunities for me that I may not even know exist yet. I learned that I need to be patient with my life decisions in that I don’t need to worry about not having every step of the way figured out right now. The professional autobiographies showed me the multitude of paths people have taken to get to work in the healthcare world- and all of them had different backgrounds, and means of getting to where they are today. I am most proud of everything I have learned this year- not just in HSSP but in my first semester in general. I can honestly look back on the semester and say that I have grow intellectually, and gained experiences that will help me build and grow as a person. I can also be proud of all the specific things I have learned in each of my classes which means I am going in the right direction. Something I want to work to improve next semester is improving my relationships with some of my teacher and GSIs. The first semester made it difficult for me to properly introduce myself and get to know some of them because I felt so caught up in all the new activities in college that I didn’t ever seem to know a good time to do so. In the letter to myself at the beginning of the year, I told myself I was going to be organized and ensure I stay on top of my priorities. For the most part, I have maintained this promise to myself which is pleasing to look back on and see. I can say with honesty an pride that I am satisfied with how my first semester has gone and there isn’t much I regret or would change too much. Of course, there is always room for improvement but it takes making mistakes to learn from them and grow as a person.
Personally, I felt like this lecture opened my eyes to the process of how the opioid epidemic began. I was surprised to see how some of these drugs began as simple pain medications and how WWI sparked morphine addiction in the United States. Looking at it in hindsight, it is very clear that one thing led to another and it seems crazy how out of hand it has gotten since these drugs (opium, morphine, heroin) were first used as medicine. I was also very surprised at the idea that hospitals and doctors began using pain as a vital sign. Again, it is easy for me to judge in hindsight, but pain is different for everybody so I am baffled that they could create a standard based on something that varies for each person. And it proved to be one of the main reasons why the opioid epidemic has gotten to the point that it is at right now. What is something that surprised you from this lecture and how has that affected the growing issue of opioid addiction?
SEM stands for The social- ecological model is something that can be used to categorize certain topics of discussion and how each of these models has either helped or hurt the issue at hand. The social-ecological model consists of 5 different levels. These levels include:
- Intrapersonal factors
- Interpersonal factors
- Organizational factors
- Community factors
- Public policy
Of these different levels, all of them can be intervened with to try to mitigate the problem of opioid use, but three in particular that would be most effective are public policy, community factors, and organizational factors. It is necessary to regulate these drugs by federal laws, which makes it more difficult to obtain these drugs in the first place. However, people who are addicted already are still going to find a way to obtain these drugs so community factors become important because it allows for change on a smaller scale. Usually people who are effected by opioids aren’t all spread out within an area, they are within a certain community so people within the community that is effected needs some organization to help them. And lastly is just that-organization. Without some standards and outlines to guide people, it will be very difficult for people to get the help they need. What are some ways these different levels of the SEM can help create positive change for this nationwide issue? Do you believe this is something that needs immediate attention or is it not a priority right now for the United States?