Browsed by
Author: Darren Young

End of the Year Post

End of the Year Post

Reflect upon a challenge that you encountered this academic year. How, if at all, did you overcome it and grow from it? 

If there’s one thing that college has taught me, it’s that failure isn’t something that should never happen, but rather, it’s an opportunity to grow. Certainly, this notion is incredibly idealistic and makes the best of a situation, but I’ve found that trying to understand why I screwed up rather than get negative after the ordeal is a much more constructive way to ensure that it never happens again. For example, there was one instance where I had trouble managing my work and I was unable to submit my assignment at the appointed time, resulting in a rather severe penalty towards my grade.

Following the event, I was consumed with negative feelings of “how could this happen, why didn’t I do better, etc…” However, over time, I realized that these emotions did nothing to help my situation; they just exacerbated a cycle of inaction and self-pity that would only make my worth ethic even worse. And so I learned to not focus on those negatives, to stop comparing myself to others and thinking they’d done so well, why can’t I be like them, and focusing more on the fact that here’s why I screwed up, let’s think of how to make sure this doesn’t happen next time.

So in the end, college has brought its fair share of challenges and taught me that not only is failure a natural course in life, but it’s something we should use to grow from. And in my opinion, letting failure consume and dictate your life, is perhaps the greatest way you can perpetuate it.

End of Semester Refelction

End of Semester Refelction

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.