If I could go back in time and give myself advice at the beginning of my freshman year, it would definitely be to not worry that much about getting good grades and to enjoy yourself more. Coming into college as a pre-med student, I was definitely worried about getting of to a good start and making sure to keep my gpa high. As a result, I kind of stayed away from joining clubs or greek life or anything like that and focused entirely on school. Now looking back, I realize that there were so many things that I was really interested in but didn’t do because I was too concerned with academics. If I could do it again, I would make sure that I did more things that were fun for me. One of my number one priorities next year as a sophomore will definitely be to take more advantage of the universities great resources and organizations. Meanwhile, I will try to tone back my focus on academics as I now know that I am able to balance both aspects of college. Another thing I would tell myself if I could travel back in time, is to not sweat over doing poorly on an exam, especially the first one of the semester. In my chemistry class for both the winter and fall term, I did poorly on the first exam. But, in every exam afterwards, I improved and ended up doing well overall. I think at first, I got really stressed about my grades after doing bad on an exam but I have now become less stressed and more at peace.
For me, I never thought twice about my sexual education and how I may or may not have been deprived of crucial and unbiased information. I went to school in a small town in New Jersey and have always felt that my sexual education was very informative and open-minded. We started learning about sex and contraceptives starting in sixth grade and all the way to tenth grade. My teachers never approached the subject with the idea of abstinence being the answer. They acknowledged the fact that people were going to have sex and taught us what to do to ensure safe sexual activity. As you can imagine, I was pretty shocked to hear all the horror stories of how many people have had inadequate and, in many cases, non-existent sexual education. I truly believe that being taught about how to have safe sex is a really important part of a person’s health. I also think that the abstinence-only approach of teaching sex ed is both ignorant and unhelpful. While it is obvious to me that many of the sex ed curriculums around the country are seriously flaws, it is less obvious how to fix the problem. It’s clear that many religious schools and private schools have every right to teach in whatever method they want to encourage, even if it is uninformed and harmful to the students who are sexually active. Forcing every public school to follow the same sex ed curriculum would probably not work either. Given the difficulty of implementing new curriculums in our schools, what do you think would be the best course of action to improve sex ed across the country? If we are not able to fix the way sex is being taught in high school, what are some potential negative affects that could impact young students who are entering college?
I feel like I have changed in a multitude of ways over the course of the semester. I have become way more efficient in terms of how I handle stress and workload. I have also become extremely comfortable with the city of Ann Arbor and the university campus. I remember feeling extremely scared that I would just get destroyed by the amount of work at the college level. To my surprise, I have been able to manage my time well and at no point this entire semester have I felt overwhelmed or incapable. In the letter I wrote to myself at the beginning of the semester, I mentioned a goal of spending more time on academics and improving my time management skills. I think that I was successfully able to do that, studying more than just an hour for an exam and using a planner for the first time in my life. There are also goals I mentioned in my letter that I still have to work on to accomplish. Going into the next semester, I would like to get more involved with the campus events and organizations. I also think I can continue to improve my diet and eat less junk food. While there are always things that I can work on to improve, I can confidently look back at my first semester of college and be proud of how I have grown as a student and a person. Being in HSSP has been a great opportunity for me to meet people and learn more about what I would like to potentially pursue as a career. Next semester, I want to keep making strides and continue to improve both academically and personally.
I have never really thought much about death or how I want to die. What is really important to me is how people view me after I’m gone. One of my biggest fears is to leave this world without making a positive impact on it. As long as something beneficial to society happens because of something I do, I will be more than content with my legacy. For me, making a lot of money and being successful is nice, but it really doesn’t mean much if it doesn’t contribute to moving things forward or making a positive impact. That is one of the biggest reasons pushing me towards the health care field. While a person working for a large business company may make a lot of money in his career, his legacy will ultimately be determined by how much money he makes the company. Doctors, nurses, and dentists, on the other hand, work towards helping and solving people’s problems. I think it would be the coolest thing ever to help save a person’s life. Even if it’s just one person, I can rest easy knowing that I was able to impact someone’s life to such a high and positive degree. For me a legacy like that tops anything else.
What do you want to be remembered for and how much importance do you put into having a lasting legacy?