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Author: Johnathan Nguyen

Where did the time go?

Where did the time go?

When stepping on the campus at the University of Michigan, I wanted to go back home. Coming from a small town, I always felt close to my family as well as my community back at home but I looked at the vast size and population of the University of Michigan which has more people attending than there are people in my hometown. September was a very difficult month because of this. I tend to be more on the reserved side so meeting new people was nerve-wracking. But as I eventually became more open, I got the chance to meet awesome new people and make a few great friends. This was one of the things that worried me the most while coming to college is to find friends that would help me through my college career. Now looking back at this, I was shocked at how much I grew since I first moved into Couzens Hall in August. I had no idea what I was doing with my life, did not know anyone, and was pretty timid. Now, I am definitely more open, have some sort of guidance in my path through life, and have made great friends. Before you know it, your first year at college is now over. This just hit me in the face while typing this blog post.

Coming to the University of Michigan also poses many other challenges as well. The academics here are pretty rigorous and I know it will be difficult to get good grades and maintain my course workload. My first exam I took at the University of Michigan was Spanish 232. For me, I thought I knew what I was doing and thought I did pretty decent on it, but when I received my score back, I was in utter shock that I was not acing my exams like I usually do. I decided that I needed to make a game plan. I was going to study all of the time and make sure that I do well in all of my classes. For this, I have neglected the other aspects of my life and this has actually made me perform worse. I realize that although academics and studying are critical to success, I need to let myself relax and have fun once in awhile. If I could go back to my freshmen self at the beginning of the year, I would tell him that relax a bit and enjoy life. Studying all the time is not good, and it will only make yourself worse. I am thankful to be part of the Health Sciences Scholars Program, and I thank you guys for a great year.

College Students and Mental Health

College Students and Mental Health

Reflecting back on this lecture, I was utterly shocked at the number of students who have some form of mental illness-related disorders during their time in college. Approximately 1/3 college students will experience some form of mental disorders. This shows that there needs to be some changes to how we as  a community and as a University approach and solve Mental Health. While the University of Michigan does provide a plethora of resources about mental wellness to their students, the students are not actively seeking out for help. I think that the University of Michigan does not do a good job of actively saying and reinforcing that there is always help for the students. Although there are many resources, if the students do not know about it nor does the college advertise about it, the students will not use the resource available to them. Many students do not even know where CAPS is, the Counseling and Psychological Services.

There is also a heavy stigma about mental health as well. The University of Michigan is slowly reducing the stigma involving mental health but there are definitely some improvements that could be made. Ways that we could make this option better and available for the students is to actually have counselors go around campus dorms and just talk with students if they need it. Also, I think we should have a required students session about mental health and wellness as well. The University of Michigan already has relationship remix as one of their required sessions for to attend in order to be aware of our physical safety and health. I think that mental wellness and health is just as important as physical health. This would greatly reduce the stigma of taking care of our mental wellness as well as provide the necessary information for students about where to seek for help if needed. My question to you guys is: what other ways can we reduce the stigma and what ways can we advertise that there are a plethora of resources available for students to use?

End of Term Reflection

End of Term Reflection

Coming into the University of Michigan, I was daunted and scared of the vast size of this college. I came from a small rural town which was Holland, Michigan. I was one of the few from my area that got the privilege to attend to such a great university. When I got here, I felt out of place, I did not know anyone nor was I particularly good at socializing with others. I left the safety net of my home which consisted of my mother, my younger sister, and my younger brother. When I wrote the letter to my future self, I planned on finding friends and a community of people where I could fit in. I also planned on doing a lot of community service and things that would benefit me. Through these things, I thought I would be able to build myself as a person, as a student who wanted to become a professional, and ultimately toward going to medical school.

At the start of the semester, I wanted to pursue a career in family medicine, but after this semester, I realized that there were many other health-related professions that I needed to explore still. I was intrigued at the different amount of medical staff needed to run a clinic. After shadowing in the Emergency room and the Pediatric Hospital, it has opened my mind to many other career pathways that I might want to do. I was planning on making improvements in my professional career my shadowing my doctors to find a more particular interest and also, I planned on following my passions and hopefully I would get an opportunity to do research in the lab in the coming year.

Things that I was proud of this semester was I thought I found my spot here at the University of Michigan. I had found a community here like Health Science Scholars Program and Harvest. I enjoyed my classes here at the University of Michigan, and I also did not feel as anxious and daunted at the University of Michigan when I first came here. I also felt like I know where I’m heading professionally. With the support, motivation, and encouragement of my fellow peers and professors, I knew that I could do this. I could achieve my dreams if I put in the effort and be myself. This was one of the things I had mentioned in my letter and to my surprise, it was still true up to this day. I would not give up and I still felt ambitious to my dreams and goals of going to med school even though I was feeling ambivalent and lost at the end of the semester. I obviously still needed to work on my goals and shape them. I needed to stay on track and focus and not lose track of it.

As the semester came to an end, I knew that next semester, I needed to continue doing things that I enjoyed like volunteering and that I needed to explore the vast array of fields with the mind that I could always find something that was for me. From the start, I was confused by my purpose in life and now I felt like I had a purpose and a dream. Thank you to everyone who had made this semester very enjoyable.!

Week 1-On Purpose: Johnathan Nguyen

Week 1-On Purpose: Johnathan Nguyen

What do you think your purpose is? How will you find it if you don’t know? How will you maintain or change it if you do know? What excuses do you use in your life? How can you combat against these excuses and continue to push forward toward your passion? What do you think Larry means when he finishes his talk with the word “unless?”

I was the struck with the idea of “what is MY PURPOSE in life?” I haven’t really thought much of it until Dr. Strecher heavily emphasized that I am the one who gets to decide what steps I take to to have a purpose which revolves around having a goal along with what my values are. I think my purpose in life is to grow up, learn, serve, and give back to people like my mom who gave her all, my family, my friends, my community, and those who have helped walk and guide me where I stand today. I could have not possibly have made it to Michigan without the encouragement and support of those who would believe in me even though I may have doubts at times.  I’m still in the hazy process of determining what my purpose in life is. Things that I might do I’m still unsure would be explore. I am in control of my life and I need to get the full experience of this world to truly figure out where my passions lay. Sticking with my current purpose now, I would maintain it by always striving to do well in school and hope to come back and serve those who has given me the encouragement and support to get here. 

Excuses that I have used is that I always have time to figure stuff out and procrastinate a bit. That’s not true sometimes. Also, I would discourage myself many times when I didn’t do as well as I hope so I would use the excuse of a bad experience or failure to explain that I am not good enough for this. In order to combat this, I have to remind myself that I got here to Michigan for a reason. We are the Leaders and the Best. Talk to someone, find support and encouragement within the community. Nice thoughts are what always keep me going. 

After watching the video of the Ted Talk by Larry, he ended on a particular word which is “Unless…” I think that this cliffhanger word leaves us to answer what I need to do get a great job. We as a people have to make some changes in our lives in order to get that job that we so desire using our goals and values to make a purpose and impact in our lives. We need to make the most of it in order to be successful.