If I could travel back to the beginning of my freshman year, I would tell myself that college is a lot harder than high school but it is not impossible. I would tell myself that I am a lot more capable than I thought if I push myself. I would also tell myself to take everyone’s advice with a little grain of salt. Only you know what is good for you. It’s nice to hear from other people’s perspectives but that’s the thing, it is their perspective and not yours. Everyone in the beginning of this year told me it would be ridiculously hard to take CHEM 210/211 with BIO 172 in my first semester. They were right but it was a much needed reality check to see what I can actually do if I went in to U of M with the goal of challenging myself.
I would also tell myself that things will work out. The stress is terrible throughout school but things have a nifty little way of working out. Stress about what you can control. Don’t stress about things you can’t. You’ll feel a lot better and stay a lot healthier.
I think that researchers, like the ones we talked about in class, thought they were doing “good” in some way but actually ended up doing harm to their study participants because they were only focused and set on seeing results, no matter how they got them, even if that means putting study participants in harm’s way. They forgot that the subjects were actual humans beings.
I don’t think there are that many more steps that I, personally, need to take as I move forward in my career, no matter what research I do. Unfortunately, this is because people in the past have made it required for researchers now to protect their subjects (even though researches should always protect their study participants) with the establishments of the Nuremberg Code and the IRB.
Topics like these should always be discussed, no matter if your research involves humans or not. Conducting research and being on the edge of knowledge will always have its risk and it is important to learn from our past mistakes in order for them to not be repeated again in the future.
Looking back on my letter that I wrote at the beginning of this year, I was very enthusiastic about this semester. I talked about how I was excited for my classes and my work and that excitement, while not gone, is definitely curved by the stress of finals, something I didn’t take into consideration when I was writing that letter. Finals seemed so far away from the time that I wrote the letter to myself.
I think I have learned what it takes to be in college. It is a different environment to high school or anything else. I am most proud of motivating myself to study on my own time. Because of my classes, I rarely have assignments. Most of my grades are determined by exams. I learned how to set time aside to study and how to prioritize my tasks. Studying is still something I want to improve on for next semester and I’m sure I will with enough practice. I hope to go into the next semester with the same enthusiasm as I did the first.
One idea that surprised me during Joyce’s presentation/the panel was how you don’t need to be perfect. Obviously, you want to do well but it was comforting to know that a couple mistakes along the way won’t be the end of your pursuit to whatever you want to do. Your grades and GPA are just numbers.
For me personally, I think it will be hard to fully realize this. To me, grades and GPA were incredibly important throughout high school and the idea that “you need good grades and a good GPA to be admitted into the school you want to go to” was drilled into my head. I felt that good grades and GPA were the first “checkpoint” admission offices look at before they decide if they should look further at your profile and look at your extracurricular activities or essays. It was so eye-opening to hear the panel of the graduates tell us that they have failed and retaken classes but were still able to go on and be successful in graduate school, regardless of what they went to graduate school for. This was so comforting to hear especially with final exams coming up in the next couple of weeks.
My questions to you: What would be the outcome IF grades and GPA were all schools (undergraduate and graduate) looked at? How has holistic review changed the admissions process for the better?