There have been many times where I had to physically sit down and reevaluate my life this semester. It has been an incredible adventure and I learned so many things but if I was able to talk to my freshman self, I would warn him of the things to come. Coming into college, I was so excited to leave behind my home town and to live in a new city where no one knew me. I was so busy fantasizing about my new life in Ann Arbor that I didn’t really care about how hard my classes were going to be. I was at the top of my high school and nothing really challenged me academically up until college. I believed that I could take 18 credits my first semester of college and that was my first mistake. The classes wouldn’t be that difficult if I had put time into studying. I got my wakeup call when I received two D’s on my first two exams. I would tell my past self to first learn how to study and then to study more often. I also wished that I explored more fields. UMich is such a big school with so many resources and I regret not exploring options other than the health sciences. Although I still have a passion for health, I kind of feel tied down to that set path and I feel like I can’t really explore other options. There are many things that I kind of regret but I am also proud that I survived this far. My many mistakes have taught me how to pick myself back up and move on.
Before this lecture, I though I understood what research was and that was very simple. This lecture has shown me how very little I knew about research. I did not realize the complexity of the field of research and how that there were so many different ways of conducting research like the different types of studies. One thing that really struck me was how we go to one of the largest research universities and how I knew very little about research. I’ve previously heard about the Tuskegee syphilis experiment and the Nazi experiments, but just hearing the stories again really showed me how people can abuse research. I also did not really think about the ethical problems that exists with normal experiments. When you’re an observer of research, there is no name and face attached, so it is easy to sometimes forget that these are actual people that you are experimenting with. A misconception that I had with research was that it was that every research project started from scratch. I learned that some research could be a collection of other people’s research.
I’ve later realized that important of research and how vital it is to have experience in research for my career. Next year, I hope to participate in UROP and hopefully like it enough that I continue that research. I want to practice medicine and I think that medicine is constantly evolving because of new findings that come out of research. I think that a doctor can contribute to research and also utilize it
In all honesty, I don’t really know how I changed professionally. I think college has made me more studious. Since I’m surrounded by so many well educated people, I think they are rubbing off on me. I guess you could say I changed professionally by learning to act more mature and using bigger words because of my environment. Personally, I think I changed in some ways. The first week of college was a total culture shock for me. Back home, I was always used to being at the top in school and everything I did I did with ease. On my first exam I got a D so that experience really humbled me. Being surrounded by so many people smarter than me has really humbled me too and it pushed me to try even harder. The competitiveness of UMich has benefitted me in a positive way. I am most proud of myself making through my first semester of college. In my letter to myself, I wrote about how scared I was about starting all over again. My depression was at its highest during the first half of the semester and I was just really worried about my academic and social life. I kind of regret taking eighteen credits this semester because I think it just made me feel worse. I was too busy with work and trying to get things done so I neglected my social life. In my letter, I said that I was not worried about academics but I was more worried about my social life. Looking back, I should of worried about academics. I didn’t know school was going to be this hardI think next semester will be better because I learned my lesson with the whole scheduling thing. I’m getting used to college but I’m still learning how to not procrastinate. Next semester I want to start not procrastination and I also want to focus on my mental health more. I think that if I take less credits, I will have more free time which would probably help with my happiness. I’m so glad that this semester flew by because I’m ready to start a new one.
Before the lecture last week, I did not realize how many factors can affect your health. I thought the main way you could be healthy was to eat your fruits and vegetables and exercise, but in reality there are way more factors. Being aware of my intersectionality, I can find the ways my social identities affect my health.
My parents were refugees from the communist regime in Vietnam so they came to this country with no money. I grew up with very low income so I could only eat what my parents could afford and that usually consisted of fast food. My family’s lack of money very often negatively affected my heath. My parents could not afford to take me to the doctor’s every time I was sick and I was sick often. My family is financially better now but going to the doctor’s is still kind of foreign to me.
Being a full time student is like my job right now so I think UMich is a social determinant. Here at the University of Michigan, our tuition pays for healthcare so we can use it for STI testing or psychiatric help. At UHS I got some blood work done and it was “free” because my tuition payed for it. Students here at UMich also have access to the CCRB. There are numerous resources here that the university offers that can help us with not just our physical health but our mental health. I also went to one of the flu shot clinics that the university offers.
There are many social determinants that can negatively affect our health. It is sad that we can not change some of these things or they are hard to change, such as I can’t change my race or change my socioeconomic status.