I would definitely tell myself to take every class/ exam / assignment seriously. It happened (in the past two semester) frequently when I thought one class / exam would be easy or thought an assignment to be not important. When the grades were released I began to regret that I hadn’t tried my best in that class because I thought would be easy or less important.
Another thing I would tell myself is to be more social. The HSSP closing banquet had few photos of me. It felt kind of sad I didn’t participate that much in this great community. I was at a group photo of all 2020 Chinese students on Sunday and I think everybody knows most of the people there, while I couldn’t call out the names of maybe 10 of them. So definitely be more social.
Lastly I want to say, I should probably more active with the community services / internships / programs. I have yet to experience any negative resulting effect. The good thing is that my career direction changed drastically from the first 2/3 of the year, so these types of opportunities probably won’t matter much. As for student organizations and clubs, they don’t really interest me a lot, and also seem time consuming. If I were to be a freshman again I would try out a couple of them just to see if i like it or not (I think of this everything I see people play badminton in the gym).
One of the change I noticed was that I hadn’t had any all-nighter since summer. This might sound very trivial but if you think about, all-nighter is a fairly accurate reflection of how life is going. As a high school junior and senior, I used to have 1-2 all-nighters on average per semester rushing to complete lab reports or papers. The first semester in college without all-nighters means that I have improved a lot in time management. With a heavier course load, tons of distractions, and no supervision, I still managed to complete all major assignments ahead of the deadline without any last-minute begging for extensions. I’m very proud that I’ve made substantial progress in balancing priorities. I have decent grades. I have friends. I slept. I still played video games. I went to CCRB regularly.
The only thing I’m not happy with is that I’m still an introvert. Coming from private high school with tiny class sizes, speaking in class is a lot scarier at Michigan, and I haven’t outcome that. My social circle is also kind of small considering the number of people around me. I rarely took part in the activities going on in the hallway. I don’t even know the names of all my neighbors. I’m yet to come up with a plan to fix this. So talk to me if you see me.
Above are pictures of two men. Both are well known in the medical field. One of them is remembered for giving penicillin, the product of his 13 years of research, to the world for free, saving millions of lives. The other is remembered for raising the price of Daraprim by 41 times over night, making it no longer affordable for those without insurance. In a sense, both of them are considered accomplished in their field. But would you rather be remembered as a humble benefactor of humanity or as a rich douchebag who exploit people in the legal gray zone?
I’ve always felt strongly about having a greater purpose in life. A goal that is bigger than myself and my family and friends. Some people want to be remembered for making a lot of money and living extravagant lives. I want to be remembered as someone who stood for a right cause, as someone who tried to make the lives of others better. Once you make enough fortunate that more money no longer improves the quality of your life, you can either —- use that money to make more money or spend your money on meaningful purposes such as creating employment and promoting education and research. And here’s where I’d like to have as my legacy.