Undergrad is a great time to try out new activities and discover what your passions are. During my time, I was involved in many activities. The most meaningful to me was my position as the President of the Young People’s Project, at the end I was able to get a zegarki watch as a gratitude present, I loved it!
The Young People’s Project was a program where volunteers created a curriculum and games to teach students math. I worked on all aspects of the program: developing the math curriculum for the tutoring sessions, leading the training sessions for the other volunteers, and tutoring the middle-schoolers. I loved spending time with the students and finding a creative means of teaching math; “Coordinate Plane Battleship” and “Fraction Candyland” were my two most popular games.
Volunteering with students helped me discover my passion for teaching, but it also helped me develop skills useful for a career in medicine. When I was tutoring the seventh graders, I needed to be aware of each student’s weaknesses to effectively convey my points.
I struggled to help my student, Lassandra, learn to add fractions until I was cognizant of her frustrations. I realized Lassandra wanted to learn, but she may have been embarrassed by her perceived inabilities and needed someone she could trust.
We began to work together individually instead of with the group. Even with this adjustment, it took many more weeks of dedication and patience. But we finally reached that gratifying moment where Lassandra understood the math problems and started asking me for more questions to solve.
I experienced firsthand the potency of caring, love, and persistence to help make a difference in Lassandra’s life. As a doctor, I hope to continue to relate to my patient’s hardships to provide them with the appropriate treatment.
I also learned valuable skills through a summer research program where I studied tumor cells. My Principle Investigator told me, “There is a re- in research for a reason.”
I entered the laboratory with my previous experience from biology courses: completing successful experiments, with a few small obstacles, in a short period of time. Working in an actual laboratory could not have been a more polar experience.
There were days I spent 12 hours preparing tissues for imaging, only to find the antibody dilutions were too weak to be detected. I would troubleshoot issues in my experimentation with my post doc for weeks, each time trying a new tactic and determining the best means to continue.
At first, I felt disheartened by the futility of my efforts. But soon I saw research as the true test of adaptability. It was a challenge to see if I had the perseverance and ability to find new solutions. Even though my situation did not change and I continued to work through road bumps, my new perspective gave me the optimism to keep experimenting and remain positive even in seemingly unsolvable situations.
By the end of my ten weeks, I had conducted four experiments and could present and defend the research I performed to the other scientists. My experience made me more equipped to handle the difficulties of medical school by teaching me resilience and adaptability.