The Finish Line

With about three and three-quarters years of my undergraduate education completed, the countdown to graduation has begun. If all goes according to plan, I will be walking across the stage to receive my degree in early May.

Looking back on my time at Texas A&M, I am grateful for the opportunities provided by the hardworking professors, faculty, and staff. Everyone devoted their efforts to create an environment conducive to knowledge and growth. The professors never failed to show their dedication to a student’s success, going above and beyond the classroom.

The student body of Texas A&M continuously demonstrates what it means to be an Aggie. For most, college is the first time on one’s own, but hardly any make it through their four years alone.

The numerous and diverse student body allows anyone to find their group, a place to belong, and people to lean on. Events like Silver Taps or Aggie Muster show that regardless of your individual involvement, a student’s impact reaches far beyond their inner circle.

As I prepare to leave Texas A&M, I return to where I started. I will move from something I worked hard to know and step forward into another unknown adventure with only a vague sense of a plan.

The coming future is another “if it all goes to plan.” I will be taking a gap year to work on my medical school application and gain more research and medical experiences.

I will move home and return to life under my parents’ roof. I am excited to no longer have to grocery shop for myself, but I think being back will motivate me to succeed.

No matter what is to come, the only sure thing is, I will not stop working toward my dream of being a physician.

But before I get ahead of myself, I need to make sure I graduate, so I’m going to get back to studying for physiology.

I will see you in May, at the finish line.

Work Hard but Not “Too” Hard

In the last five months, I had taken the MCAT (the standardized examination for prospective medical students), received my Aggie Ring, ended and began semesters, lived in Spain, and applied to medical school.

After the summer I had, I did not think I was ready to get back to the grind. With only 10 weeks to cram as many experiences into my study aboard/internship in Barcelona, Spain, I chose to procrastinate my responsibilities back home.

A biomedical sciences (BIMS) student must balance academic, extracurricular, social, and health duties, while remaining focused on the future. Now imagine mastering the balance and then in comes senior year, throwing on top of everything else the responsibility of medical school applications.

The problem is, as much as we want to give everything 100 percent of our effort, our humanity limits are the capability to manage only a few arduous tasks. Though restricted, it is essential to remember that non-academic pursuits are equally as critical to our future as an education.

So this summer, when I traded a little more stress during these past few weeks for the 10-weeks of pure bliss in Europe, it honestly felt like I robbed the bank. The once-in-a-lifetime opportunity demanded I completely immerse myself in the experience.

Now, a quarter of the way through my second to last semester at Texas A&M, I can finally breathe. But pre-health professional students sign up for a lot more than the average undergraduate, and success can cost every ounce of energy available. With the next round of tests around the corner, there is not much time to catch my breath; though my attention is required elsewhere, I will not forget about myself.

One of the most valuable lessons I have learned while here at Texas A&M is recognizing when I am pushing myself to the brink of insanity. So, when the to-do list seems infinite and life becomes a little overwhelming, I encourage everyone try to take a break, do something fun, and remember, work hard but not too hard.