06 Jan

Entering into the year 2022, I have high hopes to make this new year a really great one! The previous year, I graduated from high school with highest honors and enrolled in a liberal arts college, where I made many new connections. After completing my first semester at college, I was exposed to several new experiences and opportunities, many of which I hope to embark on this incoming year. I believe there is a bright future for me ahead, and for all!

In the closing of the previous year, I made several goals and resolutions to pursue and abide by in order to better myself as a person and an academic in the year 2022. Some of my personal changes: I wish to wake up earlier, adhere to a workout plan, and continue helping/inspiring others to be their best self (like through this site). Academically, I am hoping to maintain my 4.0 gpa, delve into much more premedical and medical studies, and apply/attain grants, scholarships, and internship opportunities. Moreover, I have some resolutions which I hope to adhere to, such as eating healthier, spending/saving money much more responsibly, and to eliminate my bad procrastination habits. Altogether, I will elaborate on each goal and resolution below.

Academically, there are several goals I wish to attain by the end of the year and by the end of my first year in college (ending in May). One of my goals is to explore and learn more through premedical and medical studies. In the previous year, I attempted to do this two ways by subscribing to the journals Nature and Science, and by checking out numerous books at Hutchins Library (Berea College library). These were great first opportunities for me, so I took advantage of them. This year I am hoping to learn through internships, enrolling in external courses, and perhaps certain job opportunities (medical scribing). One external course in which I found online—CRISPR Classroom—is great for aspiring biomedical scientist because it takes you through the mechanisms, applications, and commercialization of CRISPR. I recently purchased $70 for enrollment and I am currently learning through the course. I presume I will publish a promotional article on the course once I earn my certificate of completion, and I totally recommend it!

Furthermore, I have also attempted to concentrate my course load around the premedical sciences. Last semester I took Accelerated General Chemistry (w/ lab) and Calculus I, along with other general education requirements that come along with a liberal arts school. Meanwhile this semester, I have registered for Modern Biology (w/ lab), Organic Chemistry I (w/ lab), and Calculus II. With two lab classes in bio. and chem., I believe this semester may test my diligence and commitment to a perfect 4.0 , but it’ll certainly be worth all the content that I’ll learn.

Moreover, I wish to increase my learning experimentally as well. Before going into winter break at the end of the first semester, I talked to my labor supervisor and my chemistry professor about organizing an independent-study for the benefit of diverging craft and science. I was able to formulate an experiment by repurposing a cell wall engineering technique published in the journal Science and apply it to what we do in the woodcraft department, which is my labor position (Berea College requires their students to work). To learn more, I will publish a blog post in the future about the experience.

For the summer, although the typical academic year will not be in session, I hope to intern for a biomedical research position to earn some early career insight and developmental experience. At the end of my first term, I was actually accepted into Berea’s Entrepreneurship for the Public Good  (EPG) program, though I was not too sure whether I’d claim the position or not. While EPG is a one of the best internship programs at Berea (see link for details), it is more centered around the values of business and entrepreneurship. Therefore, I had also applied to two other, more biomedical-related internships in the Aspirnaut program at Vanderbilt and Johns Hopkins’s Medicine for the Greater Good (MGG). Both programs seem excellent not only for experience in biomedical research, but for career planning and professional/medical school preparation. As an aspiring physician-scientist, I believe these two programs may be the most beneficial for me as a first experience in the career field. Altogether, I have high regards for all three programs, but ultimately I have preference toward some over others, and if I am denied an opportunity into one, I’ll reside with my next best option. 

Lastly of my academic endeavors in 2022, I will also pursue some grants and scholarship opportunities. I am currently applying to a few, but I will open future blogposts about grants and scholarships I have applied to with details of the criteria and my application for each.

Now onto my personal goals! Personally, I wish to implement certain changes in my lifestyle to better my opportunities for success. One such change is to wake up earlier than I already do at 7:45am. I was able to wake up at such times because my earliest class was at 9:00am throughout the week. This incoming semester, my earliest class will be at 8:00am. So I am not only making such change because I chose to, but I also had to (especially since I eat breakfast). For the year 2022, I believe I am going to attempt to wake up at 4:45am so that I have the available time to continue self-interest things (such as this website), and the ability to jog my mind into full acuity before classes. While this will be a great cycle in my sleep cycle, I believe it will benefit me in the long run of things for this year.

Secondly, I had also wished to adhere to a workout plan in order to gain a greater muscle mass. I have already designated my routine to take place in the evening, as there has been much scientifically proven detail to do so, and I will also be logging my progress in journal for my WELL 102 course. Last semester in WELL 101, I had to write a ‘behavior change paper” for our final and I chose resistance training (strength training) as my intended behavior change, since I never really worked out before. You can see the full paper in the link above as it outlines my plan. Hopefully its effective!

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly to this community, I had also wanted to devote some time to enhancing my website in 2022. As of the time stamped on this post, it is very early in the website’s beginning (only a week in). Hence, I have altered my sleep schedule to pursue certain endeavors such as keeping this site alive by writing weekly blogposts of myself and my journey as a medical aspirant, and to write informative articles to inspire those who come along. I believe writing on a website for the web-world to see will not only be beneficial for my growth, but also for the benefit of those who choose to stick around and be inspired by my journey. I can only hope that my website can attract an active community eager to learn more about the MD/PhD journey, but anything can happen in this day and age!

To conclude my aspirations for the year 2022, I had also come up with some resolutions! Things I may not have liked about myself or my behavior the previous year that I wish to change or improve on this year! Since I am a first-year college student, a lot of those resolutions are about “making smarter decisions” and “growing fruitfully in a difficult world”. For example, last year I had spent so much money on clothes, electronics, and other luxury items that I probably could’ve paid my college expenses in full (I will not disclose how much spent). It became obvious to me that every time I received a paycheck, I needed to save it rather than spend it willy-nilly. Another example, my procrastination was so horrible last semester that I would submit papers and assignments about 5-15mins before the famous 11:59pm deadline. On more extreme occasions, I would even submit some assignments not entirely complete—thankfully I was still able to manage a 4.0 gpa, don’t know how, but I did. In 2022, I want to change all of this by learning smarter ways to invest or save money and by learning to procrastinate strategically rather than in spite of undisciplined behaviors. Another resolution I had was to eat healthier, but that one was particularly made because of how much I ordered pizza, bought root beer, and ate ice cream last semester. That one should be resolved along with my money problems though.

Altogether, I believe my 2022 will be great! I certainly hope I am able to attain all of my goals and stick to all my proposed changes by the time I write an end-of-year reflection twelve months from now. I will also be posting more about most of these experiences and opportunities once I achieve them. Wish me luck in the new year as I wish you all the best in 2022!

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