A question I like to start off with – and since it’s Friday, this is nice – what is the best thing that’s happened to you this week?
I got closer in the application process for two of my job prospects for next year so that’s exciting.
Yeah, so I got another interview for one of them, and for another one I got to shadow there for half a day.
That’s so cool. Are you a senior?
What are you thinking of doing next year?
These are two gap year jobs, and then med school would be next after that. So one of them is in a clinic in Williamsburg, that was the shadowing one, and the other interview was for Bon Secours either in Richmond or Baltimore.
So what made you want to go to med school?
I don’t know, ever since I was a kid, like, seven years old, I’ve always said I wanted to be a pediatrician, and I feel like there have just been a lot of things in my life to kind of confirm that. So yeah, it hasn’t changed so far and I’m excited.
That’s so cool that it’s really happening! Could you give an example of one of the times when that’s been confirmed for you?
I went to a medical program high school, and one of the things we had to do was shadow there, so I got to shadow at a pediatric clinic, and one of my first days on the job following the pediatrician around there, I came home and I was like, “Man, I wanna do exactly what she’s doing.” Like, this seems so cool, and it seems like I can do this.
Have there been any challenges along the way? I know being pre-med is not easy. *laughs*
I guess one of my toughest moments being pre-med was junior year. I took physics for the very first time ever, I never took it in high school or anything. I ended up withdrawing halfway through which was kind of tough because that was my first withdrawal, and it was from a pre-med class. And I was calling my mom and I was just like, “I can’t do this, I feel like I should stick it out, I don’t wanna quit, I’m not a quitter,” and all this stuff. But it ended up being the best thing for me that semester, and so when I tried it again last semester I passed, and I moved on. So that was kind of tough at first, but it was a good experience.
So since you’re a senior, have you been kind of reflecting on your experience at all for your last semester? Anything that jumps out?
Yeah, a little bit. It’s been a wild ride, I feel like I’ve grown a lot. I’m starting to make a list of things I want to do here before I graduate, before I don’t have the chance. Because being in college is a really unique point in your life, you don’t get to be surrounded by a bunch of other eighteen-to-twenty-one year olds in such a close space, doing life and school at the same time like that again. I mean, I have med school, but that’s also kind of a different setting. I feel like everybody’s going to be even more competitive and stressed if you can believe that, probably. But, yeah, it’s been a really unique time, I’m trying not to get too focused on that, and just try and move on and know that you will have other special times in life. A lot of your friends you’re gonna leave and won’t catch up with again, but I’m confident that at least my small group of friends, we’re gonna stay together. And the memories I’ve made are good ones, and the ones that aren’t so good I feel like I can learn from.
Yeah, definitely. What are some of the things on your list to do before you leave?
Somehow I still haven’t been to the spring concert, and the closest I’ve been to going was the DNCE one two years ago. I really wanted to go, but I guess either I didn’t want to pay or couldn’t find people to go, or maybe I was busy, but I’m sad I didn’t get to go to that one. So for sure I want to go to this next one, hopefully it’ll be an artist that I at least know. *laughs* I want to go to a Wren 10, I still haven’t done that. I’ll be in my dorm at like 9, 9:30, and I’ll be like, “alright, here we go,” and then I’ll be like, “ooh, it’s cold outside, it’s getting a little late,” so I talk myself out of it. But I’m gonna go, I have some a cappella friends that I want to see … I almost had a class in all the buildings, except Tyler, Tyler’s the only one. So I missed out on that one, but that’s fine.
Yeah, that’s alright. I love Wren Tens! I have a friend in the Accidentals, so I always try to go to theirs. It’s so cool, like, weirdly, uniquely William & Mary.
Yeah, I also want to go to a different sports game, because I’ve been to plenty of football games, and one basketball game. So maybe if I went to another basketball game and then try a different sport out, I don’t know, baseball or volleyball or something would be fun.
Yeah, definitely, basketball is good this year too … So now that you’ve looked back a little on your experience, what are you looking forward to in your next step?
I feel like with leaving, I want to make sure that I leave a good legacy with whatever I’ve done in the past four years. I know that I won’t change the campus or whatever, but just in the small things that I’m doing, I’m trying to leave good things for people to continue, or encourage them to change the things that they see that they don’t like or could be improved. So I’m looking forward to checking back in with the people who are now freshmen, sophomores, juniors, seeing how they’re doing, how they feel like life on campus is. And I guess for my life personally, I’m looking forward to putting to practice the stuff I’ve learned here. I feel like I’ve gotten a lot of lessons on self-care and things like that, so putting that to use when I actually need it, and being like, “hey, I learned that in college.” Learning more also, and not necessarily having to be tested on it. You know, just like, learning for fun – that’s a super nerdy thing to say, but things like that. And broadening my horizons; I was born and raised in the same house in Chesapeake for 21 years, so I want to see the West Coast and other places, maybe even out of the country.
That’s super exciting, there are so many possibilities. You might not yet, but do you know where you want to be for med school? Around here or somewhere else?
So the rumor is that NYU is free, so that’d be great. I also looked it up, and their accepting GPA is like a 4.0, and I’m like, cool, I’ll send in an application anyway. That would be cool to not have to pay for med school. I feel like there’s a catch, though, when something’s free. I’m willing to do whatever it is for free med school, but that’s the goal, to be debt free. If not, there’s EVMS, there’s this osteopathic school in Blacksburg called VCOM that I’d like to go to also. So yeah, wherever.
Wherever life takes you.
Wherever accepts me, that’s the big thing … What year are you guys?
K: I’m a senior.
O: I’m a freshman … so, very different stages of life.
K: Different perspectives.
O: Looking back, what would be your biggest piece of advice to give to someone my age, or your freshman self?
Let’s see, my freshman year, I was living in Lion L in GGV. Props to Lion L. It was a good freshman experience, I think. I would just tell myself to just be patient with yourself, and comparisons are the worst. In my dorm a lot of people wanted to go out and explore things and meet new people, but I was very much a homebody growing up. So it was a harder transition for me because I wasn’t used to it. So yeah, I would say to be patient with yourself, don’t compare, even if you are somebody who is super outgoing and makes friends super easily, that’s not a bad thing either. Your experiences can also come in waves, so initially in the first few weeks you could be homesick, or you could be three months in and still be homesick. So just, being patient with yourself, knowing yourself, and your experience is your experience, and people can’t invalidate that.