Major at SMCM: Biology
Year of graduation from SMCM: 2008
Year of entrance to professional school: 2011 (following a 2-year Master's program at Hampton U.)
Professional school: Eastern Virginia Medical School
Professional Field: Medicine
The Biology program at SMCM was difficult for me. Most importantly it humbled me and was a constant reminder that just because you are smart doesn't mean that you don't have to work hard.
I always call SMCM my hippie school by the water and the "free love" kind of vibe that I had there has followed me since! How many people can say that they have seen Tibetan monks prepare sand mandala (at their school), had sushi and lumpia in the great hall, or discussed the need for biodegradable 2-go boxes?! The celebration of diversity has helped me adapt to new situations and maintain an easy going personality whether I am in a clinical or academic setting. I value the unique learning environment that I had at SMCM and I think that this has helped me have a unique view of the world around me.
Work hard not only for class but to figure out how you study, what works best for you, and how to balance school and a personal life. It took me a long time to discover this and it was a major barrier to me having a competitive GPA out of undergrad.
Although I wasn't happy with my undergrad performance, looking back I am happy that I am a non-traditional student. I did AmeriCorps VISTA, a graduate program, worked as a cashier and ER scribe, and tutored a woman from Afghanistan all before entering medical school. I wouldn't trade those experiences for the world! Everything happens for a reason and I am a living testament to that. I didn't get to apply to medical school straight out of undergrad but at the end of the day I had 6 medical school interviews, 1 rejection, 2 wait list statuses, and 3 acceptance. Hard work always pays off and SMCM graduates ALWAYS end up on top!