There are now officially only 5 (!!!) weeks left in my undergraduate career. Try as I might, I really can’t wrap my mind around that. A lot of my free time this semester has been wrapped up in studying for the MCAT and preparing myself for the next chapter of my life. My remaining free time, though limited, has been focused a lot on reflecting on the past few years.
Though I am fundamentally the same person, I feel like I have changed so much since coming to college. My degree in international studies and my time abroad, among other factors has really reshaped the way I view the world. When I showed up to college, I was pretty set on becoming a doctor. I was a ~science person~ and I thought everyone should be. Its honestly funny now to look back and realize how immature I was. While I still aspire to enter the medical field, I like to think I’ve dropped a lot of that arrogance and elitism. I see the value now in the extremely diverse areas of academia and of life in general, really. There is so incredibly much I don’t understand about the world, still. I’m sure 5 years from now I’ll laugh at current me’s perception of things, still, but I do feel I have at least improved myself by venturing into unfamiliar territory and cultivating my interest in international politics, global aid, and environmentalism alongside my existing interest in medicine and chemistry.
While I wouldn’t characterize my college experience as one aimed at encouraging expertise in any given area, I do not personally see that as a strong detractor of my path the past few years. I am the first to admit I am ignorant to so many issues in each of my primary areas of interest. I think by gaining exposure to a plethora of fields and topics throughout my undergraduate career, I have developed a multifacted perspective through which to shape my worldview. My understanding of development policy in Mozambique connects to my convictions in American politics and my beliefs as a future medical practitioner. Things that once seemed wholly removed from each other, have come together for me in a lot of really interesting ways.
One regret I keep coming to in my reflection is that I never really fully invested myself into my International Studies degree. While I enjoyed the classes, oftentimes that was where my engagement in the field ended. If I could do it over again, I think I would learn a lot from an internship with an international NGO of some kind. Maybe I’ll still get an opportunity to do that some day as a doctor or even before. I’m a little afraid that once I graduate the natural integration of my interests will slowly fall apart as I delve deeper into medicine I don’t want my engagement in other fields to fall away, so joining an NGO like that would be a good way to combat that.
I guess only time will tell. I know I will at least continue to try to foster the interdisciplinary approach to education and thinking that has taught me so much in the past few years.