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November Monthly Update

I am currently writing this blog outside on the steps of McKeldin Mall, I thought the library was open but it's closed for another hour. I thought I'd sit down on the mall and write my monthly reflection in this peaceful environment. It is really unbelievable how fast the days and months are going by, that's why I like to take some time out of my busy days and just reflect. I suggest you try this too you can get a journal and write it in at the end of each month.



Me in Orog Lab

At the beginning of November I took exams in Biology and Organic Chemistry and I'm happy to say I aced them both! I am really proud of myself for the way I've been performing in my classes this semester. And I just found out that I got a 97 on my last biology exam! #KillingIt

In college you can't rely on "being smart", every single exam requires a lot of work and a lot of effort. Right now I'm focusing on finishing strong, I have finals right around the corner and before that I have a another exam in Organic Chemistry. I'm really determined to do the best that I can!

Have you read my finals study tips blog? If not click here to read it!

I also registered for classes for Spring 2019, I'll be taking 19 credits which is a lot but I'm sure I can do it! This schedule doesn't even include the 2 Gemstone meetings we'll have each week, research time in the lab, and the various things I'm involved in. I'm definitely going to be a lot busier next semester!



Something I've been working on this semester is to have an intentional conversation about Race in the Gemstone Honors Program. Being a black woman in STEM in a research program in the honors college of this huge university has it's challenges. It's easy to feel like you don't belong or intimidated or simply just feeling alone. Students of color are underrepresented in the Honors College, it was one of the first things I noticed when I started Gemstone, "hey there's not a lot of black people here."

Admissions processes, systematic racism, unequal education, these are all problems we alone can't fix, but what we can do is talk about, be informed, and be an advocate for students of color. This is exactly what we did and what we will continue to do.

The event was a success, we had about 10 students show up, staff from Gemstone, and facilitators from other program on campus. We sat around in the circle and we talked, we listened, and we had a conversation that is often times difficult for students to have. I hope to continue these conversations and involve more and more students!



Our semester events have come to an end! We ended of the semester with our induction ceremony in which we welcomed new and returning members into the organization. It makes me feel so good to see so many students of color going towards careers in the medical/health field. I'm happy to be apart of an organization that supports and uplifts these students and I'm ready to have an even better semester in the spring!



Right now my Gemstone team is still in the process of writing our proposal, we will defend it in the Spring semester and then proceed to start our lab work. This process has taught me so many skills, from how to conduct research, how to write a proposal, how to present our ideas and more. I'm really excited to enter the next phase of our project which is actually being in the lab and conducting our experiments.

Something we talked about in class was failure, aka the other F word. In research there is a lot of failures, things go wrong until they can go right, and it is an important part of the process. Our team is also working on finding a new team name, so as Webmaster I'll spend winter break redoing our website.

I'm also looking into summer research opportunities at medical schools around the area. As a pre-med students, summer and winter break are crucial times to set yourself apart from other applicants and so I'm hoping to apply to some programs over winter break.



There was so much to be thankful for this year. I think I was most thankful for the time I could spend with my family and the rest that I was able to get. I also had time to read, I read Becoming by Michelle Obama which was so motivating and inspiring, I loved every moment of it. You can read my book review here.


November was a month filled with personal challenges that I needed to overcome. I learned a lot about myself and some of the flaws I have and how I can continue to strive to be a better person. It's all a part of growth.

I'm really excited to write my 2018 review and reflect on this entire year, the ways I succeeded, the ways I failed, and all the lessons I learned along the way.

Thank you all for following along on my journey,




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