And just like that another year has come to an end, here is a look back at the past year, a quick summary of what my year consisted of. It feels like just yesterday we were celebrating the start of 2018 and now it is coming to an end. This makes me really want to live each day to the fullest and enjoy being in the moment. Overall 2018 was a great year for me, I learned a lot about myself, I made mistakes and cried over those, but I got back up determined to do better. I traveled and made my dreams come true and worked hard so that my future goals will come true too! I learned so many new things and am so grateful for the opportunity to obtain a higher education. I made new friends and great memories. Here is a month to month look at 2018:
I spent January on winter break from college so it was a great opportunity to set my goals for 2018. I had just finished my first semester and was looking forward for the rest of my college experience. I wasn't sure what 2018 would bring but I wanted to focus on self-growth. I was determined to get a 4.0 in the following semester, make more friends, have fun, and to become more involved in college.
February was a great month, I went back to college and was quickly back to being busy. I had the amazing opportunity of being selected out of Banneker/Key scholars by the Executive Dean of the Honors College to presented about at the annual luncheon. I was so honored! Next it was Valentine's Day which I was happy to celebrate with my wonderful boyfriend Marquiss.
March was another amazing month, I was accepted to my study abroad program and announced that I would be studying in France during the summer! I was working hard on my courses and trying to maintain above average in my chemistry and calculus courses. I also had Spring Break and celebrated my 1,000 day anniversary with my boyfriend. Over Spring Break I got a well deserved break...well kinda, I was also working on my 10 page literature review about the environmental factors that effect mental health. I also won the Office of Multi-Ethnic Students Academic Excellence Awards for having a 3.5 or higher GPA!
April was a fun month with a lot of exciting news! First Gemstone teams were formed and I got onto Team Feat, a team studying allergies. We've now changed our name to Team Cascade but more on that later. I was so excited to start our research. April was also the staple month for the Caribbean Student Association and I enjoyed helping out with the events such as Carifest. I got the role of secretary on the executive board for Charles R Drew Pre-Health society and I couldn't wait to get started. I also attended the Charles R Drew Networking event and was able to mingle with physicians. We celebrated my mom and aunts birthdays with some fun outings....April was a really busy month!
And just like that it was May and my first year of college was over! I waited impatiently for my final grades and then it happened! I got straight As in my seven classes and a 4.0! I was so proud and couldn't believe that I did it, all the hard work paid off. Now I was waiting to head off to France. I was also nominated for Gemstone Rookie of the Year which was a great honor! I was also selected to be a section leader for Gems100 in the fall. I had finished my first year and set myself up for a busy sophomore year.
And voila! I started my three week study experience in Montpellier, France. Ah, still can't believe this happened it had always been my dream to go to France and the reality was even better than the dream. I stayed with a host family and went to classes each week day, after class I got to go on amazing excursions. I saw art from Picasso, I ate amazing meals each day, drank wine at a winery, and spoke French the whole time greatly improving my skills. I blogged my whole trip so be sure to read about my trip under my Travel page.
July 4th is our anniversary and we celebrated 3 years together! I'm so lucky to have him in my life, and we found out he was accepted to UMD! In July I pretty much enjoyed my summer to the best of my ability, I had family visiting from Saint Martin and we celebrated Kayden's 10th birthday. We also did some college visits with Akeem who would be starting his senior year of high school. I also volunteered at the hospital in the PACU department.
I finished up my hospital volunteering and summer break with my family to head back to UMD. I was asked to Chair the Welcome Crew for the Gemstone Honors Program, and so I came to campus early to help coordinate the events and welcome the freshmen. Then I got ready to start my own semester, I would be taking 17 credits with several leadership roles and research so I knew it would be tough but I would try my best, I didn't know it would be my favorite semester thus far!
I turned 19 and felt so blessed for another year of life and celebrated with my family and my boyfriend in Georgetown. School was certainly taking a lot of effort but I loved everything I was learning. I was also given a new position: Director of Strategic Outreach for the Gemstone Honors Program and I was invited on a Student Leadership Retreat. Our team started working on our research proposals and deciding between two aims for the project.
By this point I couldn't believe how fast time was going by. My Gemstone team had decided on an aim for our project: cell signaling. I got certified in CPR and First Aid which was really exciting for me. I also went on my first medical school visit to George Washington Medical School. This semester made me really sure that I wanted to be a doctor, I focused on this goal to keep me motivated through the semester especially when I was feeling overwhelmed. I also enjoyed some fun events such as Fall Fete, an obstacle court, and the homecoming carnival and game.
In November I registered for my spring courses, I will be taking 19 credits! I was preparing to take my last exams before finals. At this point I realized that it was possible to get As in all my courses and so I felt more motivated than ever to finish strong. I worked along with the Gemstone staff to plan my first events as Director of Strategic Outreach: a Student of Color Dinner and a facilitated conversation about Race. Both were successful and I'm looking forward to continue in the following semester. We had our last event in Charles R Drew and inducted our newest members. I had an amazing Thanksgiving break with my family who I really missed throughout the semester.
And just like that it was December, writing this I really can't believe how fast the time went by. The first few weeks of December were a blur because I was studying for finals, I had exams from the first day of finals till the last way. Finals went really well I felt great about all my exams and was ready to head home. When I started this semester I wasn't aiming for any particular GPA, I decided I would simply do my best. I happy to say that I ended the semester with a 4.0 GPA! My third semester getting straight As and my second semester of getting a 4.0! I'm really proud of myself.
My Gemstone Team also decided to change our name to Team Cascade which stands for Comparing Allergic Signaling Chain Antagonists to inhibit Degranulation Expression. We submitted our research proposal and will continue to work on it over break to prepare for our defense in the spring. We found lab space and next semester we will begin our experiments.
I headed home proud of all I had accomplished. Once at home, I went to the annual Alumni Caroling with my high school choir teacher. I'll also be going back to my position in the hospital to volunteer over break and I'll be applying to summer programs. Finally I'm enjoying some family time to end 2018.
Thank you so much to everyone who keeps up with my journey and supports me! I hope to give you guys more content in 2019. All the kind messages mean so much to me.
2018 taught me that I can achieve anything I put my mind to, I also learned a lot about work-life balance and about happiness. I always say that my overall goal in life is to be happy and I am excited to keep doing everything that makes me happy in 2019. I encourage you all to reflect on the past year, it really puts everything into perspective and helps you see the ways you've grown throughout the past year.