Hello, my lovely readers, I feel like it has been a while since I sat down and really shared some updates on my blog. I know in the past month I have been lacking in my content. My content calendar is all red with overdue tags and the list of blog and video ideas is just staring me down as an unchecked list. I truly miss putting out blogs and Youtube videos and today I decided that I have to get back on track, so I thought I would start with a simple update and just chatting with you all.
So sit back, grab some tea or coffee and let's chat!
Starting Senior Year
The last time I posted I showed you all how I was moving back into my apartment and starting my senior year in college! I have all of my courses online this semester and that means I spend all of my time at my desk staring at a screen.
my desk set-up
This semester I am taking 15 credits. This is actually the lowest credit amount I have taken since my first semester of college, but somehow it feels like I'm taking 20 credits again. I was strategic with making my credit count low this semester so that I could study for the MCAT, which we'll talk about how that has been going soon, but I found myself really struggling to feel like I had a handle on this semester.
The classes that I am taking are:
Health264: Tweets & Likes: Digital Health & Social Media
Surprise! I'm not taking a biology class this semester! Since I did my summer course in Mammalian Physiology this allowed me to not have to take a biology class, my only STEM courses are Biochemistry and Physics and compared to semesters where I took 2 biology courses, 1 chem course, and 3 labs for each of them I thought this semester would be super manageable.
I've honestly been feeling overwhelmed
But I was wrong, I have honestly been feeling overwhelmed. I don't find the material difficult but something about being online made me feel so lost. The best analogy would be that I didn't feel grounded in this semester yet, kinda like I'm moving with the flow instead of taking intentional steps. It felt like the days were running me instead of me taking on each day.
And I knew I should expect that for the first few weeks as I got used to a semester, but since it was senior year I thought I'd start the semester and just know what I was doing! I learned that whether it is your senior year or freshmen year, whether you're an adult or a teenager, wherever you are in life and whatever experience you have doesn't make you immune to NEEDING HELP! And I'm not afraid to say that I didn't know what I was doing, or that I felt overwhelmed, or that I can't help anyone right now because I'm still trying to help myself.
I actually saw this post on Instagram that really sums it up:
Things can look pretty and nice and from the outside, it may look like "wow Kye has it all together" when inside I feel like everything can fall apart in one second!
You are doing your best and you are enough
But why DO I feel this way? It's because I am super hard on myself. I have a bad habit of focusing on everything that I'm not doing rather than what I am accomplishing. If you're reading this and relate to what I'm saying, I want to share some things that help me. I have to remind myself of what I accomplished each day! I do by writing out Do-To lists with my StylebyKye planner, this way at the end of the day I see everything I got done. I'll also take time in the morning to say a prayer and really talk to God and ask Him to guide me through the day, when I feel overwhelmed I know that God is guiding me and not giving me more than I can bear. I also use positive affirmations. One of my favorites has been telling myself "you are enough" as this reminds me that I am doing my very best and all that I can do at this moment in time.
I also remind myself of everything that I AM doing so I don't focus on what I am not doing:
What I've Been Up To
Probably the true reason of why my 15 credit semester has still been a lot to manage is due to everything else I'm doing as well. Last semester I had a part-time job working as a supplemental instructor for an introductory biology class and this semester I started a new job working as an Organic Chem 1 and 2 tutor! I have several blogs and resources talking about organic chemistry because it is known as a difficult course and "weed out" course for pre-medical students. I want other students to be successful in these courses and so I decided to be a tutor this semester. The program that I work for actually offers tutoring for FREE, so I love that I am able to work as my part-time job but at no cost to the students who need help.
I was told by my boss how much in demand tutoring for organic chem was and then in the first week, I was completely booked up! I feel in love with tutoring, my favorite part is that moment when the student is like "ohhhh now it makes sense!" I also have already gotten messages with how well my students did on their exams and thanking me for my help. It honestly means the world to me and I feel fortunate to have been able to help them!
But, as always Kye tried to do the most haha. I felt so bad turning anyone away from tutoring and I wanted to help everyone that I ended up tutoring more than 10 students a week and working 9 hours, I was even tutoring 4 sessions/hours in one day. I had to remind myself that I can't help others if I don't put myself first and so now I've been trying not to overbook myself with tutoring and offer multiple students in one session.
It's all about finding that balance
Serving as President of the Charles R Drew Society has been such an honor and privilege! Since starting the role in May earlier this year, I had to steer the organization to an online environment while waiting for the University to make their final decisions. Honesnlty...shout out to all the organization presidents out there because it.is.not.easy.
Being president really means doing a lot of the behind the scenes work that most people don't see. There's a lot that goes into the role and whenever there is any issue or question, it always comes back to you. I'm really thankful that we have the organization structured with Co-Presidents so that I have my Co to go to and divide up the tasks. I have already learned soooo much taking on this role I could write a whole other blog post about it!
Today, I do want to share some of the great things we've been able to achieve since the start of my presidency.
We made an intro video to our organization that is on our Youtube channel and started connecting with new UMD student through the summer. We also hosted a summer chat for the first time which gave students a chance to talk with our members before the start of school
We launched an online store! Again, this was a first for our organization. Since we are online we coulnd't sell T-shirts in person like we've done in past years and so I had the idea of doing an online store so anyone can order and have it shipped to their house!
We amped up our social media presence. Since I started to work on our social media we saw our following go up by 100% from 300 to 600! We've also had our events reposted by other organizations and medical student bloggers!
We saw GBM attendance DOUBLE with over 100 people attending all three of our first events!!
We've seen more membership involvement! I started a "CRD Question of the Week" which gets everyone chatting in the chat
We've contiued our Big Little Program and Study Halls which have been a huge success at fostering a sense of community
We are hosting our first annual Minority Women in Medicine event with an amazing line up of women physicians! I've been working to plan the event since August and I am so s excited to see all the hard work come to fruition.
CRD joined the Black Alliance Network and we've been working to represent the Black student population at UMD. I was involved in various townhalls during the summer as well as meetings with the University President and administrations concerning issues for Black students!
We've expanded our community service opportunities to allow students to submit long term service for a CRD point for membership
We had our very first MAPS week including social media takeovers from medical students and increasing MAPS membership!
Honestly, just writing this list is another reminder of how much your hard work becomes a true impact. CRD probably takes up 5-6 hours of my time every week if not more. I honestly have a long list of ideas for these organizations and a big vision for what I think this organization can become and it is so rewarding to see what we have accomplished already not even halfway into the semester. I'm excited to keep you all updated on how it's going!
Every time I get a message about how it's so great that I'm also studying for the MCAT amongst my other responsibilities, I feel like such a fraud because unfortunalty i think in the last month the MCAT became one of the lower tasks on my prioirity list. Since my exam date is still a few months away its so easy to think "oh I'll do this tomorrow" or I have due dates for assignments for a school that I have to do first. If anyone is tyring to study for the MCAT and have struggled to find the right balance and time for it, I feel you!
I need to set a goal for each week
I've reflected on what went right and what went wrong in September as far as my MCAT studying and I realized that I need to make more specific goals for each week and give msyelf deadlines as if the MCAT is one of my courses. I also realized that I can't do everything and the MCAT is a very important test to determine my future. This means I need to do less time studying, delegate more as CRD president, and prioritize this test more. I'm going to do MCAT first everyday and then move onto other tasks afterward. Hopefully, this month goes a lot better and I'll keep you all updated! And if you have any tips and tricks for the MCAT I'd love to hear them!
The AAMC just released the dates for the 2021 MCAT and I think by having a date and a goal score in mind this will help to keep me on track as well!
Presenting at the Annual Association of Academic Physicians Meeting
A few weeks ago I got an email from my former research program director asking me to present at the 34th Annual Association of Academic Physicians Meeting and I happily accepted! This was a true honor! I was able to present my research on Placenta Malaria Research to a virtual room of distinguished physcians including Dean Wilson, the first African American dean of a non-HBCU medical school! These were physicians who truly have paved the way for minorties in medicine and I was extremely honored to meet them and for them to give me feedback on my presentation! The keynote speaker was the President of Harvard University and he gave us an amazing keynote address and discussed many of the social problems we face in sociaty today and how we can be effective leaders in this time.
I left the meeting so inspired to keep going on this journey. I releaize that it is so much bigger than me but with every step, I take in this journey I am helping to lead the way for another girl out there like me, I continue to make a name for myself and to represent my island Saint-Martin, to show Caribbean excellence, Immigrant excellence, and Black Girl Magic!
More Planners Available Now!
I still can't believe the success I've had with selling my digital college planners! I decided to drop another product which is everything you love about the College Planner without the college spreads, this planner is perfect for anyone who wants to plan their week in style! It is currently avalable in pink and blue and is $13!
Work Hard, Play Hard
With everything that is going on, I am still trying to enjoy my final year in college! There have been countless weekends when I said no to going out and spend all weekend in the library and now that it's my senior year I want to make sure that when I look back at college I also have some great memories when I wasn't studying, working, or leading! I'm really thankful to be living with some of my closest friends as my roommates and now that we're all 21 we enjoy having wine and movie nights on the weekends or heading out to a winery!
I was speaking to one of my "Littles" who I am mentoring and I told her that one thing I would tell myself freshmen year is to find more balance. Ambition quite literally runs through my blood and I am always looking for how I can do better, do more, and reach my goals. But what I have struggled most with time and time again is knowing that I can do all this while still taking time to myself!
I'm happy to report that since the semester started I've been taking every Saturday as a day away from studying (except MCAT) and it has been really helpful. As mentioned, all the screen time and online classes has taken a toll on me mentally and physcially and this one day off has helped me!
I also want to encourage everyone to have fun, but stay safe while doing so! Some of my best nights this semester have been spent right in my apartment, such as margarita nights with my roommates, us staying up to watch Say Yes to the Dress or throwing some tunes on our speakers and dancing in the living room. When we did go out, we went to a winery/vine yard that was outdoors and socially distant. When I need to chat with friends or classmates, I just set up a zoom call and do it virtually!
Remember that we should all be doing our part to stop the spread of COVID-19 and again, we can still have fun as college students while doing so.
I hope you all have enjoyed this little update! I hope to be back with more blogs and videos soon and as always thank you so much for reading and being alongside this journey with me!