This year I graduated. I passed all my science courses. Some I am satisfied with, some I wish I did better, all I survived when I thought I couldn’t. Looking at where I am now, I think back to first semester freshmen year Adjoa, so scared of everything especially science.
I had known that becoming a doctor required me to take science classes, but I thought mostly anatomy and biology. At that point I was very ignorant about what was required for my path to medicine. I did not know much but I did know I was scared to take all that chemistry, biochemistry, physics etc. I never had to take science courses like those in high school. Hardest thing I did until then was AP Calculus. I was so terrified of taking on college science courses that I pushed them back to my second semester for bio and didn’t even try on chem til sophomore year.
I remember how lab terrified me. I wondered how something I could enjoy that much still gave me so much fear, anxiety and stress. I remember the late nights with my chem buddies (thank God for those classmates with whom I went through endless nights of lab reports and studying together!) trying to figure out how to solve a problem. I remember my first panic attack after my inorganic chemistry II final, in my room alone not completely understanding what was happening to me. I remember the trips to the bathroom in the middle of class to cry a little because I felt so stupid in class and then to come right back to my seat and feel more stupid.
As I remember these things, I become grateful that God strengthened me to never give up. That even when I thought I was stupid, he gave me people and opportunities that reminded me that I wasn’t. He gave me confidence to reach out for help when I needed it, to take risks even when I wasn’t completely sure. He helped me meet mentors and professors that helped me understand that I was made for this.
Now I’m here, full time in the place and doing the things that used to terrify me the most everyday. Yes it was scary, but it was so worth it. And even though I know more challenges are to come, I am choosing to take courage, to not be afraid and to just believe in God and in myself.
I want you to also do that. As finals (or anything you may face) come around, do not allow those little challenges in your path stop you from your goals. You’re not alone in feeling hopeless and scared sometimes. You’re allowed to be intimidated by hard classes (or new challenges), but don’t doubt yourself or give up. Our God is greater than any test or obstacle you may face. Take that hard class that terrifies you, take that opportunity that is pushing you out your comfort zone. Do it, and don’t let your fears stop you.
If freshmen Adjoa didn’t, you shouldn’t either, dattebayo!
Book of the month: The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba (& Bryan Mealer)
Article to read: “Storytelling is a powerful communication tool, here’s how to use it” by Chris Anderson (TED Ideas)
Quote to read: Mark 5:36 Overhearing what they said, Jesus told him, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.” The Bible