My UWP professor used my essay as an example of how to write a good personal statement. She totally shut down any student who tried to critique it. HAHA
Suck on my compassion and empathy, punks! :P
My UWP professor used my essay as an example of how to write a good personal statement. She totally shut down any student who tried to critique it. HAHA
Anonymous asked: Hi. How do you pronounce your tumblr name? Like a tangerine?
LOL. That’s a new one.
My UN name is a play-on word of “gangrene” (that gnarly disease when your wounds get infected :D) and my last name.
The americanized pronunciation of my last name is “Yang”, so you get Giangrene :P
Anonymous asked: wow you did so much in your 4 years. I am only a freshman, but my GPA is already sinking slowly (3.60), and likely only going to drop this quarter ;_; Obviously, I am not going to give up so easily. On another note, I am only in one club that's for my major (Genetics club) and I truly do not have any specific interests that make me stand out. I am a snooze-fest, unfortunately.
Lol, it’s not about quantity though! You can do a few things REALLY well, or you can do a lot of things you care about. The point is, when it comes down to writing about and sharing your experiences, you have a lot to say about how these experiences helped you become who you are today. How did those 40 hours in that internship help you realize that you really love science, or helping others? What mistakes did you make along the way that really opened up your mind and helped you see how much you learned in such a short period of time? The list could go on :D
As for the GPA issue, obviously working hard to do your best doesn’t always amount to our ideal GPA. My GPA is still considered “competitive”, but it definitely also nose-dived a bit compared to where I was last year. Life happens, and we’re not always able to study or succeed as well as we hope. However, don’t give up! There are tons of ways you can still make up for that, even if your route to your health-profession field isn’t a straight and easy road. Most people aren’t actually actually able to have that 3.9 GPA, 35+ MCAT, and get into med school right away. That’s why there’s post-bac programs, and other things you can do to boost your GPA after undergrad, or even strengthen your resume before you apply. And, if your ultimate goal is to become a practicing physician, there is also the D.O. (Doctor of Osteopathic medicine) route, which is now relatively equivalent to the M.D. route (Medical Doctorate). That is what my cousin did :)
Lol other than that, freshman year should really be devoted to going out and doing what you like/love, without stressing so much about what you can do in the next 3 or 4 years. If you like tennis, GO FOR IT! Join an IM team, try it out with friends, who careeees? For real, I don’t like to say “YOLO” in a serious context, but you won’t always have the opportunities to try new things. What better time than now, while you are still young and fresh in your undergrad years?
Like, remember the month I spent pole dancing? I totally don’t regret trying it. I would continue doing it if I had a chance!
As for being “active” on campus, I joined clubs because I felt really isolated from my community, and had no friends to talk to when I needed help. I wasn’t looking for mentorship or people who would later end up changing my life - it kind of just happened that way when I got involved and realized I loved doing what I could to help the orgs.
Don’t give up! And even if down the road, you re-consider your career goals and end up not being “Pre-Med” or “Pre-Whatever”, it doesn’t mean you gave up. You can always help others and make a difference in the health profession without having a fancy “MD” attached to your name. It’s about what you do with your time, life, and ambitions, not what level of prestige you have. You can be a great doctor and you can be a terrible doctor that nobody would send their friends to. Both have MDs, but clearly, one is making better use of their educational experiences ;).
Anonymous asked: As someone who is not certain how much he wants to go into the health field or has what it takes, what jobs/work/clinical experience/extracurriculars have you done throughout undergrad? Advice, please?
Thanks for asking such an awesome question! Feel free to ask more specific questions in the future if you’re curious about anything else!
I think the most important thing to really think about before you commit to the healthcare field (whether it’s as Pre-medical, Pre-Vet, Pre-Opt, or any of the allied health professions) is why you want to get involved in the first place. I’m going to speak personally from a Pre-Med perspective, since that’s what I have the most experience with (get ready for a super long essay).
The point isn’t to know specifically “what” kind of doctor, etc. you want to be, but what are your reasons for going through with an extremely rigorous education route. If the only reason is “I want to help people” or “improve mankind”, you probably want to spend a lot more time really re-evaluating and reflecting on that. Any job that provides a service to people without being an a-hole fulfills those two requirements, for example. Also, why Medicine over nursing, EMT, firefighting, etc.? What is it about this specific field that can ONLY be fulfilled by pursuing the Pre-Med route? It’s a lot to think about though, so don’t think you’ll find an answer right away! It took me 2 months to put it into words for my personal statement T_T
Anyway, chronologically speaking, the stuff I did…
When I entered college, I was still working part-time in the summer for my aunt’s restaurant since I had nothing better to do. I entered with 100 hours of clinical shadowing experience, as well as other volunteer work though.
However, I was also super close-minded and ignorant person when I came to college. One of the first things I did was attend a 2 night, 3 day conference where I learned more about social justice issues and internalized oppression, racism, and how our identities intersect (with a specific emphasis on socioeconomic class issues). I was super inspired, my mind was blown, and it literally “changed my life” by giving me an entirely new perspective on how social issues are incredibly relevant to us, including the healthcare field.
For the most part, I spent a lot of time studying (I seriously had no friends), and joined like…5 different clubs. I ended up sticking with 3 I really liked and dropping the other 2. The other clubs were also important in terms of helping me learn more about my own cultural heritage etc., but I didn’t feel like I fit in. Those three clubs involved an internship that was about raising awareness and educating others about the various cancers that affect the Vietnamese community, learning more about my Southeast Asian identity, and learning more about the API queer community/their relevant issues.
Other random things I did:
- Spent the summer interning for the botanical conservatory to learn about plants
- Interned for another plant/environmental sciences lab, which involved processing roots and analyzing nitrogen content
- Tried out being involved with the student government on campus through the gender/sexualities commission (to further my understanding of concepts like how gender is a social construct, unpacking heteronormativity, understanding transphobia, etc.
My second year, I became an officer for a new club, which I ended up sticking with until I graduated (I’m now the Co-president). I stayed active in the Southeast Asian student org, and started a volunteer position as a peer educator to educate other students about the social justice issues I had been learning about.
That summer, I got a job as a dishwasher in a Biomedical engineering lab (I was bored, needed money, and was taking summer classes). But out of that position, I got a lot of exposure to research/different grad student projects, and ended up being trained on different projects to start my involvement with research. I’m still part of this lab, and now am doing research on a project that I hope to get published with my partner with during my year off.
When I started my third year, I started doing clinical shadowing/volunteer internships through the school’s medical center, and got involved with helping plan some conferences, etc. I got a second job as a writing tutor (because I wanted to be ballin’). So my third year, I was working close to 18 hours a week, starting some research, and sticking with 2 student clubs, and doing my peer education position.
I decided, “why not start EMT school too?” LOL. I ended up having to quit my tutoring job during the Spring, and I spent most of my summer getting my EMT certification/passing the class (which involved like…4 months of on-hands training, clinical shadowing, etc.). Somewhere along the way, I became part of an honor society.
But I was super burnt out by summer. I ended up dropping all my summer classes and escaping to Hawai’i for a week. LOL
Fun facts/Other random “extracurriculars” I tried out that summer before leaving (just because I can)
- Pole dancing for like a month and a half
- Taking up piano (still learning)
This year, I’ve been mostly just doing research/working my lab job (now as a safety manager!), the peer education position, helping out my club as the Co-President, and working on a lot of needed “self-care”. I also got the opportunity to serve as a group mentor for 2 different conferences (one for college students, one for middle school/high school students).
But in between all of that, I was still “burnt out” from the previous summer, which led to me becoming somewhat depressed throughout fall and winter quarter. I also had to deal with other personal issues really took a hit on my ability to manage everything. Which explains why I’m now taking a therapeutic performance class. LOL
From that, I learned that there really isn’t a need to “rush” into the medical field. Most students are now taking a year (or more) off before they apply because of how intense the transition from undergrad to medical school is. People are burning out. I mean, after undergrad, you have a minimum of 8 more years of school. That’s A LOT of debt, compounded by the fact that you will never have time to do anything like travel, etc. So make sure you’re ready to commit to the work in the long run when you do apply! Get all that travelling, random extra-curriculars you’ve always wanted to do but never thought you could do out of the way.
A more important and relevant piece of advice for you would be to do what you love. Although it’s important to have all this clinical, research, etc. experience, if you are able to, go out and do something that you really care about. I love peer education/mentorship, and tying in how those social issues relate to my Pre-Med ambitions (becoming a primary care physician for underserved communities). Someone I know played division one sports throughout her entire college career, and that’s what made her stand out in her interviews. Someone else I know was really passionate about tying in their love for their religious faith and science (they taught a lot of bible studies courses, mentored youth groups, etc.). Everything you do can relate to your interest in the health profession! The more you branch out and explore different fields, the better you’ll be at being able to narrow down what your specific interests are.
Hello Tumblrrrrr. It’s been a while.
I will pour my tears into these blog entries once I recover from being destroyed by the MCATs
25 days until my MCATs.
CHANGING MY PASSWORD. BYE TUMBLR.
Anonymous asked: I'll bet you another bowl of kosher pho that you totally aced the scholarship interview. Those people have seen more nervous interviewees than you've seen bowls of kosher pho. They've seen it so much, they don't even see it any more, y'know? But they won't have seen many people as sharp and sweet as you, cuz there ain't many. You blew 'em away. Bet me!
Heh, they actually just emailed me this morning about their decisions. I wasn’t selected for the scholarship. Looks like I’ve got a lot to go in terms of conveying myself with words, vs my written “eloquence”!
I KNOW YOU BEGGED ME NOT TO GO HOME AND BLOG ABOUT YOU, BUT I COULDN’T HELP IT. YOU ARE SUCH A BULLY. >:O
LIFE IS ROUGH, YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW.
I feel better now. :)
I was so nervous during my scholarship interview today that I would start talking and forget what I was answering. LMAO
Well… it was nice just being nominated, I guess. :(
Anonymous asked: I asked it badly, like "What 'Plan' did Evolution have when it invented addictability?" For SURE we're neurologically predisposed to it! Agreed, that's not "what it evolved for." Maybe "What's the UPside of addictability?" would be better. (Pair bonding is a plausible guess. Now, how to design the experiment...? >;-) Humans have a "More = Better" bug in the wetware; for 10000 generations we mostly couldn't get enough More for its bugginess to show.
Lol, in cases “like” addiction (not the same since you wouldn’t experience the psychological withdrawal symptoms or dependency…theoretically), it could’ve been a basic survival instinct to create those positive associations. Thing A feels good, and event B happens when I consume thing A, therefore I will want to eat more of it. Thing B makes me sick when I eat it, so I’ll be sure to avoid it in the future.
Being able to make those associations could’ve paved the way for specialization in certain species too, haha. I think that’s kind of stretching the interpretation though.
If you want to really look at the neurological/physiological level, I could go on about how dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is correlated to positive experiences (reward/pleasure) and is released in response to “good” events such as eating, sex, accomplishments, etc. Certain drugs amplify that signal like a million percent, making it equivalent to a nonstop parade of awesome sexcapades and fun that cannot be produced otherwise. So then your brain is like “oh hell yeah, we like this, so we want more of it. Let’s do that again!”
Anonymous asked: Why do humans have the neuro wiring for addiction? It makes evolutionary sense in some situations, like husband and wife being sexually addicted to each other - makes a lasting bond, so better chance of two-parent offspring surviving long enough to get hooked on mates of their own. Thing about evolution is, it doesn't often find perfect solutions, just solutions that work. Is there ever a solution that doesn't create a whole 'nother problem?
I don’t think there’s a specific neurological pre-disposition that we evolved for addiction. I mean, yes, addiction is real, and people everyday struggle with addictions to whatever it is that they do/use (whether it be drugs, habits, etc.)
But our bodies aren’t constrained by the concept of time like we are socialized to live by. The future and the past are ideas that don’t actually exist; I’m pretty sure we’re the only species that develops health conditions due to stress and the perceived “lack of time”. Our bodies don’t think “will this be good for me in the long term?” when it fires signals for you that create withdrawal symptoms or cravings. It’s about getting what it wants now to feel “normal” and feel good.
Not being immune to addiction kind of just shows how evolutionarily speaking, we’re not perfect. We’ve done well enough up until now to basically outsmart and dominate over other species, but that’s it. Evolution isn’t about intentionally finding what works. The process itself just builds off of what is already there and filters out what works “less” than others. Since there’s no pre-existing “immune to addictive behaviors” trait, the best possible solution/winner is simply the one with the least problems and issues that would prevent populations from procreating and surviving their environment.
I mean, since the world is always changing, there can’t really be a solution without problems :P. Even what would be considered “perfect” for the time being will become something that has a problem down the road.
Focusing so much on academics, especially during my last quarter as an undergrad, is incredibly lonely :(.
I have an oral presentation for my health class. I decided it wasn’t reasonable to try to deconstruct gender binaries, social constructions of sex, and the significance of gender inclusive language in 5 minutes. I’ll save that for a paper I end up writing, bahaha.
Instead, I think I’m going to present on the significance of cultural competency in the healthcare field (yay, I get to werk dat social justice stuff still!)
Can I lyke get feedback on it pl0x? :D