Where did the time go?!! They say undergrad flies by, but graduate school REALLY flies by. December 17, 2017, I will have a Master of Public Health (epidemiology concentration) degree. I am one of those people who loves to go to school and I have considered earning my PhD, but I am going to give myself a year off. I’m literally sitting here in shock because I can’t believe that I have accomplished so much at this age.
The most difficult challenge about graduate school is balancing working full-time and going to school full-time. If I didn’t have a planner, family and friends reminding me to relax, and professors who truly cared about my success, I don’t think I would have made it. I felt like I cried every other week this past spring semester. I doubted myself. I told myself I wasn’t smart enough. I legit went through a mini crisis, but I had a group of friends from the previous cohort that were able to talk me off the ledge.
I am currently still completing my practicum, which has been the most eye-opening course. My experience has been able to show me how I will apply the things I’ve learned in class. Abstract concepts have become concrete. It has also solidified my decision to work with high-risk populations, specifically people living with HIV/AIDS. As far as a career, I am still unsure. I just know I want to help people lower their risk for infectious diseases, improve their quality of life, and longevity.
This master’s program has helped me to identify my true interests. My undergraduate degree was a special moment, but this degree means so much more to me because I have a clearer picture of how I want to leave my mark on the world. I’ve always had a love for science (specifically biology) and an interest in healthcare. This degree allows me to combine both of my passions and find a career that I will truly enjoy. Look out world, future black female epidemiologist coming through!
(Throwback to my first day, 2016)