It’s been ages since I’ve thought about the MPH program. After completing my last finals for Epidemiology and Biostatistics in August, I shunned the thoughts of MPH from my head and focused on getting through the first semester of medical school. There were times that I found myself remembering that I was in another program besides the MD one. I would laugh it off with my friends and then just forget about it again.
But today after a morning of discussing meningitis, I began to pull out all of my MPH folders and documents and go through the several MPH e-mails that I had filed away after receiving them in the past few weeks. I came to a sheet that simply asked me for my goal statement. I rolled my eyes and pouted. I stared at the sentence for a while, but my mind came up with a blank. I felt like I had no energy to explain my purpose in the MD/MPH program. I decided to open up a folder and pull up the old personal statement I wrote for the program, hoping for some inspiration.
It was like a re-awakening.
I remember furiously writing these words in the middle of a bus ride back from Houston’s BCM Tropical Medicine trip to Waco. I was suddenly transported back to that time, and I could see in my head the sunset outside the window and feel the rumbling of the bus beneath my seat. I remember my friends looking over my shoulders, asking me how it’s going and encouraging me to push on. I literally had hours until the deadline. But the only things going through my head in that moment were memories of Kenya, Cambodia, fulfilled feelings but at the same time, an emptiness that I knew needed to be fulfilled by humanitarian work. I had taken my strong passion and memories and splashed my personal statement with it.
A smile curved upon my lips as I felt that spark within me again. Memories flashed through my brain. Kids begging in the crevices of the temples, children running down the street with their feet muddy from the dirt and pouring rain, the hand of an elderly touching mine, a kid jumping on my back for a piggy back ride, letting the kids braid my hair. A classroom of children, eyes hungry for knowledge. Acres of a lush garden. A waterfall after a day of rain hydrating the barren earth.
And like that, I was motivated again.
I know it may sound unbelievable and stupid, but reading your old words from personal statements could be a source of re-inspiration.
It’s been a hard semester. I’ve never had a semester that challenged me to my core as much as this one. I’ve been pushed to my max physically and emotionally in every aspect of life. But, I’ve survived and I’ll continue on. I won’t just walk on, but I’ll push on. I know why I’m here, and I know where I’m supposed to be. That is what will get me through.