Receiving the letter of acceptance into the Pre-Medical/Pre-Dental Plus Program (PMPDPP) was a big achievement in our young lives but nothing could have prepared us for the coming summer. Our experience in this program reflects our confidence and fear, achievements and setbacks, elation and anxiety. Through it all, however, we can say that we finished off strong with feelings of success and relief.
When the seven-week summer program was first announced, many of us could not imagine completing such a long feat and the first day gave us a shocking reality check. If any of us thought this was a summer camp, an extension of high school, or something to keep us busy over the summer, those silly notions quickly left the first day. With our eyes half closed and our minds still in a dream-like state, we were hit with tons of information that, by the end of each class, would cause our brains to overload. Yet, the program challenged our dedication and commitment to our future goals and opened our eyes to the reality of the many sacrifices that we would have to make in order to see our dreams come true. The greatest challenges were keeping up with the intense workload, managing our time well, and getting enough sleep. However, they helped us to prioritize our daily activities as well as personal values. We learned the meaning of sacrifice, and we are all excited to see the results. Yes it was hard, yes we were frustrated, and yes there were times when we felt like we just wanted to quit, but we could see the progress we were making. Though we experienced many drastic changes, we have realized that this was the best choice we could have ever made for this summer.
Along the way, we retained study strategies and learned that although something may seem challenging, it can be overcome. Some of the most valuable lessons we learned from this program were team-building, time management, self-control, and having good study habits. In this program we have met a variety of incredible, unique people who have become some of our closest friends. We encouraged each other whenever we struggled and learned that we were not alone in this journey.
There were times when some of us felt seriously overwhelmed but our friends were there to support us. There were also many times where one of us would need help and, thankfully, there was someone there to help us. We all saw the Facebook statuses and the late night texts about friends’ awesome vacations but we too had awesome stories to tell. Stories about our intelligent, kind professors and thought provoking work. Stories about how we changed from roaming teenagers to steady young adults striving for their goals. We not only grew as individuals, but also as a group, and most importantly as a family. We learned how to respect other’s views, even though they may have been contrary to ours, as well as to compromise and work as a team.
Through the late nights of studying and meeting deadlines, to hiking with giant spiders and other insects with bug spray that didn't work, we did it together and overcame it all. We have all come to realize that it was the support from each and every one of us that helped us pull through the struggles that we encountered throughout those seven weeks. We developed endurance, determination, perseverance, and learned more about ourselves during that time than in the seventeen to eighteen years of our lives. At the end, we got a lot more than we gave and we are eternally grateful for this experience. This program helped us truly believe that we can achieve our dreams by turning them into a reality.
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