A Black Female Medical Student

Posts Tagged ‘HBCU

Sitting in the computer lab, semi-studying, semi-contemplating my last day as a 20 year old.

20 was a big year for me. I finally broke up with my ex, graduated from college, lived by myself for the first time, learned to cook really well, got my first car, moved to Chicago, had my first real spring break (went to Miami… it was AWESOME), and STARTED MEDICAL SCHOOL.

It was definitely a fun age. I’m looking forward to 21 though, I can finally stop sneaking into 21 & over clubs! I know my friends have been annoyed, because its always some huge escapade to get me in. I mean, I know every trick in the game to get in where I really don’t fit in lol.

Still, it was fun.

I also have a Chicago winter to look forward to… I really don’t look forward to that. Its already BLISTERINGLY cold, and I SWEAR I saw some snowflakes yesterday. However, fall/ winter fashion up here is just TO DIE FOR!!! I never knew you could look so cute in the cold! These Chicagoans have opened my eyes up to new things.

Not to mention, I have a whole bunch of new friends. Of course I miss my old ones, but my new ones are amazing too. They are some of the smartest, funniest, kindest people I have ever met in life.

Despite the fact that medical school has taken over my life, I still think my birthday weekend is going to be extra fun. Not only because its Halloween, but also cuz…. ITS HOMECOMING WKND!!!

Yeah, 21 will be fun.

And, YES, I will be able to experience life as a 21 yr old on a college campus after all. Even if only for a weekend. 🙂

I am very excited, not only for the parties, concerts, old friends, etc., but BECAUSE I AM GETIING OUT OF CHICAGO.

Don’t get me wrong, I love it here. But it’ll be nice to get AWAY. I’m going back to the undergrad, and please believe I will be acting bad.

But not too bad of course… don’t want to compromise this new pre-professional image I got going on.

But anyways, there is this HUGE party happening this Saturday, and I bought the dress for it. Believe me… its sleek. Maybe a little too sleek…… lol.

Still it is my 21st, so its all about the grown and sexy, right? I got the sexy down, but the grown is still a few hours away….

Anyways, let me stop being silly.

I have to take a Biochemistry test before I leave (life of a med student, the work never, EVER stops), but after that… gameover.

So once again, its back to studying for me…. TATA.

Oh yeah… here is a song that has been playing in the back of my mind this whole week.

Cupid… doesn’t lie
But you won’t know unless you give it a try
Oh baby, true love
won’t lie but we won’t know unless we give it a try

Luuuuuuuv it!


So I have decided to get to work on building my own mini- support network. I didn’t realize that I didn’t have one until I started encountering some issues in my anatomy class, and I didn’t really know who to talk to about it. I have made some friendships within my class, however, generally they are just as clueless about stuff as I am. It may be a personal thing, but I think having a support network has been one the most important factors of my success as a pre-medical student and will have the same role as I matriculate through medical school.

Its more than just having friends in your class. I have found that other medical students can be some of the best and the worst people to decompress with. On one hand they know what you’re going through and can identify with your frustrations, but on the other hand, we can be extremely narcissistic, stressed out, and annoying, not to mention tired all the time. Its like you can vent out stuff to a fellow med student, but really all they can say is “You better just go ahead and suck it up… cuz I am.” :-/

Medical school is extremely stressful, much too stressful to go through it alone. Since Ichose to attend medical school 1/2 across the country from my alma mater and home, I am fairly isolated from old friends and family. I’m working to reconstruct my support network now.

First off, I’m looking for a new church home and I do think I’ve found one. I’m a Christian (flawed though I am), and was raised in the church. As for my personal walk with Christ, its been difficult to find time to commune with the Lord on a daily basis, but I’m working on it. I have to, for the sake of my sanity.

As always, I am striving to maintain a close relationship with my family. We’re scattered all over the country (and at times the world since my parents travel so much). Its hard, and I have a large family. I have 5 sisters, and I have decided that I will try to talk to at least one of them everyday.

I’ve also been trying to maintain a relationship with my old friends. I guess I got caught up in the new people, the new city, the new  experiences and the massive amounts of studying I’ve been doing on a daily basis, because I didn’t realize that I was losing my sense of self. Personal growth is good, but for awhile I kind of forgot who I was. I plan on going back to my undergrad for homecoming (omg…. I can’t wait. The Midwest is cool, but I need to get out of here!!!), and I text my old comrades on the daily. Of course time is limited, but you make time for who/what’s important.

I’ve gotten to know the Dean for Colored Folk. These people go by many different names at different institutions. This person could be a Dean/ Asst. Dean/ Director of Diversity/ Minority Affairs/ Multicultural Affairs… they have a lot of different aliases, but their purpose generally to make sure that minority students are adjusting well. They are generally very busy, but try to seek them out. You definitely want to come to them before they have to come to you. If you’re struggling will want to have an advocate if you every have to come before the review board for whatever reason.

I’m trying to move out my comfort zone and talk to my non-black classmates more. As it is, I have gotten very close with my fellow black classmates, it cannot be denied that my class as a whole is awesome. I was talking to someone today, and they said that our school is the 3rd most diverse medical school in the country (outside of the HBCUs) and I was not surprised. Even though sometimes my classmates do things that make me raise an eyebrow, I must admit they have taught me a lot of things and introduced me to knew experience. Who woulda thought this chick from MD woulda have every tried out for an a capella group or intramural football?

So thats pretty much it in a nutshell. I have 2 tests this week, both Biochem and Anatomy so I probably won’t be back here for a few days. If I do, it will more than likely just be to vent lol.

Best wishes!!!

I go to a Top 20 institution, and most of my classmates came from prestigious undergrads; I have quite a few classmates from Harvard. I definitely felt intimidated when I first got here, because I went to a small HBCU in the South. I loved my experience, and if I had the choice, I would do it again. Still, my undergraduate experience was very different from a lot of my classmates, some of whom had no idea what an HBCU is.

I had a conversation with the Dean of Multicultural Affairs, and he told me that the medical school had not had very good success with graduates from HBCUs, leading me to think that the small representation of HBCU here might be intentional. While they have had students from HBCUs in the past, they have not had many, and I believe I am the only student they have ever had from my undergrad.

Anyways, I do feel some pressure to do well here, because my performance here could very well influence their attitude towards HBCU students in the future. I would hate for a talented and hardworking student’s application to be called into question because of my performance here. So I tried to work a little harder this week. I think it paid off, because I scored higher than the class average for the first time on the test this week.

Unfortunately we’re almost done with Anatomy so it doesn’t mean much, but I hopefully will take this attitude with me through the rest of the year. I came in here with the expectation that I wasn’t as competitive a student as the rest of my classmates, and that’s wrong. While there is a steeper learning curve to step up to, that is the case for anyone who enters med school. We’re all new at this lol.

My lack of confidence in myself and my abilities isn’t new. There was a point in my life when I had a very low self-esteem and was always putting myself down. My self-esteem isn’t low anymore, but many people do disparage the education at HBCUs, and I think I allowed myself to internalize that.

We may have come from different places, some of my classmates may have come from prestigious backgrounds, some from lots of money, some from exotic places, but we’re all here. My experiences may be different, less glossy, but it doesn’t make them any less relevant. I forgot that, and I think it showed in my grades.

Either way, I’m on an upward trend, and I believe it will continue. My goal is to score above 90% on my next 2 exams. I mean, above average is cool, but not cool enough.  I have one next Friday and the other a week from Monday so I have quite a bit of studying to get through.

Oh and in response to that last comment, in the words of Eric Cartman: “Whateva! Whateva! *snaps fingers*, I do what I want!”


    • abeja: Just found this blog skimming seems interesting...
    • Tashawna: Hey, Im a freshman in college and have been skimming through a few of your blogs. I just wanted to ask you some questions on how you got into medschoo
    • blackgirlmd: No she wasn't scared. Like I said, I think she already knew. My hours are cool. I have about four 8-hr shifts every wk which is pretty chill. Wayyy be