Amala’s Three Lessons

From Hayward, California, Amala is majoring in Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology and minoring in Global Studies. A tree-hugger and science-lover, she’s planning on pursuing higher studies in molecular biology and plant research after graduation. She loves going to concerts around LA and watching the Food Network in her spare time

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My time as a UCLA undergrad is rapidly coming to an end. Naturally, I’m feeling quite reflective… (and sad, happy, scared, anxious.. but i’ll just ignore that for now). My time as a GlobeMeder is also nearing its end and I can’t help but feel gratitude for the lessons I’ve learned. I’d like to share the three most important lessons I’ve learned in my three years in GlobeMed.

Lets backtrack to sophomore year, when squeaky little me joins GlobeMed! At the time, I was quite lost and didn’t feel very connected to the UCLA campus. That changed when I went to the 2014 Summit (Ironically, Summit takes place across the country). At this global health conference, I talked to extremely passionate students and heard talks from accomplished individuals.. then it hit me… I could be and do ANYTHING I wanted and that there are so many ways to make a positive impact on society. This was the first time I truly felt my own agency. Instead of feeling anxious, I slowly started implementing changes to try to figure out my “passion”. GlobeMed empowers students to discover their skills and although I didn’t know what I was meant to do yet, I started to feel at home in GlobeMed.

During my third year, I was co-director of campaigns and was extremely excited to push GlobeMed’s mission forward. Junior year me had a new-found confidence and I naively thought I could do it all. I was so passionate about GlobeMed… but also my research lab, job, and classes. Like most students, I was playing college Jenga and as each week went by, I was removing one block at a time. In the end, it all came crashing down and I was left overwhelmed and with mediocre grades. The second lesson I learned, as simple as it sounds, was the importance of setting priorities and trusting my gut. As a non-profit organization, GlobeMed is also forced to make tough decisions with its limited resources. Sometimes, you just can’t do it all so I started being more careful with my time. I made the tough decision to leave my position and in retrospect this allowed me to go deeper into some of my other interests. I started reading more about molecular biology, agricultural development, and plant research. I started asking mentors in academia and in the work-force for advice. Setting priorities left me with more time and I started to think a lot more about my future after graduation…

… Which is just 4 weeks away! I started senior year wrongly thinking I was done learning lessons. I had figured out what I wanted to after all, yet I found myself fearing failure and doubting my abilities. This year, I was a ghU leader and was able to give presentations on topics related to social justice or global health. Being able to share and discuss my passions with other GlobeMeders reminded me of why I am passionate about my interests. It gave me some much needed confidence in myself that helped me overcome my self-doubt.

I cherish the experiences and opportunities I’ve had in the past few years and I hope that hearing about my growth might help someone else in a similar situation. GlobeMed has helped me see my own agency, forced me to set priorities and reminded me that I am good enough. More than anything, I’m thankful for the amazing people that have made this organization so great and I look forward to being part of the GlobeMed alumni network!

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