I was in the middle of traffic. It was 7:24 a.m. and I had to be in class in six minutes. After studying a significant amount of time, nerves were eating me alive because this exam would mark a stage in my life. My mind kept running, going over and over everything I had studied, thinking about physics, biology, and my worst nightmare; organic chemistry. Five minutes had gone by and I was almost at the location where my future would be defined. My vehicle was parked and my anxiety would not go away. Breathe in, breath out, I begun to ponder; what am I doing here?
It took me on a trip down memory lane, and I started reflecting on the incidents that brought me to this point. There he was, Jesus, my little five year-old cousin who unfortunately had an uncommon disease, Adrenoleukodystrophy, where insulation over the axons breaks down causing a progressive degenerative myelin disorder, leaving infants completely disabled in a range of six months and dying some time after. This was my first introduction to medicine, seeing him weakened daily woke something in me exposing my mind to what my future was going to be like, a mix of empathy, compassion, assistance and desire to know more.
Furthermore, as I wanted to advance in my career, my family and I came to the United States for a better future. Though I had several obstacles such as language barriers and financial problems, I got accepted to Florida International University with the FIU Academic Achievement scholarship and joined Alpha Epsilon Iota Academic Honor Society, where I gained experience that strengthened my desire to study medicine. Feeling so grateful for the opportunity given to me, I begun to volunteer at Miami Children’s Hospital in the Pediatric Oncology Unit. Working with terminally ill children, I met Ashley who was diagnosed, at the age of two, with neuroblastoma, a solid neuroendocrine tumor, which is one of the most common cancers affecting infants with an incidence rate almost twice as leukemia. Spending quality time with her made me see through her eyes; patients need doctors with more compassion and effectiveness. Realizing the unfortunate fate they had dealt with, not being able to attend school and advance in life, I decided to do community service at Lindsey Hopkins Technical Education Center which offers a free tutoring and mentorship program for at risk students involved in violence, drugs, and drop outs. I found this to be the most rewarding volunteering I had done, as I was able to help students approach a better life.
I found myself needing a job; my father had gotten...