I remember in the weeks before moving down here friends and family would exclaim ‘oh how exciting!’ at the prospect of starting a new path down the road to my future. After all the hard work it took to get here, it was certainly a relief. Exciting: yes; slightly terrifying: definitely. Over the last few years I’ve realized the rewards of pushing myself or getting pushed (reluctantly) out of my comfort zone. Moving to a home not knowing anyone is a challenge, and knowing the exhausting work-load that lay ahead this time was a bit daunting. That’s why I feel so grateful to have fallen into this group of people, my PA family. My peers have been there to support me in so many ways and help me grow some roots in North Carolina. They helped provide countless opportunities to get involved in this community in medically relevant but also unexpected ways. I love working at the Open Door Clinic, getting to see real patients and reminding myself why I chose this profession. I’m so happy (con la ayuda de mis compañeros) to continue improving my conversational and medical Spanish. I’ve explored bits of North Carolina from Wilmington beaches, to the Raleigh Food Truck Rally, to the Greensboro National Folk Festival, to Asheville, and plenty of craft beers in between. I have had the joy of leading both a sand volleyball and cornhole team through (minimally successful but) incredibly fun intramural seasons. I have even tried my hand at fantasy football! I owe so much of this joy to the encouragement and openness of my classmates. I don’t know what lies ahead after graduation, but I feel so fortunate to have grown to be a part of this community.

-Paige H.