Even as I walked towards orientation, I was questioning if this was actually going to happen. Can I really do this? Why did I leave Virginia? None of my friends are with me, how am I going to survive 27 months here? Question after question ran through my head and I couldn’t quite think straight.

Summer of 2008, I had traveled by myself from Taiwan to Fairfax, VA for college. At the age of 18, I guess I was too young and naïve to realize the challenge I would be facing in a new country, with a new language, without my family. Back then, I was filled with excitement and faced every obstacle head on without hesitation. Now, 7 years later, I knew what it meant to leave everyone I know behind again; what it would be like to have to learn a new surrounding again; what it felt like to have to make a new home again. And all those feelings made me wonder if I made the right decision, if going to PA school was going to be worth it and if I had it in me to start new again.

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Looking back, I can’t believe how fast the past 10 months have come and gone. I don’t deny PA school being extremely hard… scary hard actually, however, I was able to make it through the ups and downs due to my wonderful classmates and professors.

Graham and Paige O, for volunteering to teach me how to take blood pressure when I found out I was one of the only ones who didn’t know how to do it. I hardly knew them back then, but they didn’t even hesitate to give up their time to help me.

Rheadon, for hosting small EKG classes after school, and Logan, for answering EKG questions question after question without complaint (and skipped dinner doing it!). I would have never passed cardiology without them.

Anna, Will, and Brittany, for showing interest in my culture, and allowing me to share it with them. For showing me culture I missed from not growing up in the states.

Phia and Ashley, who lives in the same apartment complex as me, and opened their home to me. Made me forget that I live alone, and gave me a place to go to for fun, for company, for studying, for talking.

Dr Bennett, Dr Murfin and Professor Thurnes, for always having their doors opened for me; for always taking the time to listen to my questions and problems; for always being positive and encouraging.

Because of them and many, many others, my journey is no longer filled with the anxiety, insecurity, and loneliness I once felt during orientation. I can’t fully articulate how big of a support my classmates have been to me, and how much it means to me for them all to be so selfless. Because of them, I have found a new home with my PA family.

Thank you, Elon PA Class of 2018.

-Amy Y.

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