First of course I have to give a big, fat congratulations to the class of 2018 who graduated on Saturday! We are so proud of our most recent graduates!! We know that you will go on from here and change the world for the better.

Now it is my privilege to introduce us as the Class of 2020! My name is Naomi and I am grateful to get the opportunity to document this journey for our class for the next 2 years.

So as I sit here today, trying to study Pharmacology and Clinical Medicine, I just felt the need to use my first post as class of 2020 Historian to take a moment to express my gratitude.

My time here has already been so immensely improved by the people I get the privilege to study with and learn from everyday. I use charts compiled by my amazing classmates and am referencing a book that our wonderful Dr. Murfin has so kindly lended to me, to try to shed some light on the intimidating subject of antibiotics.

I feel like everyone here is someone I’ve known for a long time and the environment of support and encouragement is incomparable to any other school or job I’ve ever been in. It’s kind of strange when I think about the fact that we just started in January. With everything we’ve learned and all of the different clinicians and lecturers we’ve met it feels much longer and yet, at the same time, the days go so quickly. I feel the hurricane that is PA school beginning to pick up, we truly are entering the days that will define us as students and as representatives of this incredible profession.

I’m preparing myself for the mantle of responsibility that comes with this privilege of learning. We are expected to work hard. We are expected to seek out understanding if there’s something we’re missing. We are expected to be proactive learners and facilitate our own success. In one meager year we are expected to take our learning and apply it with real people who will put their trust and health in our hands.

It’s a sobering, humbling thought.

Yet, through it all, we are also given the resources that will help us successfully accomplish all these things and not for one moment are we left alone in that daunting task. Every faculty member here believes that we have what it takes and are ready to help us in any way that we may need. Our first day of lecture Dr. Bennett told us that our professors are here to be our Sherpas and help us navigate the mountain that is PA school. She couldn’t take the mountain away or even make it smaller, but she could make the climb more doable.

As well as our professors, every member of our class is a resource not only for learning but also for understanding and empathy. We are all on the same, sometimes seemingly insurmountable, climb. Inevitably there are times when we will soar and others when we will struggle. Both are okay as long as we are willing to take those periods of struggle as opportunities to rally our determination, learn from our mistakes, and soar even higher next time. That’s one of the things that gives me the most hope and gratitude for getting to be a student here at Elon. It’s more than just a program or a few classes. We truly become a family with a goal to support and uplift one another.

Now is the time to embrace PA school. I’m trying my hardest to, as Professor Moore says, “Trust the process!” It is hard. But as all those who have come before us have attested time and time again, it is doable.

I look forward to continuing to climb this mountain, helping and being helped by those who have so much faith in me. I am so extremely grateful for the support and love I’ve already seen from my classmates and Professors. There’s nowhere else I’d rather be than right here with all my Sherpas and fellow climbers.