My first semester of university education at Marquette University ended around 8:30 AM on December’s second Thursday, the 11th, in the year 2008. In pursuit of a career in medicine, I know it is of crucial importance that I maintain exceptional grades. Beginning college, I set out the goal of obtaining a 4.0 GPA. Just one semester into my higher education, that goal has been botched.

But I’m not losing sight of it. I’m going to continue to work as if I can obtain a 4.0; that’s how I can extract the best from me. That’s what starting quarterbacks in the NFL do. Donovan McNabb, after being benched during a game in favor of a 2nd year player, said this about his status for starting the next week: “I definitely hope so. But that’s not up to me. I will prepare as if I am going to be the starter and do what I can to help the team.” Donovan, even though his initial goal to start was tarnished, didn’t let some blemishes set him back. He kept preparing and working as if his goal was still achievable. That’s how you maintain excellence. That’s how you extract perfection.

I haven’t been perfect — in any sense, even a modified sense! — this semester. It’s quite humbling to be receiving a B in chemistry, and coming to terms with exams that average around 80 percent. ((I felt I was so prepared for chemistry too! A year of AP Chemistry along with a year or organic and a year of general chemistry, I thought that would have been sufficient to prepare me for the chemistry I faced in college. I think a part of my shortcoming was my conceitedness; I saw preparing for chemistry as something “extra” I could do. What a shame.)) For the most part, though, I think I did fine my first semester in college. Although not exclusively academically speaking, the past months have been an exceedingly positive experience.

For a first semester, a basis if you will, I think my jettison towards medical school has an adequate foundation. With the grades I’ve received, my just-recent self analysis, and a better understanding on how I learn and study, I think I can increase my efficiency next semester ten-fold.

One of the best teachers I’ve ever had was in 7th grade science class. His name was Mr. Charpentier, and even at the ripe age of whatever age a 7th grader is, I could comprehend the wisdom that spewed from his mouth. He was a very inspirational man, and emitted radiance in his work. Teachers are so important in our society. Having experienced Mr. Charpentier only adds to the hope that I have in all teachers and their molding of our youth.

There is one quote that Mr. Charpentier shared with us that was exceptionally encouraging. I believe it is somewhat along the lines of a cliche, but still possesses timeless truth.

Good, better, best.

Never, never rest.

Until your good is better, and your better is your best.

Mmm. Talk about fuel for your soul.

  1. Jeff W said:

    Brutal self assessment is probably one of the best things we can do to bring out the best in us.

    And the attitude you have about it is awesome. Keep it up.

  2. Despite what the stats of accepted medical student look like – with their stellar GPA’s and extracurriculars – if you ask most of them, they will all have their share of academic and personal failures.

    It’s our ability to get back up and persist that leads to results.

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