Here & Now: Further Reflections from 8 UM-Flint Students

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Here & Now: A Year in the Life of 8 UM-Flint Students
Here & Now: A Year in the Life of 8 UM-Flint Students

Earlier this year, we asked eight students from across the spectrum of schools and colleges to share their insights and experiences as UM-Flint students. Their answers highlighted their talents and how UM-Flint has empowered them. The students are back with a second round of answers, showcasing the unique opportunities and experiences available at the University of Michigan-Flint.

Rosemary Lewinski, RN to BSN

Rosemary Lewinsky, RN to BSN

Besides your class materials, what has been one development this year that has helped you professionally?

 After my first semester in the program I found that beyond the material I have learned in my classes, I have gained just as much through the interactions and discussions I have had with my fellow classmates. I am a fairly new nurse and the knowledge, experiences, and challenges of veteran, as well as other new nurses, that are shared through discussions is invaluable and encouraging.

Being able to talk with other new nurses and realizing we share the same concerns is tremendously helpful in the first few years as a nurse. Even more than that is what I learn from the experienced nurses. Hearing about all they have done, the units they have worked on, and what made them change units as they mastered new skills and looked for new challenges encourages me to keep seeking new experiences to further develop my nursing skills.

This ability to network with other professionals is what inspires me to keep going with my education, no matter how challenging it may be at times. It helps me to remember why I chose nursing. Nursing, or any career in healthcare, is a profession lined with new challenges every day and learning happens continuously with each interaction with patients. The classroom based, and hybrid classes have provided me with the support of other student Registered Nurses that is helping me in my personal journey as a nurse more than I ever realized it would.

Chloe VanTol, Honors Psychology

Chloe VanTol, Honors Psychology

What academic challenge or development has interested you the most this year and how have you approached it?

 Being a Psychology student in the Honors Program means that the summer of my junior year will likely be spent doing some off campus research at another college. Last semester, I was faced with the challenge of finding fifty possible contacts for this project. I researched many colleges across the United States to find possible locations, explored the different research projects along with Psychology professors at the universities, and came up with a detailed list for future reference.

Eventually, I will be sending emails to these contacts in hopes of finding a location to complete my volunteer research assistantship that will last several weeks over the summer. This process took a lot of time and effort and seemed daunting at first. I decided to take my time and spent several hours a week dedicated to completing this task.

I made a detailed spreadsheet where I was able to organize the names, universities, emails, and research projects of different professors around the United States.Having this comprehensive list will aid me in the completion of this academic endeavor. This development in my academic progression with the honors program has made me excited for the future!

Joseph Scanlon, International Business Management

Joseph Scanlan

Besides your classes, what other responsibilities do you have that take a lot of your time and energies? How do manage this to give each one the proper attention? What advice do you have for new students who are learning how to manage their time?

 There are only so many hours in a day and somehow countless students including myself find time to do things like study, go to class, and work. Besides my classes, I find myself working quite a bit. College isn’t cheap, not by any stretch of the imagination. Outside of class I work 40 plus work weeks. Many of my days start at 4am and don’t end until close to midnight after finishing homework and what not.

Managing my schedule takes two things constancy and will power. If you can find a job that will allow you to work 40 plus hours while having a flexible enough schedule to go to class, you’ve hit the jackpot. Don’t get me wrong it’s tough, you really have to start prioritizing things in your life. The mistake many people make is that they prioritize, in my opinion, wrong. I made it clear at my place of employment that school comes first, you have to put school above almost everything else.

You need to learn to deal with the razzmatazz around you at all times and focus in on what’s important. You begin to live by your syllabuses, if one thing changes your whole schedule changes. The biggest piece of advice I can give to people trying to balance a schedule as busy as mine is if you need to be able to adapt at any point to any situation. It won’t be easy and many times it won’t be fun but trust me it’ll be worth it.

Mariah Patten, Undeclared

Mariah Patten, undeclared

What academic challenge or development has interested you the most this year and how have you approached it?

 So far this year, an academic challenge that I found most interesting was the fact that I didn’t know how to study or learn. (To a certain extent). I came from a high school where I didn’t have to study as much and the learning was much easier. Not knowing how to study and learn has resulted in me performing poorly on tests and exams. It made me think college is too hard for me. I tackled this challenge by taking advantage of the different resources offered on campus such as tutoring, and learning strategies.

After applying the tips I was given on studying I noticed a significant increase in my performance on tests. Also, in math I started out not doing my homework because the professor didn’t require it to be done, she didn’t collect it. Not doing homework impacted my test scores negatively. I started doing homework and they made me actually learn the material. My test scores increased by 10%. I had to learn the hard way that homework is important, and studying the right way was also important. Now that I know how to learn and study, I am confident that I will excel in my courses.

Kerry Thomas, Social Work

Kerry Thomas, Social Work

What academic challenge or development has interested you the most this year and how have you approached it?

 The academic challenge that has interested me the most this year is time management. Finding time to study and have a personal life can be a struggle if you do not approach or balance these two aspects of college life carefully.

To become a successful student that achieves the full benefits of college life you have to master time management. Being a full time student with an internship job putting a perfect plan in place that will satisfy family and friends needs is practically impossible. You cannot make everyone happy. Sometimes you have to sacrifice your own personal needs when you pursue your goal of becoming a University of Michigan-Flint graduate.

Deblina Deb, Doctor of Physical Therapy

Deblina Deb, Doctor of Physical Therapy student

Besides your classes and related clinical work, what is something you have done this academic year that has been rewarding? How and when did you get involved and why?

 Since my first semester at UM-Flint, I have been involved at PT HEART. This organization is a pro-bono clinic that provides health education and physical therapy services to the members of the Flint community who are uninsured and underinsured. As a first year, I was able to monitor the heart rate, blood pressure and BMI for the patrons of the clinic. During my second and third year, I was able to treat the physical therapy patients under the guidance of local clinicians and faculty members.

As a second year student, I also had the opportunity to serve on the Board of Directors for PT HEART. My experience with this organization has helped me develop many skills that I will take with me throughout my career. I have learned aspects of administrative work through my time on the BOD and I have honed my physical therapy skills while treating patients. The work we do at PT HEART is extremely rewarding and I would highly recommend that future DPT students also get involved as much as possible.

Livingstone Gowon, Communication

Livingstone Gowon, Communication

What academic challenge or development has interested you the most this year and how have you approached it?

 The most challenging aspect for me throughout the semester was being committed to my classes while working on club functions, collaborating with the Indian Student Association and helping out at the Lula Hurse Thanksgiving giveaway, which I found to be a great way to give back to the community. This also fosters leadership development, which complements the classroom experience and helps in community building.

As a part of the African Student Association, I help out in brainstorming ideas and executing them by educating people about Africa, its people and culture. We are passionate and dedicated to ensure that we enlighten people about our culture as we embrace diversity, and honor University traditions. Being involved on campus has made me realize that College is a place to build memories and friends that would last for a lifetime. Not only has it made me up for the challenge that life has to offer, but also made me improve on myself as an individual.

Noah Knutson, Biochemistry

Noah Knutson, biochemistry major

What academic challenge or development has interested you the most this academic year and how have you approached it?

 In all my classes last semester, I spent a great deal of waking hours, working on assignments and studying for exams. Those hours were, of course, filled with fellow students involved in the same struggles and plenty of caffeinated beverages.

I think the best way to tackle an academic challenge is to first attempt on one’s own, and if one is unsuccessful in learning it, then seek help from any practical source. There is a particular satisfaction gained from that epiphany after falling to understand for so long. In my physics class with Dr. Alan Grafe, last semester, there were plenty of moments were I was beyond my normal levels of lost, but when I sought out help from the depths of the Internet, from my teacher, and from fellow classmates, I did end up learning, surprisingly. I think that because of moments like that, being lost is one of my favorite parts of the learning process.

Robert is a staff writer in the Office of University Relations. Contact him with comments, questions, and story ideas.