Giving Thanks During The Holidays

The holidays are all about gratitude and thanks. I can’t help but think about the people and experiences that have shaped my academic year and helped me grow as a health care professional.

This year, I was lucky to travel to new places for district and national conferences. I am grateful for the students and colleagues on the district and national leadership who planned and executed these large-scale professional events despite having their own exams and academic commitments. Thank you also to the speakers who left their families and loved ones and work obligations to attend these conferences and inspire us and motivate us to be better professionals.

I am thankful for the staff members that work in the supply room. Despite the daily demands of maintenance and upkeep for a brand new lab, these two women never show stress or frustration when students ask them the same question multiple times. I feel like I always turn to them when I have a problem whether or not they know how to solve it.

I am very lucky to have made new, loyal friends in a new city when I started my program. There are a handful of friends who get me through the day, every day, and make the stress of school a little more enjoyable. Recently, a friend of mine shared traditional Malaysian food for lunch because she knows I don’t make time to eat if there’s an exam in the afternoon.

Most importantly, I am thankful for my family. My parents motivate me everyday to work hard and fulfill my potential. They send me care packages frequently with everything from prepared food to toilet paper. I want to thank my sister who, although younger, works harder than anyone I have ever met and continually inspires me to the best version of myself.

Lastly, I want to thank myself – for not giving up, for getting up early in the morning when I want to sleep in, and for giving myself pep talks when the going gets tough. I know I am lucky to have been accepted to a school. I am lucky to say that in 2 years my parents will experience an unparalleled feeling or joy and accomplishment when I receive my diploma.

Thank you so much to these special people.

And Happy Holidays to all!

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Sonal Kumar

Sonal Kumar is passionate about combining science and storytelling. She has vast experiences outside of healthcare including marketing and advertising, print and broadcast journalism, including TV/radio production. Sonal is an alumna of Columbia University. She tweets @sonalkumar2011.