Growing up I was painfully shy throughout most of my life. It was always difficult to get my voice heard, and I had a strong social phobia that made it difficult to meet new people and carry on conversations. I always thought that it was just set into my personality to be quiet, shy, and reserved, but my time in undergrad challenged that notion. I gained a lot of confidence during my last few years of undergrad, and it was through seemingly small changes such as joining more organizations, and pushing myself out of my comfort zone that I was able to meet new people. When I entered P1 year of pharmacy school I promised myself that I would be open-minded to my fellow peers, and try to be understanding of backgrounds different from my own. In diversifying the types of people I encountered, I got a better understanding of different perspectives, and I was able to better relate to those outside of my usual circle. We live in very polarizing times, so I always try to keep my biases in check and not judge a person based upon on a first impression. I think as individuals we are complex and our beliefs are complex, and sometimes we are placed into boxes that don’t accurately describe our value systems. In keeping an open mind, I think that has definitely helped me make friends my P1 year. Although we are all flawed, the majority of my peers are kind individuals who are just trying to make it through a tough transitional phase in their lives, which in this case is the first year of pharmacy school. In connecting with each other and relating to one another, we can build a strong support system that will help make the transition easier.
Linda Nguyen, P1