Three Down, One To Go.
June 5, 2014 by James Lioi
And a hello to all! It has been quite some time since my last post. A lot has happened (as always), and I wanted to wait until my life calmed down a bit before updating you on what I've been doing.
I guess the first big piece of news is that Iâ€™ve finished my third year as an undergraduate at Niagara. Needless to say, I feel old! I'M A STINKIN' SENIOR! I do not like it. At all. Itâ€™s baffling how quickly the time goes by. I remember just yesterday, I was taking my first tour of campus with my mother and I was being dropped off for orientation. The Class of 2014 will be truly missed and I did let a couple of man tears down my face during their graduations. I salute you all!
As I had said in a previous post, I really enjoyed my classes this semester. Iâ€™ve come to truly appreciate learning for what it is: knowledge rather than a grade. And I think that my desire for a future career in infectious diseases has been cemented. There is something about viruses that peaks my interest. Speaking of viruses, Iâ€™ll be working on my Honors Thesis for my senior year! My project is the genomic analysis of Staphylococcus (the bacterial genus) bacteriophage (viruses that infect bacteria). I have been working on it already, but this will be my main focus during my senior year.
I have taken the MCAT! I am not sure how I performed yet, Iâ€™ll find out at the beginning of July. BUT Iâ€™M POTENTIALLY DONE - WAHHOOO! Never have I stressed or studied more in a three-week period. I think I called my mother almost every other day and I know that my friends and I freaked out to each other pretty much every day.
Now that that is behind me, I have begun my application to various medical schools. My list is short because I may be working abroad through my motherâ€™s church for a year. However, I am going to visit a few schools located near Niagara Falls and Canton to see what programs have what Iâ€™m looking for. I will be applying as an M.D./Ph.D. candidate so, hopefully with my credentials, I will get accepted! And we will wait and see how I did on the MCATâ€¦
It seems that with each year that goes by I have more to be blessed with, and most of it is thanks to the people at Niagara University. Iâ€™m not saying this because I am an orientation leader or my bosses want me to promote NU. I was inducted into several honor societies this semester, one being the Presidentâ€™s Society for the Niagara University Honors Program. My involvement in this group has provided me with incredible networking opportunities as well as times to represent the school that I love - and show that this place is amazing.
I witnessed my first surgery as a student, visited two medical schools, saw what it was like to be an M.D./Ph.D., had many laughs with my roommates (and a short-lived prank war), seen what itâ€™s like to be a kind and caring doctor when too often we have mediocre or unsatisfying experiences with a medical professional, and managed to finish the hardest year, academically, with a smile on my face. The biggest lesson I have learned is to be proactive and absorb everything. These years are going to lay the foundations down for decades to come so make sure you are prepared (although I have complete faith in the faculty at NU to help you along the way).
Well, thatâ€™s all from me folks. Iâ€™m in Ohio with my family. For once, we are all almost together and I plan on advantage of this time. â€˜til next time.
â€œIf the purpose for learning is to score well on a test, then we have lost the real reason of learning.â€ - Jeannie Fulbright