Medical Internships: Spreading Kindness While Gaining Life Experience

Stress is a big part of my daily routine, as it is with most juniors in high school; however, stress can sometimes be a good thing.  It can motivate someone to achieve their aspirations and keep him/her from procrastinating. What also helps with procrastination is being involved and busy so that there is no time to slack off.  Time management is key in situations where the weight of it all seems to make students lose balance and fall over.

Most 16-year-olds don’t know what their future career will be, but I’ve had it planned out for as long I can remember. I want to help people in any way I can, whether it be unloading the groceries for my grandma, or 20 years from now in the operating room. That’s why I have involved myself in a Youth Volunteer Program at Yale New Haven Hospital.  I see volunteering as a way to bring about more servant leaders and kindness around the world, and I believe the world needs more of it. Participating in an internship will help me not only gain a taste of what it’s like to be working in a hospital, but it has already helped me better myself. I help people as best I can, whether it is restocking gloves and gowns, reading to patients and making them feel welcomed, or reassuring them that they are not alone.  Building relationships, in my opinion, is a healthy way for someone to understand the true meaning of life, but relationships can’t be built if one doesn’t involve themselves and fight for their dreams.

 I have one experience where I sat with a patient for 30 minutes.  Being in a place that isn’t your home and that you cannot leave, leaves most people feeling uncomfortable and scared, but our general conversation about the Super Bowl and our favorite foods, eased him to kick back and relax.  He was in his late 70s but the age difference didn’t change the way we connected. We were just two people, two people who were equal in status; he didn’t see me as anything but someone he was just talking to, and I didn’t view him as a sick patient who was in desperate need of help; I viewed him as a person.  We grew a genuine connection and that connection gave me a taste of my future, which inspired me to keep going and never give up because consistency is what achieves goals. This experience has taught me things I wouldn’t have learned otherwise, and gave me the best answers to any questions I may have.  

I didn’t just choose to do an internship to gain a sense of what my ideal future would be; I chose to do an internship because I knew it would change my perspective on the world around me in a positive way, which it has. Being around patients who had families and their own lives and were stuck here, in most cases, in terrible conditions, repeatedly broke my heart, but it urged me to be a better person who can help people, even if it was just a simple task like getting a snack for them when they were too weak to get one themselves.  My experience was a chance for me to change my views on the world and seeing such terrible and sad things happening around me, made me realize not to take things for granted. This experience taught me that everyone has their issues and that the most you can do for someone is be kind. No one is perfect, especially not some 16 year old high school student whose dreams reach the sky. People are bound to make mistakes, but mistakes allow us to hone our natural ability of trial and error. It is healthy for someone to want the best for themselves, but not every good opportunity is assigned to one person and realizing that there are other people in the world that work just as hard and that are competing for the same goals is the first step in professional maturity and silent competition.