At my university, there is a rite of passage for all the upperclassman called the Capstone. This process, though it is required to graduate, is cause of many exclamations like, “What am I doing with my life?” or “Why can’t I just graduate without doing this thing?” or “Is this a way for my university to hold my degree hostage?” Needless to say, everyone considers Capstone a large, complicate, and sometimes unrealistic en devour. However, this experience does have its benefits, even if they aren’t apparent to us now. Basically, Capstone is the process by which upperclassman make themselves unique candidates for graduate/medical school applications. Some may chose to do their Capstone on furthering their experience in research, while same take upper-level classes, and others travel to foreign countries. They then connect this experience to a theme of their choosing and then present this theme in addition to the activities they did for it. It sounds easy, but the process includes submitting a proposal to the vast majority of the faculty at my university. The thought of having one’s Capstone proposal rejected is terrifying because it basically equates to “you don’t know what you’re doing with your life anymore.”
Luckily for me, I had my Capstone approved the first time! As you may have read, my plan basically includes moving to a new city to earn a minor in public health. I’m also in the process of applying for medical scribe positions as another aspect to my Capstone. Throw in volunteering at a hospital and researching at a clinic, and I have my complete plan. I’m crossing my fingers hoping that it all works out. As for the theme of this plan, I described it along the lines of, “Communication and Healthcare: Foundations for Effective Treatment.” Exciting right?
One of the hardest parts of this Capstone process is the hurdle that I came across today. Just recently, we were informed of our faculty sponsors; these are faculty members that are there to help us with any hiccups during the course of our Capstone. Not to mention, they are also the professors that are going to grade the presentations of our experiences. I was actually fairly lucky with my sponsor; out of the 8 or so members who were minoring in public health, I was one of two students who got a professor of public health for a sponsor. Today, I had to make the first contact with her. This brings me back to one of the things I hate most: first impressions. Nervously typing out the email, all I could think was that I’m am making myself sound like a fool and that I’m going to fail at life because I couldn’t even connect with the one person who was supposed to help me during the course of my most intense year. Whether or not that is true, we can only wait to find out.