Farewell: A Final Reflection of My First Year of College

Farewell: A Final Reflection of My First Year of College


When I was looking for schools, I thought about my future, what kind of person I would become, how I could possibly fit in with everyone, and if the prestige and academic standards were too high for me. Nonetheless, I went with my guts and chose to attend Loyola. Still to this day, I have no regrets about that decision.

From the very beginning, every new student was required to go to an 2-day and 1-overnight stay at Loyola. Even then, I was incredibly nervous. I knew nobody and my social skills weren’t so good. Plus, I have never been in a dorm before nor have I slept elsewhere besides my own room. Anyways, on the first day of orientation, I was put into a small group of 10 other students and to this day, I still know 5 of them very well. We are close friends! That evening, night, and next day flew by so quickly because I had people to talk to which made everything else much more bearable for me.


When school started, I had to adjust to extended school hours (some classes ended at 3:46PM and others at 5:30pm for me). With that, I had to learn how to use my free time wisely. Never in my life did I have so much independence. I used my free time for getting school work completed, visiting teachers during their office hours, going to mass, eating outside in the quad, and more.

Commuting! Especially for commuters, things can and will get rough and challenging. Weather conditions can get in the way (mostly in the winter) and because you live at home, there are home obligations in addition to the academic obligations.  If you would like to know more about this, I have two blog posts on my commuting experiences on my page.

From January onward, I hit a personal barrier. A family situation had come up and it affected my academic performance and physical and emotional state. Despite that, I sought out help through my academic advisor, psychologist from the Wellness Center, Dean of Students, and Financial Aid Director. I am happy to say that things are slowly getting better for me and hopefully by the start of fall semester, I will be completely up on my feet and ready to start anew.

Throughout the school year, I was a part of the American Medical Student Association, Vietnamese American Student Association, and Off-Campus Commuter Life group. It helped get me active within the Loyola community and along the way, I made more friends! I plan to continue joining all these groups next school year in addition to A.C.E., a group that pertains to students of low-income, first-generation, and more.

As I conclude this final blog post of this school year, I want to thank all of you readers for wanting to read my blog posts and go through my Loyola journey. Also, hopefully you had the opportunity to learn more about me, my hobbies and interests, and more. It was a privilege to blog and represent Loyola and I hope I have the wonderful opportunity to resume Rambler’s Pie: A Fresh Slice of Loyola starting next semester.

All the best,



(being eaten by a dinosaur at Loyola’s Scholars Night at the Field Museum)



AMSA (American Medical Student Association) is one of two groups I am part of, here at Loyola. It is a wonderful group that prepares you for the medical career by familiarizing you with MCAT prepping, listening and meeting guest speakers, and participating in things outside of the school (like volunteering at a school or city event). I have been a part of AMSA since the beginning of school and have enjoyed being a member. As you might know from my other blog posts, I aspire to become a doctor and being in AMSA is a perfect fit with other members who have the same/similar aspiration.

Truthfully, I have not attended many meetings last semester, but I hope to attend more meetings more consistently because my longest day (classes on campus) fall under the same day AMSA has their meetings. AMSA is beneficial. It helps prepare us for the healthcare profession. From a range of guest speakers, we listen and understand their medical journey and experiences and consider their advice. My favorite guest speaker would be Dr. Vitale who brought tons of laughter into the auditorium through his experiences and motivated us to pursue our ultimate passion and put aside the challenges and hardships that comes along with the passion.

I highly recommend any pre-med students to become a part of AMSA. You will gain a substantially greater knowledge in the medical field and will help prepare you to make wiser decisions in the future.

Extra, Extra, Read All About It

Extra, Extra, Read All About It

It is always fantastic to stay active within your community by doing extracurricular activities. They keep your day productive and you get to have many amazing experiences within the club (activities and events) and be able to meet new people.

At Loyola, I am part of two clubs/groups: AMSA (American Medical Student Association) and VASA (Vietnamese American Student Association). Both of the these clubs are fantastic because they define who I am and who I want to be; they help me understand and enjoy the things I love the most. In AMSA, I get to hear speakers from all different types of backgrounds tell their story on how they became a doctor, MCAT test prep representatives help me prepare for the rigorous exam, and ultimately I am able to obtain a better idea of how to be successful in my medical future. In VASA, I learn more about my culture through eating delicious (and FREE!) Vietnamese food, celebrating Viet holidays, and seeing student performances that originate from Vietnam.

Outside of Loyola, I volunteer at my local hospital every other Friday. Starting this summer, I plan to take summer classes at Loyola to ease my workload for the school year. Also, I plan to take cello lessons at a music school as well as apply to volunteer my time at Rush University Medical Center. Although it sounds like a lot, I know that this is my prime time to do this as I currently have the motivation to stay productive and participate in extracurricular things that I truly love to do.