Shivali Gupta; University of Connecticut class of 2017; Major: Physiology and Neurobiology, Psychology; Minor: Neuroscience; Albany medical college class of 2024
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What did you do during your growth year(s) and what did you learn?

I took multiple growth years, which is not something I anticipated doing but am now so grateful for. Each of my experiences helped me grow in a way that has made me more prepared for medical school than I would have been otherwise. After graduating from UConn, I served with AmeriCorps for 10 months, specifically the Service to Improve Community Health (STICH) program in Connecticut. Through this experience, I gained a passion for community health and public health, which is why I ended up applying to and completing a Masters program at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

What are some ways that you take care of your mental health and overall wellbeing?

Making sure I make time for things that are important to me (like spending time with friends and exploring) and things that are good for me (like exercising and journaling) are key in ensuring I stay motivated and well throughout medical school.

What advice do you have for aspiring pre-health students?

I would say that there is a LOT of advice out there. And advice from others often comes from their own experiences, and no one's experience is going to be the same. Definitely take tips from people who have been through it before, but also trust your own path and do what feels right for you.