Written by Francesca Desilvio, Pre-College 2017 student
I chose the Pre-Med and Science Pre-College Program at Wagner College because I wanted to learn more about the medical field. Something always fascinated me about the medical field. I love the idea of helping others and putting others’ needs before mine. I knew I wanted to participate in this program because I always wanted to attend Wagner and I knew this summer program would allow me to earn credits, learn from professors, and talk to students in Wagner’s prestigious PA program. I was very excited to start this experience at Wagner College.
My day started at 9 a.m. with health class that lasted until noon. In this class, we focused on human anatomy and learned how to take vitals, give ultrasounds, and perform CPR and suture. After this class, my classmates and I would grab lunch at Hawks Nest, one of the dining facilities at Wagner, and hang out before our next class. After our break, we would have Microbiology from 1:30 p.m. until 4:30 p.m. where we would talk about the many different bacteria found in the body and go into the lab and look at them through microscopes and try to identify what type they were and their purpose. After this class, many of us would go back to the dorms and form a study group where we would help each other with homework and just have fun. Throughout the three weeks, we also had a variety of specialized events planned including trips to nearby hospitals and the FDA.
My most memorable moment was at the very end of the program when I gave a presentation of the project that I had been preparing for the whole summer. I remember standing in front of fellow classmates, family, professors, and the current Wagner Physician Assistant class. I loved being in a room filled with people who had the same passion. Hearing all the different projects that my friends were presenting and answering questions from the audience while I was presenting was an unforgettable experience. It was that day where I realized I wanted to become a physician assistant, and I could not have done it without the support of my parents, friends, and of course my professors who helped me every step of the way.
My advice for teens looking at summer programs or camps is don’t be afraid. Don’t be afraid to apply for programs that are out of your comfort zone, or apply to programs where you would need to stay overnight to study. It was the best decision I’ve ever made. It helped me find friends that I stayed in contact after the program ended, college experience that I would like to continue to be a part of, and a career path that I’ve fallen in love with. All of this happened because I stepped out of my comfort zone. I had the best time, and I am forever grateful for what that summer gave me.