Making a difference!

 

It’s hard to believe summer is going by so quickly! I’m excited to see you Kenyan and Nicaraguan Hestons back on campus!

I discovered many things this week:

My advisor, Amy Dailey had breakfast with us on Friday, and she and Kim were explaining the College’s effort to incorporate more community-based learning. Amy talked about the epidemiology class that I had with her, in which we had used part of lab to come up with a survey for Health Adams. Just knowing that the campus is shifting towards a system where the learning is based in how you, the student are part of the solution makes me hopeful that others will see change as something that can actually happen, rather than some distant possibility clouded by the complexities of bureaucracy and loopholes. Cam, who is working at Admissions this summer tells me stories of prospective students she interviews or families she talks to. These stories and hearing from some students at send-offs make me so optimistic for the future of Gettysburg. I think it’s easy to get sucked into Gettysburg life and just go through our four years not even thinking about what goes on in the community beyond. This is the first time in my three years that I have been exposed to families that live in our community.

I think I know where I want to be in the future!

I am pretty sure that I want to go into the policy aspect of public health. It’s been such a dilemma to me which areas of public health I want to get into (Nutrition, International, Public health, policy, administration, biostats), but I think I finally figured it out! Also during breakfast we talked about how difficult changes can be at the individual level, eg smoking which is an addiction at the personal level, but at one point a custom/norm at the community and societal level. Throughout the summer, I have been so frustrated at the idea of health because there are so many factors, like genetics, race and income disparities, immigration, our education system, food supply, and more. And the  influence of each of these factors are different from one person to the next. Kim explained that the individual changes can begin at the societal level. I agree. I don’t deny that grassroots movements are effective, but when it comes to health, I think there are so many people (including myself) that become complacent even if you DO want to change. All this to say, I want to make a difference in changing the culture and the way we view health on a large scale so that individually we feel compelled to make the right choice instead of being dragged along thinking that we all have freedom to choose what we eat.

In other news, we are almost done making our GIV day t-shirts!! I love them, and hope you will too! I learned a lot about PhotoShop, which I love, but it has become a HUGE time-robber for me this week!

With nostalgia for the beginning of summer,

Helena

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