Audrey Self from Edmond, Oklahoma, is applying to medical school. That process under normal circumstances, while balancing a full class load and holding multiple leadership positions, would be stressful enough, but add in a global pandemic and you have a recipe for chaos. Yet Self is handling the stress with grace and pushing forward.
“The plan is to go to medical school, but I am pretty open-minded on whether that is this coming school year or in 2021. I can take a gap year and I think everyone grows a lot in a gap year.”
“Spanish has always been something that was a part of my life. Coming to college, I really wanted to pursue a Spanish minor and my friends encouraged me to do it. Since then, I have developed a passion for the Spanish language and the Spanish culture,” she said.
Not only does she have a passion for the Spanish language and culture, but she sees how it could help her be a better advocate for her patients in the future.
“While shadowing I saw a lot of native Spanish speakers who would need to bring a translator, like their children or spouse, to help them communicate with their doctor. I think it would make them more comfortable and increase their sense of security if they could just talk to me directly,” Self said.
Medicine might not have been Self’s intended path, but it has become her passion. She realizes the difficulties she will face having a career in the medical field yet remains undaunted by the long hours and the hard work.
“Since about fifth grade I wanted to be a doctor. I wanted to be a teacher first, and then I realized that as a doctor you are teaching people about their bodies. You are always learning. It’s a career of learning,” she said.
“We are not just there to approve budgets requests or get dressed in business casual every other Tuesday for fun. We are there to meet new people and leave the College of Arts and Sciences better than we found it,” she said in regard to the role of student council.
Self holds leadership roles in not only various campus organizations but also in her sorority, Alpha Delta Phi.
Family has played a vital role in Self’s success both inside and outside of the classroom.
“I have three sisters. They are all older than me. It’s really like I grew up with four moms. At times it could have been frustrating but looking back they were a big blessing in my life,” she said.
In particular, her sister Jessica has served as an inspiration and cheerleader. Jessica joined the Marine Corps to support her son and has since applied to medical school to pursue her dream of becoming a physician.
“Now she is a second-year medical student and the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences and she is living her best life. She doesn’t let her age stop her. She is not trying to rush through medical school and find the easiest specialty so that she can start her career. She is going to stay true to herself and choose whatever she is called to,” Self said about her sister.
The fact that both sisters could be in medical school at the same time brings a smile to Self’s face.
“We’ve gotten a lot closer, especially since she’s been able to walk with me and see my heart for my chosen career,” she said.
While many people think that you need to have distance between you and your family when you go to college to grow into yourself, Self proves that you can stay close to home and still have an amazing college experience.
“I realized that there is something special about going to college near your home. There is something special about walking and going through this time with your family.”