My Oxford experience provided me with the valuable exposure needed to make me globally competitive and increased my appreciation for the world's diverse peoples. My Neuroscience and Brain and Behavior tutorials equipped me with the confidence to speak with even the best neuroscientist. The challenges I faced to prove I was "Oxford smart" in my Physiology tutorials taught me that an unbeatable work ethic conquers all. Meanwhile, my Human Ecology tutorial influenced the way I plan to practice medicine in the future by inspiring me to become a physician that also uses foresight. At the end of both terms, I relished the fact that I truly earned every A mark I received.
In addition to the time I spent studying with my peers, writing essays in the Bodleian library, and prepping for the MCAT in the Oxford University Parks, I also ventured outside of my academics by joining the Psychology and Neuroscience Applications Society (PsyNAppS) and rowing with St. Catherine's women's team. My participation in PsyNApps allowed me to hear and meet many popular and leading neuroscientists while rowing allowed me to make new friends and find balance between my studies and hobbies. As a food lover, Chiang Mai Kitchen, The Rose Cafe, Cote Brasserie, and Shanghai 30 became my favorite Oxford eateries.
When I wasn't in Oxford, I found time to travel to Ireland, Italy, Germany, The Netherlands, France, and Morocco. Through solo travel, I gained a newfound independence and was able to share my experiences with other travelers who shared my wanderlust. My proudest travel moments include visiting Marrakech and participating in the observance of Ramadan with two shopkeepers I befriended, learning about the rich history of Berlin while lodging in the trendy Kreuzberg area, and standing atop the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland. I also had fun while group traveling with my friends as we decided which free walking tour would suit all of our needs and discovered new parts of the world together. Whether traveling solo or with friends, I took my camera everywhere to document my excursions.
Thanks to my Howard network, I also gained family in London. On weekends that followed academically strenuous days at Oxford, I would travel to London to visit. My London family showed me how true Englishmen live, sometimes laughed at my accent, and always treated me to a large and delicious English breakfast. My trips to London also led me to fall in love with Spitalfields and Brixton where I could be found browsing the markets or attending talks on feminism or the possible impacts of Brexit (The UK exited the European Union shortly after my departure).
I miss Oxford and the United Kingdom every day. While I didn't experience a culture shock when I arrived to the United Kingdom, I am definitely experiencing a reverse culture shock as I withdraw from my life abroad. I will always cherish my Oxford experience because Oxford taught me how to put myself on the line and truly equipped me with the tools to thrive and lead in any environment. I am forever grateful for the English Speaking Union's (ESU) benevolence and faith in me as they allowed me to represent their organization, Howard University, and our nation. I am sure that the ESU will be pleased to know that in the words of my tutor Dr. Nye, "You would be a first class honours pupil at Oxford and I am sure you will go on to be an excellent medic."
Shortly after departing from Oxford, I facilitated sickle research in the NIH funded Minority Health and Health Disparities International Research (MHIRT) Training Program at The University of Ghana Medical School in Accra, Ghana. I am now applying to medical school and will begin my medical training in the Fall of 2017. In my senior year at Howard, I am still very active on my campus as an ambassador and an undergraduate researcher in the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participants (LSAMP) Program. I am also still very active in my community. Along with my mentee, dear friend, and the 75th Luard Morse Scholar, Adaya Sturkey, I have co-founded a mentoring program called Flourish Mentoring Program Incorporated.