Last winter, a video uploaded on YouTube went viral with over a million views. This popular video showed a small cub climbing up a steep, snow-covered slope in Eastern Russia. The cub repeatedly slips and falls down the treacherous slope as its mother waits at the top of the slope. This heart-wrenching, thrilling video shows the cub’s never-ending perseverance to succeed.
As I reflect on my first year of PA school, I look back and picture myself as this cub throughout the year, constantly struggling and falling down. With the daily grind of lectures, assignments and exams, I wrestled with stress, fatigue, and discouragement as the intensity of the program persisted. I thought about what I need to prepare, what I need to study, and what I did not know. But like this cub, I had an incredible support system of classmates, family, friends, and Duke PA faculty — my mama and papa bears — that helped me keep my eyes set toward the top and remember my "why."