By: Sylva Ohanian, Pharm.D. Candidate c/o 2017
Finally, I understood the hype. Impatience rendered my heart anew as I rushed into an epiphany 1,353 feet above Chicago. The Skydeck was flooded with tourists and natives alike, continuously breaking record-numbers in visitors. Why do they continue to come en masse here? Is it the overwhelming feeling of “being higher” than everything or is it the marvelous sight that is provided, which is seldom viewed on a day-to-day basis? For me, it is neither. Heights do not only displace us from Earth but from our perspectives as well. When I looked down at the night hugging the city of Chicago I looked down on unfamiliarity, the unknown. The feelings evoked atop were the same feelings evoked during lab in chemistry class, looking down into my laboratory beaker. Combinations and reactions of various elements had me fascinated. Moreover, viewing pictures in class of experiments I was yet to perform was like viewing the 30-minute video of the Skydeck before ascending it. There was curiosity to be satisfied.
This curiosity was the prime motivation for me applying to St. John’s University College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Professions last year. In retrospect to my first year as a pharmacy student, I evaluated if my curiosity had been satisfied. It has been satisfied knowing there is more to becoming a pharmacist than handling drugs. I formulated this opinion as a first-year student. I also formulated that for each year in pharmacy school, there is a theme that accompanies it. This year’s theme was the adaption from a high-school life to a college life. As a dormer, learning to appreciate the diverse crowd on campus is not a difficult task. Orientation allowed me to do this. For the incoming freshman class, orientation is one of the most important events of the year. It is where I met people with similar yet varied principles. As a result, my creativity has increased as I was exposed to refreshing ideas.
Furthermore, aside from living on campus, studying on campus has been a recent experience as well. Although it may be stressful at times, studying on campus is a great way to concentrate on a goal in my mind. For instance, the library in St. Augustine Hall makes it relatively simple to study to an “A.” The silent-study area on the first floor allows all-night, uninterrupted study sessions, if one is willing to stay awake. Moreover, a neighboring café provides ways to regenerate when you are starting to feel drowsy. This helped me a lot during my first two semesters, and as finals draw near, I am only in St. Augustine Hall; trying desperately to stay awake, flipping through pages and pages of foreign material, and realizing that being 412 meters high is not necessary for one to be fascinated.