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At exactly 6:21 A.M., my alarm clock starts its daily, unbearable buzzing, and the familiar aroma of coffee reaches my room. My unwillingness to get out of bed is suddenly overpowered by another round of alarm clock noises. I spring out of bed, exhausted and dizzy, but eager to start my morning routine. Within an hour, I manage to run out the door, rushing to get to piano class on time. As I drive down the main street of my town, I think about the busy Saturday ahead of me: piano, music theory class, volunteering at the hospital, helping mom with her work. Unlike most of my friends, who take Saturdays for granted and sleep until noon, I save my favorite activities for the weekend, even if it means waking up a few hours earlier.
Time flies by quickly, and before I know it I find myself at the triage. Rarely is the walk-in emergency room empty, but for the first time since the summer, we have twenty minutes of peace. I take this opportunity to read a few more pages of L’Ã©tranger, by Albert Camus. The head nurse, Jane, looks at me curiously, so I explain to her my goal of becoming fluent in French. Our conversation shifts to college, and I proudly tell her that I hope to attend Georgetown next fall. Naturally, she asks me why I chose Georgetown.
I begin by telling Jane that Georgetown is a place where I would be intellectually stimulated, explore a range of engaging subjects, and interact with a diverse group of people. A liberal arts education will give me a solid foundation in the areas of theology, philosophy, literature, and history, all of which are extremely important. I want to know just as much about Thoreau as my roommate who is studying economics. I look forward to my classes, because every student will bring something completely different to the table, ensuring the development of exciting discussions.
Our conversation is interrupted by blaring ambulance sirens, but Jane ignores them, asking me about the Jesuit educational system. I tell her about the Jesuit notion that people are placed in the world in order to help others. At Georgetown, I know that my education will make a difference, and that what I learn will help change at least a small portion of the world. Besides, both my mother and father were raised in an environment where Jesuits taught and played an active role in their communities. Therefore, I am aware of how the Jesuit presence can enhance an academic environment.
I have always wanted follow in my parents’ footsteps and become a physician. I see this profession as a mechanism through which I can effectively help others. Throughout high school, I dedicated a great deal of time to volunteering, from tutoring children at a local foster home to sponsoring a girl in India. I have assembled goody bags for both the mentally disabled and the needy, and for years have been donating books and clothing to an orphanage in Poland. I want to continue helping people, which is why I am at the hospital today, and why I am pursuing a career in medicine.
Jane seems impressed, because I have already decided what I want to do with my life. I continue, telling her how excited I am to start classes next fall. I can already picture myself walking past the ivy-covered walls of Healy Hall towards my Introduction to Biology class. The beauty of Georgetown’s campus is breathtaking. In my head, I snap pictures of Dahlgren Chapel and make plans to develop them in the darkroom. I sing the melody of Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata”, thinking about my Julliard-trained, practice-obsessed piano teacher, who will be relieved when I tell her about all the available practice rooms. Although I am only a freshman, I start to consider research possibilities for the future. Professor Henderson approaches me, and asks if I would be interested in touring the Georgetown Medical Center with her. Perhaps this is where I will be doing my internship next year. Jane agrees when I say that Georgetown offers a perfect location. The quiet, picturesque atmosphere reminds me of Europe, yet it is only seconds away from the bustling metropolis. Washington, D.C. is an international city, with a myriad of internship opportunities that will enable me to cultivate my interests in medicine and the French language.
I admit to Jane how eager I am to attend performances at the Kennedy Center alongside students who love music just as much as I do. I tell her how much I look forward to doing community service with my peers in the D.C. area. I also envision myself sitting with Professor Roman in a cafÃ©, discussing Eugene Ionesco’s works after my Advanced French class. We have many traits in common; we both appreciate French literature, and think that Paris is the best city in the world. She is jealous, because I plan to spend the fall of my junior year in Paris. I promise to send her postcards.
Suddenly, our first patient arrives. Jane and I resume our work, but I manage to squeeze in one last thought: at Georgetown, I tell her, I feel certain that I will not only grow intellectually, but spiritually and emotionally as well.
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