The aspect of the Bailey Scholars Program that interested me so much was that we were building leadership skills. This time last year, I had some experience, but leadership was still an area I felt uncomfortable being in. I view myself as an introvert who, when given the space and support, can be an extrovert. Hearing that in our core classes, we would work together as co-learners to build a syllabus and structure our class, while also participating in learning experiences sounded like just the type of class that would put me outside of my zone of comfort and help me to grow my instinctiveness toward leadership. On the very first day of class this semester, when we did an activity that involved piecing together a story of pictures, one of our conveners and co-learners, Salo said “I see some individuals that stay back, and assess what everyone else’s thoughts are and then say their ideas”, and I guess hearing that this was a valid way of collaborating and being a leader instead of always being the first one to speak was very motivating for me. At the end of my time at Michigan State, I want to be confident in my way of leadership and collaboration, and I believe that the Bailey Scholars Program will get me there.
Another aspect of Bailey that lines with my personal values is that this group is filled with others who value learning. We are a collaborative learning community. I also think that the ways in which we go about our learning will be such a different experience from the learning we get everywhere else on campus. This learning will be collaborative, exploring new cultures, inclusive, and hands-on which I really love. My love for learning is one of the reasons why I’ve decided to go to medical school and commit to the time it takes to become a doctor; why I think it is worth it. I really love that this program allows us a safe space to learn and figure out what’s best for us as a group and individually when it comes to learning and collaborative environments. It also helps give us the space we need to get more confident in our own voices and the strengths that we can bring to a group setting. In this environment, we as co-learners gain the value of listening to other’s opinions and understanding the importance of inclusion and what can be gained when we bring in people from all different types of backgrounds and experiences and create something positive. This is ultimately what I am looking forward to the most.