Summer 2014

Jeff (Chi-Hung) Chen

Schulich Leader at

As I reflected on fall semester over winter break, I felt slightly displeased, not with the result, but with my complacency. You see, I felt that in my desire to become accustomed to the university workload and lifestyle, I had become too comfortable. I realized that I was simply going through the motions, following my routine to a tee. I yearned to see what new experiences would arise if I cast away the known for the uncertainty.

So as the countdown rang in the 2014 year, I made a promise to myself to venture outside of my comfort zone.

Academically, that meant trying my hand at new subjects. I took an introductory health science class as an elective and I am very glad I did. It provided me with eye-opening insight into the medical field and helped develop the social component that my science-oriented view on health care lacked. For an aspiring physician, I could not have asked for anything better. I also decided to try my hand at taking a course online. Through that, I learned how to better manage my time and I gained confidence in my ability to adapt to changing environments to still find success.

On a personal level, my resolution meant taking more initiative to actively communicate my feelings, ideas, and experiences. I ran in an election for the first time, and was elected Vice President of Recruitment by my peers at Phi Delta Epsilon. As well, in my faculty interview for an NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Award, I shared my reflection on what I had learned over my summer research work at a molecular cardiology lab at the Child and Family Research Institute. That led to me winning the award that is currently funding my summer research project on Junctional Ectopic Tachycardia.

As of now, aside from my aforementioned research work, I am also balancing studying for the MCAT, applying for medical school, and planning fall recruitment for Phi Delta Epsilon. This is the first time I can remember having to plan my schedule around working, volunteering, studying, and commuting all at the same time.

But I am confident it will go well. If this past semester has taught me anything, it is that true happiness and success can be found when one breaks free of their limitations. After all, you cannot hope to escape the desert if you forever stay in the oasis.