Why did you choose your major or program? 

I chose medicine because it is inherently intersectionality: I am not only a provider who heals; I hope to be a historian, activist, translator, and advocate for my community.

What is a fun fact about you that few people know?

I planned to be on Broadway, and only applied to one non-conservatory program.

What is your favorite song and why?

Wild side by Normani and Cardi B – the song samples an Aaliyah and Timberland beat from the 90s, which is my favorite era.

What is your current favorite streaming binge and why?

Fearstreet on Netflix – similarly an R. L. Stein 90s classic turned into a new age horror series and the cast is super diverse.

What is your favorite hobby or activity you like to do in your free time?

Hot yoga – half exercise, half sauna

How have your identities (race, ethnicity, sexuality, gender) affected your college experience?

My desire to pursue medicine has always stemmed from a greater passion for community and social determinants of health. To me, being a physician means not only understanding the impact of disease on an individual, but health disparities on a community. Thus, having experienced many illustrations of community as a Black girl growing up in the South; as a first-generation American; as a cisgender woman; and as a queer person of color, I have concurrently held and prioritized several identities that were shaped by intersecting communities starting from a young age.

How do you practice self-care?

I write music, talk with friends and family, participate in a critical theory book club, do hot yoga, and sleep in late when I can!

How are you adjusting to the “new normal” as we’re emerging from this pandemic? Do you have any tips for other students who are going back to college this semester?

Your safety and the safety of your community should be prioritized. Sometimes balancing mental health and physical health is a difficult ask, but we are all part of a larger society, and remembering this fact can place individual actions into context. Our actions always have rippling effects, so I always encourage everyone to consider how they can feel whole while acknowledging their positionality.

This post’s responses were submitted by Anchor Trust Scholar Mikiko Thelwell (She/Her).

Mikiko is currently studying medicine at UCLA. Read more about the Point Flagship Scholarship for LGBTQ students program here.

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