The lights lining the walkway to the hospital flickered on. The crescent of the sun was shrinking by the second. A countdown emerged, as if we were waiting for the ball to drop on New Year’s Eve. There was a sense of excitement electrifying the crowd. Students, doctors, nurses, professors, families, and construction workers filled the lawn outside – specs of white coats, red EMT polos, and blue scrubs stark against the green grass.
Totality began. So did the cheering and the looks of pure amazement in everyone’s eyes, finally visible from behind the chunky paper glasses. Smiles spread like wildfire.
In undergraduate, the concept of family was emphasized continuously. There was this remarkable tendency to be able to casually speak to any student, to ask any individual for help, and to always make new friends. Because of this, I now have the ability to strike up a conversation with any stranger. My undergraduate career also taught me the importance of not only having a support system, but also being a support system for others. My love of community led me towards USCSOMG, a place where I was welcomed with open arms.
The atmosphere of USCSOMG is a unique one. It was relayed to us on the very first day that there shouldn’t be competition between us, and there never has been. There’s a connection I feel with each of my classmates and my professors, but there are also the special bonds formed with the security guards, the IT guys, and the janitorial staff. My support system extends far beyond the classroom, and lives within the caring comment from the staff wondering when I’m going home, or within the guard walking me over to the Emergency Department because it’s dark outside. There’s the smile from the M1 as I’m making my fourth cup of coffee in the lounge, or the warm wave from the admissions staff down the hallway as I’m running over to the hospital.
During the three minutes of totality, I sat surrounded by some of my best friends who are by far going to be some of the best future doctors I’ve ever seen. There was no worry of the white coat in the freshly cut grass or the phlebotomy we would practice in a few short minutes. There was simply joy and awe. For a once in a lifetime experience, I wouldn’t change a thing about it.
I am not just a student at USCSOMG. I am a part of the USCSOMG family.
Anna Tarasidis is a native of Greenwood, SC, and graduated in Bioengineering from Clemson University in 2016. You can most likely find her out on a hike, deep in some Netflix, loving on somebody’s dog, or, let’s be honest, in the library. She has a passion for people, whether by mentoring or teaching or just through a simple conversation.
Copyright 2014 USC School of Medicine Greenville