Updated: Jan 12, 2020
Motivation. Isn’t that just your passions seeing you through difficult times, difficult situations or a difficult journey? Yes. At least, that’s what motivation is for me. I am a Black woman. Not thought, statistically, to be any better than my next “sister,” or “brother,” so I am constantly discouraged along this already difficult journey of medicine. So what keeps me motivated? My passions. My passion for fitness, for health, for teaching, for God and for leading the next generation. There is a burning fire in me to become that black doctor in a white coat, not only for me, but for everyone who looks up to me. That is what motivates me.
I really do feel like one of my major life purposes is to inspire others and that really does keep me motivated. Whether it is leading a workout session as a Pretty Girls Sweat National Ambassador at Binghamton University, or serving as a research assistant, or teaching assistant, or peer academic advisor, or office assistant, or peer health educator, or president of an on-campus organization, I have learned that all these things-- and more,-- truly make me happy. I enjoy using my time wisely and always having something to do. That keeps me motivated too. Knowing that people are counting on me to get something done, or knowing that one part of a task depends on the completion of mine pushes me to keep going.
I have been chasing after this white coat dream for as long as I can remember. As a little girl, I used to set up my dining room table into a classroom, teaching my invisible students math, english and science, and grading their papers. Those who failed exams, had to see me after class for one on one tutoring-- and of course-- no recess time for them. I became infatuated with the idea of helping others learn, of helping others grow, and of showing others that if I can do it, then they can too.
Being a minority, pre-med has not been easy. I have been completely blessed to have made it through pre-med requirements, the MCAT, and the application process; ultimately to be matriculated into medical school, beginning August 2017. What else has kept me motivated was my spirituality and the relationship I built with God, who I believe, has really saw me through this journey. Whenever I was stressed, I would listen to gospel music and pray. That really hit my soul and I felt really fulfilled after that. I always had just a little bit more energy to study, just a little bit more knowledge that I lost before during an exam, and just a little bit more faith that I can actually do this. That I can actually become a doctor. Dr. Sagesse. It still rings in my ear.
Whether it is your social life, hobbies you enjoy, your friends or your family, whatever keeps you happy, that is what keeps you motivated. Find that. Find your passion, and you will never really give up. You will wish you could, and you would feel so close to giving up, but your passions will see you through. A doctor is all-encompassing, well-rounded, and not just passionate about medicine, and findings solutions to problems. We are real people too. So if you love cooking, cook when you’re stressed. If you love dancing, dance until you have enough energy to continue studying. Do what makes you happy. Do what will preserve your energy, because in the end that is all we have to keep us going. Keep pushing. If I did it, so can you.
Gabrielle Sagesse, 21, Binghamton University Alumna, a dedicated soon-to-be first year medical student passionate about increasing the number of minority students pursuing medicine. She authors the My Med Code blog (http://codemed.weebly.com/), which chronicles her journey as a pre-med.