6. For each goal, write a few sentences about your motivation, the benefits of each project, and how the project will help you accomplish your goals. Documenting this can help keep you motivated.

1. Find employment as an EMT-B

My motivation for this is because I know I enjoy Emergency Medicine, and I want to have a job that connects me to Emergency Medicine. I need a job because I have loans I need to begin paying off, and what’s a better job than in the field I enjoy? I find it important to understand the pre-hospital setting as someone who wants to be an ER Physician. I’m the type of person who likes to know how a process works from beginning to end, so starting as an EMT seems very fitting.

A more interpersonal reason why I would like to be an EMT is knowing I’ll be there for patients and their families. As my instructor said, this is the one profession where we have to step into the lives of others  and meet them on their level. And whether that person is a saint, or what I believe to be a total *******, I have to learn how to treat them with respect. It’s a personal challenge that is balance by the fact that we get to touch the lives of many patients and really turn around their days. Honestly, there has never been a moment more satisfying to me than knowing I made a difference in someone’s life.

2. Take the MCAT

My motivation for this goal is the fact I want to go to Medical School! This is one of many steps and hurdles I have to go through in order to apply to Medical School in 2019. I’ve been running towards this life-long goal of becoming an Emergency Medicine Physician and working for Doctors Without Borders, I can’t stop now. I’m the type of person who, when I know what I want, I keep running for it.

3. Apply for a Master’s in Public Health

My motivation for this goal is tied into my goals about becoming a Emergency Medicine Physician. In the ER, I will have to interact with and treat people from the community. Therefore, I believe it’s important to understand that community I’ll be serving and what health concerns may be particularly important or common as a result of wealth inequity or racial divides. I believe being a sensible physician requires a fundamental understanding that one’s environment does play an active role in their well-being and access to health care. As an ER Physician, I will certainly treat patients who otherwise do not have access to health care. I have to be understanding of why this might be, and provide the best education I can within the circumstances of my patient.

4. 30 Before 30: Hike 4 mountains to bring my summit count up to 5/30

After hiking Mt. Lassen earlier this year, I really fell in love with this idea of hiking up 30 mountains before I turn 30 years-old. Mt. Lassen was a strenuous hike and definitely one of the hardest tasks I’ve ever completed… and it was done spontaneously! My asthma created chest discomfort and exhaustion within 50 feet, and this hike was about 2 miles up to the peak. However, when I finally got to the top, I felt so accomplished in ways I’ve never felt before. I would love to take on this challenge of 30 Before 30 to show myself that I’m more than my asthma and short legs.



5. Identify skills or equipment or assistance you need to accomplish these goals.

“If you need to find or acquire something, make notes!”

My goals require  me to take 3 exams: NREMT, GRE, and MCAT. This requires a ton of self-discipline! Currently, I feel pretty prepared for the NREMT, so I’m not worried. For the GRE, I plan to get a book with practice questions. I don’t feel too nervous about it. For the MCAT, I already have plans to take a preparation class.

For MPH Applications, I need the support from professors who will agree to write me letters of recommendation. I already have one professor in mind, but I need to think of another person who would be a suitable writer for me.

For my personal 30 Before 30 Goal, I need a buddy! I don’t really like hiking by myself. I like having another person for safety as well as accountability. With my asthma, it’s really easy for me to want to give up because of the pain and shortness of breath. I need someone who is willing to stay patient throughout the process and motivate me to go all the way up!

This post is part of a larger series of goal-related posts. See the full list of posts here


4. Estimate the time to complete each goal, and note any deadlines. If projects are complex, break them down into smaller tasks

1. Find Employment as an EMT-B

So the process of being hired as an EMT-B is pretty straightfoward, but still may take some time anyway.

  • January: Take and pass the NREMT! I’m still waiting on the available test-taking dates for this…
  • By the end of January: Get my Ambulance Driving License. This requires yet another DMV visit
  • February: Apply for state accreditation
  • February: Apply for county accreditation in San Francisco (and probably also San Mateo)
  • February: Apply for jobs!
  • March: Get hired?!

2. Take the MCAT

All right. I’ve been telling myself for over a year that 2018 is the year. I already have access to acquire some textbooks from friends, but I plan to take a preparatory class as well. I would like to take the MCAT in the second half of the year, or early January 2019. It is necessary for me to know when I will be taking the MCAT by Fall.

  • Winter Break: Start studying for the MCAT! I will be getting the textbooks and I want to bring at least one of them with me to my house-sitting adventures in LA
  • Create a study schedule: I need to make time each week to study on my own. Even just an hour or two of focused, efficient studying can make a difference.
  • Work for a little bit in order to pay for MCAT Prep class
  • Choose, pay for, and attend an MCAT Prep class. Preferably in April through summer.
  • Study study study study study
  • Late Summer/Fall: Register for a testing date!

3. Apply for a Master’s in Public Health

So the only reason why this is the one goal that is not bold (aka, I don’t have to do this in order to personally further my career), I am invested in acquiring a Master’s in Public Health because I plan to literally in the field where I am receiving patients directly from the public, many of whom cannot afford health care due to wealth disparities. I think that having a background in Public Health and what factors affect diseases in certain populations is incredibly relevant and useful. Luckily for me, USF has already outlined exactly all the steps to apply for their MPH program.

  • Complete online application information
  • Acquire unofficial transcripts from Oxy and CCSF
  • Personal statement of interest and goals (2-3 pages)
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Professional resume
  • Take the GRE
  • Turn in the full application
  • Everything due by May 15, 2018!
    • There’s an early consideration date on March 15, 2018… we’ll see.

This post is part of a larger series of goal-related posts. See the full list of posts here

3. Think about what you can reasonably accomplish in 2018, and narrow the list down to just a few major goals.

“Optimally, three or fewer goals, but try to keep it to 5 or fewer. If you have just a single large goal, that’s fine, too.”

  1. Find employment as an EMT-B
  2. Take the MCAT
  3. Apply for a Master’s in Public Health
  4. 30 Before 30: Hike 4 mountains to bring my summit count up to 5

This post is part of a larger series of goal-related posts. See the full list of posts here

2. Think hard about what you really want to accomplish next year, and what you want to accomplish first, and prioritize the list. If there are items on the list you must do, note them.

All right… in my previous post I wrote a lot of goals. At this point, I’m not deleting any goals from my list. I’m just going to prioritize! Anything I have to do will be in bold.

High Priority

  • Find employment: Apply for a job as an EMT-B
  • Master’s in Public Health: Apply for the MPH Program at University of San Francisco (and hopefully begin!)
  • Take the MCAT

Middle Priority

  • 30 Before 30: Hike 4 mountains to bring my summit count to 5/30
  • Travel: Visit a new state
  • Volunteer at a local hospital

Low Priority

  • Apply for a job as a medical scribe
  • Get 150 birds on my life list
  • Travel: Go to New York and watch Once on this Island on Broadway
  • Teach myself “R”

Okay, unlike last year, I couldn’t prioritize by number right off the bat. To be honest, anything that is Low Priority does not mean it doesn’t matter. I made this list based off of thinking of my very long-term goals: what do I want to accomplish over my entire lifetime. Honestly, prioritizing goals is really difficult! And this year, I added some personal goals on top of professional goals.

What do you think is the hardest part of goal-setting?

This post is part of a larger series of goal-related posts. See the full list of posts here



1. Write a major list of goals

“You will have smaller goals throughout the year, of course—the goals for this list should be ones that are large, important, and will each take more than one month to accomplish.”

  • Find employment: Apply for a job as an EMT-B
  • Get in-hospital experience: Apply to be a medical scribe or at least find a hospital to volunteer at
  • Apply for USF’s Masters of Public Health program
  • Hike at least 2 mountains in the Bay Area (Mt. Diablo and Mt. Tam)
  • Get to 150 birds on my lifelist
  • Save enough money to go to New York and watch Once on this Island
  • Save enough money to visit a new state! I don’t know which one yet. Maybe Colorado? Maybe Washington?
  • Enroll in an MCAT Preparatory Class
  • Take the MCAT in late 2018 OR early 2019. I need to pick a date! Officially!

As I did with last year, I will refine this list to a smaller list and prioritize them!

What are your goals?

This post is part of a larger series of goal-related posts. See the full list of posts here


2017 End of Year Update

Hello everyone!

It’s been quite awhile, hasn’t it? Even though it’s been awhile, I wanted to document my progress on my goals from last December:

Here are my goals I set for 2017 last December:

  1. (COMPLETED) Pass my senior comprehensive with distinction
  2. (RESIGNED) Produce a high quality literature review (worthy of submitting to a journal) about diversity in STEM and high-impact practices
  3. (ON HOLD) Become proficient in R (at least proficient enough so I feel comfortable putting it on my resume)
  4. (RESIGNED) Find employment: If research works out, get a research intern position.
  5. (IN PROGRESS) Find employment: If research does not work out, attain my EMT certification
  6. (COMPLETED) Enroll in Physics II (or at least know when and where I will be taking it)

It’s crazy to think that the year is almost over and for the goals that I committed to, I was able to complete them. Mid-year, I committed to my goal of enrolling in Physics and attaining my EMT certification.

I am less than a week away from completing my Physics II class and EMT Training so that I can take the NREMT in Janaury! This is sort of an emotional time because my life right now is drastically different from how it was last December.

Last year, I was still in undergrad. I didn’t go home for more than 10 days at a time for 18 months. Now, I’m graduated and I go to community college and I live at home. I’m in this beautiful and daunting transitional period between undergrad and medical school. I’m making baby steps towards my career goals and it’s been very exciting.

I’m really proud of the goals I completed this year. Whenever I’ve felt lost, I’ve looked back on this list and realized that I am doing exactly what I set out to do this year. And yes, my goals changed and I resigned from some goals… but I ultimately completed the goals that really mattered to me. I’m fulfilling the goals that 2016 Marjorie wanted, and I’m really happy with that. It’s like my past self is giving me guidance.

I will be re-doing this challenge again for 2018. I may not update often, but I will update on my goals at the very least.

Thank you if you followed along with me this year!


I hate to admit it, but one of the ways I sort of organize the chapters of my life are by heartbreaks. I’m one of those people who just likes the same guy… until I like the next one.

I’m sort of moving past one now, a difficult one I might add. I forgot how I used to express the pain and heartbreak. Today, I was looking through old dance videos, and I came across an ahuroa I was a part of in 2010:

This song is about unrequited love: Ta’aki goes to an island to find the perfect engagement gift for his betrothed Nua. However, while on the island, Marama watches him look for the most beautiful black pearl and falls in love with him. However, after he finds the perfect black pearl, he leaves to return to Nua and Marama is left heartbroken over unrequited love. This is her song after Ta’aki leaves; this is her goodbye.

In 2010, I was getting over one of the major crushes in my life–arguably one of most life-changing guys I’ve ever met. I cried on stage while dancing this song because it was so moving.

Now, in 2017, this song feels more relevant than ever. For awhile, I forgot about this song and how I used to sing it in my dorm room to help me move on past heartbreak. In the song, Marama sings how she prays to the gods and ancestors to help lessen the pain and to move on. That’s how I feel when I’m struggling to get over someone–I just want the pain to end.

I’m glad I re-found this song because this song has helped me through so many heartbreaks. It’s my reminder to turn heartbreak into beauty because that’s, in my opinion, the best way to move on.

2017 Goals Mid-Year Update

Hello dear followers,

Last December, I wrote a series on goal-setting using Habitica. Since 6 months have gone by, I’d like to write an update on how I’ve been doing.

Here are my goals I set for 2017 last December:

  1. (COMPLETED) Pass my senior comprehensive with distinction
  2. (RESIGNED) Produce a high quality literature review (worthy of submitting to a journal) about diversity in STEM and high-impact practices
  3. (ON HOLD) Become proficient in R (at least proficient enough so I feel comfortable putting it on my resume)
  4. (RESIGNED) Find employment: If research works out, get a research intern position.
  5. (IN PROGRESS) Find employment: If research does not work out, attain my EMT certification
  6. (COMPLETED) Enroll in Physics II (or at least know when and where I will be taking it)

I’m really proud to say that I’ve completed or am on my way to completing all the goals I set out for myself.

Passing my senior comprehensive with distinction was certainly the proudest moment of my college career because I was able to pass my paper and oral presentation all on my own–without the help of my professor. I did not feel comfortable with my comps advisor for reasons I will not disclose, and therefore the process was very much my own. I’m so proud of myself for passing with distinction, because now I can own my success. I had several all-nighters on the road to my presentation day, and I spent only about 40 hours on my presentation and maybe only 50-60 hours on my paper, but I’m proud of the work I put in.

Due to the stress of comps and not having the motivation to continue reading hundreds of pages per day on top of my school work, I resigned from producing a publishable paper. I don’t feel bad about it–research simply isn’t for me and that’s okay. I’m slowly coming to terms with the fact I do not need research on my resume to be successful.

I started teaching myself R but I don’t have the patience or focus to really hone in on R right now.

I found employment for the summer, though it is not research related. I get to be an 8th grade science teacher for the amazing program Aim High. This summer is my first summer being a Lead Teacher. I’ve had an amazing summer so far, and I really do love teaching. While I still want to become an Emergency Medicine Physician, I would like to teach later in life in some capacity.

Because research never worked out, I opted to get my EMT certification instead, especially after realizing how much I love Emergency Medicine. I think when I made my list of goals, I had not discovered that Emergency Medicine was my calling. However, after I realized it was my calling, I’ve been inseparable from the ER. I want to work again as soon as possible, doing something I know I love. Hence, getting my EMT certification. I’d like to save up enough money to pay for my own MCAT classes and application fees to medical school, as well as money for rent when I do eventually attend medical school.

I enrolled in Physics II! That means I’ll be done with my medical school pre-requisites by the end of 2017!

I’m glad I blogged about my goals in 2016, because looking back on my accomplishments is rewarding. I feel like I’ve actually made progress in my life and I feel motivated to continue going after my dreams.


June 24, 2017

Okay y’all. I admit I’ve been terrible at keeping up with blogging. Like I’ve mentioned previously, I make no promises on how often I update. I just felt like posting a couple of quick updates:

  • I graduated from college! Yay!
  • I’ll be finishing up my medical school pre-requisites this fall
  • I will also acquire my EMT certification hopefully within the next 6-7 months
  • I’m a Lead Teacher for a youth summer program this summer, teaching basic physics and engineering design
  • I’m teaching myself how to meal prep due to aforementioned job
  • I like birding still and I have an Instagram dedicated exclusively to my adventures @GammaCas
  • I have bird feeders and now my mom is into birds too (but she won’t admit it).
  • I started making a spreadsheet about medical schools I might apply to… because whenever I talked to friends about post-undergrad life, it kept leading me into this stressful hole of medical school so I figured I would turn that stress into productivity
  • I’m trying to work out because I want to be strong for my future patients
  • Basically everything I do is about my well-being

And honestly, that’s my life now. I read, do yoga, try to exercise, go birding, teach, and I sleep like 9 hours a day. All right y’all. I’m a real adult now. At least for the next 5 weeks.