On October 23, 2015, I departed the Raleigh-Durham airport with a round-trip ticket to Washington, D.C., to embark on a brand-new adventure all on my own. That weekend, I had the amazing opportunity to represent UNC Hospitals and School of Medicine by presenting a poster regarding my research at the American Academy of Pediatrics’ annual national conference. The study analyzes communication between residents and families in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. Sounds pretty cool, right?
This is where Phi Beta Chi comes in. Hey, our recruitment theme this semester is “Oh, The Places You’ll Go” and I did eventually figure out how to get to D.C. But, not without the support system Phi Beta Chi gave me. That day I panicked, I was texting my big, Claire, and she sensed my underlying panic, and showed up at my door less than thirty minutes later. She walked me through finding plane tickets, and reassured me that everything was going to be fine, despite my uncertainties. I was able to breathe again, and focus on the bigger picture—that this was an amazing opportunity I might not get again.
The next morning, I woke up early to make it to the convention center. I hung up my completed poster, and anxiously awaited the poster session. I had to stand answer any questions about my research. During the poster session, I had the opportunity to talk with doctors high above my undergraduate caliber, and saw Claire’s reassurances come to fruition. This was an opportunity I was truly blessed to experience.
Thirty-six short hours later, I arrived back in North Carolina, successfully completing what I now refer to as my “first business trip.” I learned that even if I have to do something “alone,” I’m never completely alone, thanks to the support system I’ve gained with Phi Beta Chi.