The Indian Artist, Revamped: The Last Hurrah, Year 3!

Good afternoon everyone! I hope that you are all doing well and that your semester came to a successful end. Knowing that I am done with my junior year of undergrad is incredibly exciting yet terrifying at the same time. Time has flown by and I am so excited for the journey to come next!

I am currently in the process of applying to medical schools, about to depart for vacation with family, and trying not to let the anxiety of applications get to me. It has been very tough navigating the onslaught of COVID-19, moving out of home to a new environment for the first time, and juggling a part-time job, research, full course loads, and life all at once. Things did not go as planned. There have been so many hiccups and nothing turned out exactly as I had planned for. However, I truly think that I will end up where I am meant to (in the least cliché way possible).

There have been a few big lessons that I have learned this year. I have learned to stop looking outward and doing what people expect of me, and rather to treat myself with compassion and love. I have notoriously been very good at pushing myself to the nth degree. However, over this past year a lot of that has started to catch up and really affect me mentally and physically. I am trying to learn to listen to my body and mind, assess what I need to do to myself, and allow myself to prioritize what makes me happy. I am not good at following this advice, but I have learned the hard way how important balance really is.

Pursuing a career in medicine, I realized that it is important for me to establish ways of taking care of myself in order for me to fully take care of others. Nobody truly prepared me for the challenges I have faced, and the ones to come. What I have learned though is that I am fully capable. All it takes is patience, compassion, resilience, dedication, and flexibility.

Patience to wait out the bad times and know that good things are coming my way. Patience with myself as I struggle and push through challenges.

Compassion to others and myself. Compassion for those that I serve, my friends, my family, and my own limits.

Resilience to keep going, especially when things get tough.

Dedication to my passions, endeavors, and work. Dedication to my goals, to myself, and to my dream of becoming a kind, good, and successful physician.

Flexibility of mind, allowing myself to adjust my plans and sail with the changing ocean tides.


As I write my final blog post of the year, I hope to embody each of these values and more. I keep the image of my young self in my mind and award her the grace, love, and kindness that she deserves. Be kind to yourselves. Life is too short not to live it to the fullest. Have a beautiful and restful summer everyone!

Until next semester,



Riya A

My name is Riya and I am currently a Senior at U of M studying Molecular Biology with a double minor in Art & Design and Sociology on the pre-med track. Art has been a huge passion of mine from a very young age and in the final iteration of my column, I look forward to sharing my passions as they connect to my culture, medicine, and art.

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2 Comments on "The Indian Artist, Revamped: The Last Hurrah, Year 3!"

1 year 23 days ago

Hi! Thank you for such a candid post and I am sure many of us really needed a break to finally relax. Taking care of yourself is essential, especially when going through big milestones in your life. Recognizing this is the first step and it seems like you are already on track to achieve whatever you set out to. I hope everything works out for you and enjoy your summer break as well!