Nominated for Liebster Award!

I know I said at the end of last semester that I’d be writing more this summer, which has been the truth just not for this blog. I hope you all haven’t forgotten about me in my absence!

Luckily, one of my mutual readers, doctororbust, did not forget and recently nominated me for a Liebster Award! He writes a wonderful blog about the pre-med experience and I can’t wait until his posts about actually being in medical school start up shortly!

What is the Liebster Award might you ask? It is an award given to bloggers by other bloggers with a name coming from the German word for love. It functions sort of like a chain letter except there’s no threat that something terrible would happen to you if you don’t send it on. Rather, it must be sent on for the pleasure of accepting the award and celebrating the work of others (a much better outcome!). It comes with a various versions of rules to accept the award, which the specific rules given to me are as follows:

  1. Thank the nominator and post a link to his/her blog. [See above]
  2. Display the award on your blog. [See the side bar]
  3. Answer the eleven questions provided by the nominator.
  4. Nominate 5-11 blogs that have less than 1,000 followers and let them know they’ve been nominated.
  5. Make up and post eleven questions for your nominees to answer.
  6. Post these rules to your blog. [DONE]

Here are the questions and my answers: 

1. If you could change something about yourself what would it be?

I’m going to have to go with being more willing to ask for help. I tend to prefer to do things myself so that I know it’s done the way I want it done, but that means my workload becomes overwhelming especially when I find it incredibly hard to turn down opportunities. It also means I don’t necessarily get the feedback that I need from my mentors because I don’t ask for it.

2. If you could be fluent in another language, what would it be?

At one point, I was learning German, which I realized during my trip to some German-speaking countries (see my next answer) that my proficiency is quite lacking. I would love to build upon what I currently know. On the other hand, I would like to be fluent in Spanish since it is such a commonly spoken language. In fact, I’m currently working on my medical Spanish skills through Canopy Apps.

3. Have you traveled to another country, if so where, if not where would you go?

After my senior year of high school, my concert band took a 10-day trip to Germany, Austria, and Czech Republic. We toured Salzburg (where the Sound of Music was filmed – LOVE that musical!) and Vienna in Austria. We also went to Mauthausen, a concentration camp, and St. Florian Abbey on our way between those two cities. In Czech Republic, we went to Prague, and in Germany, we went to Rothenberg ob der Tauber, which was a medieval town (complete with a large wall surrounding it for protection). We also performed five concerts along the way! It was a great final memory with many of my high school peers.

That is by no means the end of my travels though because I really want to experience as much of the world as possible. But I don’t have any specific plans for travel as of now (#poorstudent).

My mom wore my grandmother's scarf, so at least a part of her was at my college graduation.

My mom wore my grandmother’s scarf, so at least a part of her was at my college graduation.

4. What was the proudest moment of your life?

This probably was my college graduation. It was the culmination of years and years of hard work and was also the day of reaching a milestone of volunteer hours at the hospital and completing my undergraduate research grant project. Plus, I knew that I would be starting school as a MD/PhD student in the fall, which was a relief and an honor. I was proud to be graduating from the university that I love so much and that by doing so, I was making my loved ones proud (even if just in spirit). While my grandmother did live to know that I got in to my MD/PhD program, my biggest goal was to have her live to see me graduate from college, which unfortunately didn’t happen though I knew she would have been incredibly proud for me at that moment.

 5. If you had a super power, what would it be?

There’s simply too much that I want to do and not enough time or energy to do it all, so my super power would have to be something that would give me more time and energy such as not needing to sleep (definitely a super power).

6. Do you have a talent most people don’t know about?

I am quite good at guitar hero – or at least I used to be (haven’t played in quite some time). It’s one of the few video games that I can beat guys at!

7. What’s the most risk taking thing you’ve done?

Honestly, applying to medical school itself felt like a huge risk. Looking back, it seems like sort of a whim decision. I was trying to decide if I had a chance for that application cycle and ultimately took the “If you never try, you’ll never know” approach even though I knew I risked not getting in, having to figure out what to do with my life from there, and spending a lot of time and money to go through the application process.

8. Why do you write, did you enjoy writing growing up??

I always hated writing. It was more like a chore (since it was always for school!) I can distinctly remember too many times when faced with a piece of writing for class that I simply stared at the flashing cursor in Word for far too long. Times like this were torture. Yet, I have always felt that I could eventually get my voice across in my writing and received compliments from my teachers, which encouraged me to at least try to find enjoyment in writing.

Somehow around the time of applying to medical school, my view of writing shifted. I became more comfortable with writing and more efficient at putting my ideas into words. Making my blog was immensely helpful for giving me practice (even though I figured no one would read it!) I took a course on scientific writing for popular audiences since one of my purposes of writing is to share information with people in general rather than just in academia, and it provided me with practice and insight to make me a better writer. I then started writing for Almost Docs and later DocCheck in addition to this blog, so now I write for them, I write to provide advice for students on my blog, and I write for my satisfaction of getting my ideas and experiences online and available for others to access.

 9. If you could keep to your future, by passing all of the hard work to get to your goal, would you?

ABSOLUTELY NOT!!! I am having way too much of a good time with the process – the days are long and challenging, but I would not have it any other way. Goals are also dynamic, so my goal now may not be my same goal when I’m done with things (if I could ever be done with things), and I want my life to be shaped by my hard work so that it has the best outcome and story that it can.

10. Can you tolerate spicy food?

I always try to tolerate it, but I’m not usually that successful. For example, I used to have a goal of completing the Buffalo Wild Wings Blazin’ Challenge, but that has long since ended because I know that I can’t handle that much spice (and I remember my guy friends in high school bawling their eyes out during it – no thanks). I prefer a medium level of spicy food.

11. Are you a morning or night person?

I would love to be a morning person, but alas, no such luck. Instead, I am a professional snooze-button pusher. I am very much a night owl though!

And now for my nominees… [drum roll]

  1. Journalist Doing Science
  2. Gay MD In Training
  3. Pretty Strong Med
  4. CheerfulHeartGoodMedicine
  5. MD after PhD

My Questions for Them

  1. Who has been the most influential person in your life?
  2. If you could accomplish anything that you set your heart to, what would you do (not necessarily a job, just anything)?
  3. Why did you decide to start a blog?
  4. What is one skill that you wish you had?
  5. What do you think is the most important issue that the world needs to address?
  6. Do you have siblings? If so, what is your relationship with them like?
  7. What do you like to do in your free time?
  8. Can you keep a secret?
  9. What is your favorite thing about yourself?
  10. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?
  11. What is your favorite genre of music and/or artists?

Again, thank you doctororbust for the honor! I am grateful and look forward to the responses from my nominees. 🙂

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Hanna is a MD/PhD student at the University of Illinois and an aspiring physician scientist who aims to specialize in hepatobiliary cancers. She is also passionate about teaching, leadership, and advocacy. The energy she once used to pep up crowds as a college marching band member is now directed toward exciting and educating others about science and medicine, especially through her tweets at @MDPhDToBe and her blog at www.mdphdtobe.com.

Posted in General Interest
5 comments on “Nominated for Liebster Award!
  1. Barb Warden says:

    This was so interesting, Hanna! Thanks for sharing it with me. Kudos to you for your hard work and great writing.

  2. I’m actually writing mine now!

  3. […] I was recently nominated for something called a Liebster award by M.D., Ph.D. To Be (who is a great blogger and provides a lot more helpful advice for premeds […]

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