Human Anatomy at Colby

End of Semester Reflections

February 4, 2020 · No Comments

The January course of Introduction to Human Anatomy and Physiology is a rigorous, fast-paced look into the inner workings of the human body, but it is also much more. This class and Dr. Klepach are adaptive and reflective. As we learned the anatomy and physiology of various body systems, we learned of the delicate balance which every system within the human body must work to maintain through the various facets of homeostasis. We learned the various physical elements of which we are composed along with what they do and what can go wrong without proper rest and care. It is often joked about that members of the healthcare field are the most unhealthy people, but as I recorded my eating, sleeping, and exercise habits over the course of January, I was ashamed to find how much this applied to me. I rarely eat three meals each days and during the academic year I rarely sleep for 8 hours every night. I had to actively think about eating and sleeping properly over the course of this class, and it required significant effort and self discipline to get 8 hours of sleep each night. Many of us have been trained to place our grades and our education first, but Dr. Klepach helped me see how maintenance of my personal health is important as well, and over the course of this class, I worked to deconstruct this habit and place myself first. It required adaptation and reconsideration of my study methods, but I realized that it is possible to work hard and get good grades while also getting eight hours of sleep every night and exercising regularly. 

On the first day of the class, Dr. Klepach told all of us that our goal for the class was not a grade, it was not to memorize and learn all that there is to know about human anatomy and physiology, our goal for this course was to keep our stress levels low, eat, sleep and exercise right, and learn how to learn the most productive way. As a generally stressed and anxious person, I’ve always felt that a stress level of 4 or 5 out of 5 was part of being a student at Colby pursuing a career in medicine. However, as I adjusted my eating habits and began eating nutritionally appropriate meals at the right times for me and pushing myself to sleep more, I saw my stress levels fall. Throughout the course, I maintained stress levels of 3 out of 5 or below, and my grades only improved over the course of the class. I saw for the first time that flashcards and all nighters were not the MOST effective and productive methods of studying for me, and I was able to work for less time and achieve better results. 

Above all, I would say that my greatest take away from this class was redefining my measurement of success. I was able to see that my success is not dependent upon the grades that I receive and success doesn’t need to be a quantitative measurement at all. Success can be whatever you define it to be, and now I view any form of self improvement as personal success.

Devon O’Connell

Categories: Bi265j