I chose to participate in the GEMS program because it gave me the opportunity to strengthen myself academically while briefly being exposed to the expected rigors of medical school. GEMS was the first time I realized that I wasn’t as perfect as I believe I am, academically speaking. Since elementary school, my form of learning would be described as passive; memorizing everything I read and not truly understanding and appreciating the material in front of me. Participating in GEMS quickly demonstrated that memorization alone will not suffice and will lead one down the road of difficulty. GEMS forced me to reconstruct the way I learn and approach subject matters. I learned that I must not only memorize and understand a topic, but I must also conceptualize the subject and be able to apply it clinically. My fondest memories during my GEMS year was the production of satire movies and videos my colleagues (Isaiah Gonzalez and Mike Gyimah) and I would create to reflect our experiences during GEMS. They not only brought laughter to our classmates, but created nostalgic moments that shaped us til this day. Do not let the difficulty of medicine discourage you. Understand that becoming a physician is not, and will never be, an easy feat. If it were easy, everyone would be able to do it. You will have your fair share of ups and downs. It is part of the journey. Remind yourself that you are fortunate to have this chance to obtain a medical degree. There are many individuals that will knock on the door of medicine and will receive no answer. You are blessed to have this door open upon your presence. For future applicants to the GEMS program: this program will provide you the guidance you need to develop stronger study habits, better foundation in the basic and advanced sciences and networking with faculty.