Motivation: “I will succeed despite any challenges”

What has been your biggest challenge while attending podiatry medical school? What have you learned as a result?

My biggest challenge while attending podiatry school was having to let my Gross Anatomy professor know that I could not keep my commitment to be his teacher assistant (TA) in the anatomy lab.

I made it my goal to work hard enough to become an Anatomy TA after my first year of podiatry school. I had the pleasure of enjoying it for a short time, but then I had to break the news. Initially, I was upset that what I worked so hard to attain was going to be taken away from me. When I saw my professor that morning, his response came as a shock to me. He told me that he did not want me to enter the lab at all. In fact, he was excited for me and congratulated me on my pregnancy. He proceeded to tell me that he still wanted to have me as a TA to tutor students who needed help outside of the lab. That was the first of many victories that I experienced during this pregnancy and the birth of my son. 

“I will succeed despite any challenges”

Before school started, I wrote out numerous goals on the wall in my room where I do most of my studying. Being pregnant during medical school was not on my list, but I did write, “I will succeed despite any challenges.” When I read my wall, I became determined that I will not allow my newfound obstacle to hinder the goals I set. I embraced my unique journey. I decided that I would never have to tell my child that I failed out of school or had any decline in my success because of his/her existence. I worked through nausea, exhaustion, and mental fogginess to maintain my excellent grades. I was able to maintain my GPA for that year, tutor for gross anatomy and physiology, and participate in extracurricular activities, among other things.

“I will be successful!”

After my son was born, the challenges increased due to the obvious greater demand of having time being spent taking care of him as well as studying for the APMLE Part I boards exam. My son was another reason to keep pushing for success. I woke up every day motivated to work even harder to make sure that I could keep the promise I made to myself when I was pregnant. “I will be successful!” is what I told myself during those days when I was physically and mentally drained. My support system was also essential in my ability to push through the challenges of pregnancy and motherhood. My husband reminded me daily of my goals and was crucial in helping me pass my boards.


I have learned that I am mentally stronger than I thought. I am resilient, driven, and can accomplish all that I set out to do. I learned that having a support system in place, writing out goals, practicing positive self-talk, and sticking to one’s plans are vital to anyone’s success.

by Marika Jackson

School: Barry University School of Podiatric Medicine


“I will succeed despite any challenges”

Motivation, Student, Lifestyle, 

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