Students of MI: William

“I’m from Ghana and it’s been a lot of fun coming here to Michigan State University. When I first arrived as a freshman, I thought about going somewhere else (especially with Michigan weather). When I think about school now as a senior, I know that my time at MSU has been a rewarding experience. In just four years, I’ve met amazing people from so many different places. I’ve been able to do research and travel.

My major is neuroscience – I love biology and chemistry and I’ve always been fascinated by the brain. Neuroscience sounded like an amazing opportunity because the research is still brand new and we don’t know a lot about the brain, and that’s when everything came together. I wanted to do something where I could still learn as the field evolved, and I found that neuroscience was the perfect way to do that.

College was never something I was expected to do. My parents couldn’t afford to pay for my high school to begin with, so I did not think I would have the opportunity to go to college. Where I grew up, that was not a thing that people did. My mind changed when I met people who talked to me about college, and I knew I wanted to study somewhere else. I needed the experience of doing something different, and it helped to look at what people had done in my community and extend it even further.

The biggest obstacle for me was the culture shock I experienced living in a new place. The main thing is being in a new environment that you’re not used to, and you sometimes feel alone or like there’s no one around you. Finding a way to step outside my comfort zone was an obstacle, but also helped me make great friends and learn to navigate different cultures.

I really experienced this culture shock two summers ago when I interned at Harvard Medical School. Sixteen of us were picked out of nearly 1100 people and as I entered the room for orientation, I realized I was the only black person. I took it as an opportunity to be different and say, “I want to be noticed in this room, so I’m going to make it count.”

(William, Neuroscience, Michigan State University)



Share this website