As they prepare for the next stages of their lives, members of the Brooklyn College Class of 2017 share some details of their journeys from students to graduates. Find more student commencement profiles and videos on our Facebook and Twitter pages. Use the #BCGrad2017 hashtag to join the conversation!

Chelsea Batista

B.S. in biology

I started as a freshman knowing exactly what I wanted to do with my life: become a physician.

I am one of the lucky ones where I found my path early in life and have stayed steady on it. One of the most important things I learned about myself is that no obstacle can deter me for long. As an overzealous freshman, I joined several clubs, as well as a sorority, and started hunting for a job, all during my first semester in college. I didn’t do as well as I hoped, but instead of giving up and dropping everything, I figured out what I did wrong, fixed it, and continued on.

No matter how many times I fell, it was never a thought in my head to not get back up. It was an instinct to jump up and keep running. When the academic side of things got hard, I made sure not to let go of my extracurricular ventures, because having ways to do things I love and unwind was important to me. My junior year—one of the most difficult years for a pre-medical student—I held an executive position in my sorority, worked a part-time job as a BC Navigator on campus, volunteered in the emergency department at Woodhull Medical Center, and managed to ace my classes.

The biggest revelation I had, looking back on my four years at Brooklyn College, is that I have learned how to work well under pressure. High intensity situations and stressful work environments only stimulate me to focus and remain calm in the midst of chaos, which I believe will be an extremely valuable skill as a future physician. Brooklyn College gave me the genuine college experience I had always longed for. But, it also provided me with a strong support system and educational foundation, which has helped me achieve above and beyond the goals I have set for myself.

I have been accepted into 11 medical schools, with several full tuition scholarships, and many amazing opportunities before me. That is, in part, due to me having the resources from the Macaulay Honors College and from Brooklyn College. I am a better person, a more focused student, and a more knowledgeable member of my community because of my time at Brooklyn College.