A Year to Serve and Learn

Posted on: July 3, 2024Chicago

In an undergraduate environment, the world is presented as your oyster. It feels like the different paths you can take post-grad are limitless. For some people, this is a freeing and exciting feeling! For other people, this can be anxiety-inducing. If you’re anything like me, rather than becoming invigorated by the idea of laying down one's own path, or having 20+ paths to walk down if one so chooses to, you become stressed. The thoughts flooding your mind are instantly well, how do I know what’s right for me? What are my true strengths? What are my true weaknesses? Am I cut out for this? Did I make a massive mistake? Will I not realize I've made a mistake until it’s too late? 

These thoughts circulated through my head leading up to graduation, and just intensified immediately post-grad. I had no idea what to do, and no idea how to explore my options in a way that wouldn’t tie me down to an office job, or more debt in further schooling on a degree/profession that I hadn’t even thought about enough to know if it’s really what I want. 

Then, I found the National Health Corps as an option. With NHC, I’ve had an opportunity to further discover my interests, strengths, weaknesses, and professional future. These are three tools that have helped me to do so. :) 

Stay Mindful Of What Energizes You During Your Work Day 

What fills your energy cup each day, and what drains it? Keeping this thought in mind and reflecting on it can help you further understand yourself, and what you enjoy most professionally. 

Learn, Learn, and Learn Some More 

Something interest you? Ask about it! Everyone at your host site is willing to speak on their experiences and their knowledge if you ask about it - no question is a bad question. Soak up as much information as you can at your host site and take public health knowledge away from the experience that can serve you and your community in the future.

Take Something With You From Each Day 

Everyday is a chance to learn, grow, and serve with NHC. Stay mindful of this always, and reflect on key takeaways from your day. Maybe you had a great interaction with a patient one day - keep that memory near you and remember why you have chosen to become involved with NHC. Every moment is a moment to serve, and to learn something about yourself.

About the Author:

Klaudia Wachnik

Pronouns: she/her

Position Title: Pediatric Group Well Child Care Navigator

Where are you from?

I am from Chicago

Why did you decide to join NHC?

I decided to join NHC in order to give back to the community and greater area that's raised me all these years.

What are you hoping to gain or learn during your service term?

Host Site

9401 S. Pulaski Rd Ste 202
Evergreen Park, IL 60805
9401 S. Pulaski Rd Ste 202
Evergreen Park, IL 60805