Honors College Alums - Michael Lahey
No college search is easy, but as Mike Lahey '09 explains it, the decision to attend the University of Vermont was a simple one for him. As a future doctor he wanted a school that would prepare him academically, but as an incoming college student he wanted an environment where he could make friends and have fun. In the end, he said, the University of Vermont seemed to offer the best of both worlds.
"UVM seemed like a college with a great student population," the Derry, New Hampshire native recalled in an e-mail. "The people at the college were friendlier and seemed less stressed out than the people at other schools I visited."
The supportive environment certainly helped Lahey inside the classroom. He joined the Honors College as a sophomore because, he said, the classes offered by the college gave him the opportunity to think critically and interact on a deeper level with students and professors. The chance to take challenging courses and excel in them helped Mike thrive at UVM as a Medical Laboratory Sciences major; after he graduated from the Honors College last May he began his first year of medical school at the University of Vermont's College of Medicine.
His experiences outside of UVM's classrooms also helped him nurture his passion for saving lives. In addition to his premed and Honors College courses, Lahey volunteered for, and eventually helped lead, the university's emergency medical technician squad.
"Running UVM Rescue and holding an officer position made me learn how to manage my time, and it prepared me for how much work I was going to have to put in while in medical school," he said. "Volunteering over 40 hours a week, leading a squad, and being a student was a lot of work, and now that I am in med school I feel like it prepared me for the course load that they give us."
Lahey also got a sneak peak at what his future career would be like when he participated in the Premedical Enhancement Program (PEP) as a sophomore. PEP is an opportunity offered to University of Vermont students to shadow current physicians at Fletcher Allen Hospital, located on campus.
"Getting insight into what a doctor does day in and day out was enlightening," Lahey said. "Hearing from physicians on what becoming a doctor was like and how hard it is to become made me prepared for what I am going to encounter in medical school and after that."
But, he said, in the end it was the UVM environment and the campus community that helped him learn to flourish academically without having to abandon a social life or give up other interests. One of the University of Vermont's most valuable resources is its access to the Green Mountains, and Lahey and his friends always enjoyed escaping for a weekend of skiing or playing in the outdoors. That helped him instill the lesson of how work toward big goals while living a well-rounded life. And that, he said, is the most important lesson he learned as a member of the Honors College.
"Not letting school and work take up so much of your time that you don't have any time for fun outside of work was something I learned pretty quick," Lahey said. "Letting work control your life to the point where you can't enjoy anything causes people to burn out, and causes you to hate what you're doing. It also makes it so people don't want to work with you, which is hard to do when you want to be a physician."
Last modified April 01 2010 01:08 PM