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Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Pharmacy
Standing with Greatness
by Whitney Breweur, P3 President
My heart was pounding in my chest as the bus inched closer and closer to the enormous conference building where I would be attending my first ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting. I looked around at everyone sharing this exciting adventure with me, from students to practicing pharmacists to guest speakers and poster presenters. It really was amazing to see this whole diverse group of individuals come together. As I walked through the doors, I was immediately immersed in the hustle and bustle of registration and networking. I had been to other organizational meetings before, but none of them compared to the experience of ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting. It was incredible to witness colleagues from all over the country reminiscing like old friends, many of whom began such friendships at this same type of meeting in years past.
The first activity on my list was the Opening Session for Student Pharmacists where Antonio Neves spoke about setting yourself apart from the crowd. He talked about focusing on what made us unique and how to use that to our advantage when interviewing and networking. He also emphasized the importance of stepping outside of your comfort zone to propel yourself into the career position you desire. If we do the same thing every day and never try something new or uncomfortable, we can’t expect the outcome to change. Antonio used the slogan, “Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.” It really is true. If you feel uncomfortable, it means you are growing. The experience and knowledge you gain by pushing yourself into something new is only one piece of the bigger puzzle. Experiencing new things helps mold you into who you want to become, and it can help you realize that sometimes what you think you want isn’t always the best fit for you. If you get too comfortable, you could be missing out on opportunities that could allow yourself to go from “good enough” to “great.”
Sometimes success is measured in how you look at a situation. Antonio used the example of a time he visited Alaska. People were walking around in the rain without using umbrellas, so he stopped someone and asked, “Why doesn’t anyone have an umbrella? It’s raining.” The person replied, “It’s just water.” Something so simple has a profound effect when you change the way you think about it. It is just water. What is it hurting? When we get forced into a rut with the day-to-day activities that are considered societal norms, we tend to forget that we are allowed to form our own opinions about things. That is what makes us all special and unique. We don’t have to follow the herd just because that is where the majority is. Set yourself apart, and as Antonio says, “stand with greatness.”