This reflection is part of an ongoing series highlighting notable Class of 2012 University of San Diego graduates. Sylvester Luu took full advantage of the variety of opportunities available on campus during his time at USD. He is a biology major with minors in chemistry and Asian studies, and plans on attending Western University of Health Sciences in the fall.
My time at USD has been a wealth of experience. It may have began as a simple check on the Common Application, but my initial expectations of what USD was all about have been far surpassed. As the youngest in my family and a first-generation, low-income individual, it was a great blessing to have received such a gracious amount of financial aid. Thus, I knew it was important for me to maximize my experience at USD, both educationally and through extracurricular activities, to further my development as an individual in all facets.
USD allowed me to challenge myself in numerous arenas. I became a part of many great experiences and opportunities, such as choosing to become a pre-medical student with a biology major and minors in chemistry and Asian studies, participating as a Division I Intercollegiate Rower, and becoming a McNair Scholar, Residential Assistant, Teacher’s Assistant, and English Language Academy Conversation Partner, and much more. These experiences have taught me the values of hard work, teamwork, and time management, all of which are important skill sets I know will serve me positively in my future endeavors.
With these experiences, coupled with the liberal arts education and inclusive-community environment of USD, I have learned the value of living a holistic lifestyle. Therefore, I have been enticed to continue this holistic approach to life and have decided to attend Western University of Health Sciences to pursue my Doctorate of Osteopathic Medicine (DO), with aspirations of specializing in general surgery or pediatrics. It was no small choice, but my decision ultimately stemmed from the opportunity to shadow Dr. Kenneth Anderson, DO, a local physician in Pacific Beach, Calif. During that time, I became inspired to pursue a holistic approach of medicine that focuses on preventative medicine and the application of realignment (Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine or OMM) as the first step to facilitate healing.
This is an exciting time, but also a scary time as osteopathic medicine is a relatively new — but ever-increasing — approach compared to the familiarized medical doctor track. However, in receiving the same education as an MD with the added OMM training, I am confident in my preparation and qualification. With my medical education paid as a recipient of the Army’s Health Professions Scholarship, I know I will receive many once-in-a-lifetime experiences as a physician officer in the Army, and I will be able to give back to my country and honor my family in my future pursuits.
As for a few words for current and future USD students, I would like to say: Never feel that you cannot do or at least try everything, for it is on the path of these pursuits and the people that you meet, where you grow and learn the most about yourself.
— Sylvester Luu
Photos by Nick Abadilla