Is Everything Really Bigger in Texas? We're About to Find Out!
Karli Grace Monahan
1st Year MPH Health Behavior Health Education Student
As the departure date for San Antonio, Texas draws near, the trip is on my mind daily.
While I am eager to get on the ground, see what this great state is all about, and do some
amazing work; I cannot help but be nervous. We are going to be outsiders coming into a
community facing some public health struggles and systemic discrimination, and I want to help
as much as possible while also being respectful. What will community members think of our
group? Will there be a strong language barrier? From my public health education, I know that
fieldwork is certainly more of an art than a science. In the classroom, we are diving into
literature about the area and long COVID, building a foundation of background knowledge to
bring with us, but nothing can truly prepare us for engaging with the work and our
partners. This challenge is certainly intimidating, but nerves aside, I am so excited; excited to
apply a year’s worth of graduate public health education, but also to have the privilege of
learning from community partners while assisting them in their work. As a future physician, I
plan to engage with and advocate for my community and its needs, so I hope to learn alot in
Texas about what this could realistically look like in my career. I also hope to learn a little about
myself and put some of what I consider to be my strengths to the test. How will I work under
pressure? What will I do if our assignment changes? Can I handle an all-nighter? All I can say for
now is, bring it on!
Despite my big nerves and understanding that there will be some big challenges, I am
still overwhelmed with excitement and hopes to make a big impact. Is everything bigger
in Texas? My emotions before leaving sure are, but I can’t wait to see what awaits us in the
Lone Star State!