August 19, 2019

Shaping Success

By Contributing Author

Greetings and welcome to UAMS; welcome to shaping your success. Whether you are returning for another year of hard work and new experiences, or beginning your journey on this storied campus, please make UAMS your home away from home.

Although my time has been short at UAMS, the most important skill I have learned is to take an active role in my education, to shape my own success. Involvement in student leadership has been incredibly rewarding, and I encourage you also to become involved and active in the many opportunities on campus.

As you begin the new semester, reflect on the path that brought you here, and look ahead to what lies beyond. Just as the potter molds clay into urns and pots, it is up to you to shape your success.


Have A Vision

Imagine the clay pot. Rough at first, maybe simple in design, it takes shape after many turns on the wheel. Each turn gives definition and clarity, but it is the potter’s vision that guides its creation. Although the potter may change the design with time by adding a handle or a curved lip, it is the vision that defines this beautiful work of art.

Begin with a goal. Small at first, and increasing with knowledge and experience, a goal helps you stay focused and disciplined in your studies. As you progress at UAMS, you will have many goals, but keep in mind your vision. Completing goals is a great way to improve your mental fortitude during these stressful school days, and some goals can be added to CVs and résumés. Finally, let your vision be your driving force to excel at both UAMS and beyond.


Hands On

Shaping clay is a dirty, hands-on experience. Similarly, every student must eventually put down the textbooks and practice in real world settings.

Get involved with student organizations and volunteer opportunities both on and off campus. One option is the 12th St. Health and Wellness Center, a student-run clinic that offers hands-on training and experience for all UAMS students. Not only are you able to practice your role, the 12th St. Clinic offers interprofessional training with students from other colleges at UAMS.

The Associated Student Government is another option that provides students with opportunities for leadership and policy administration. The ASG allows you to interact at the campus level to improve UAMS student policies and serve on committees dedicated to student issues.


Plan For Imperfections

There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.” – Leonard Cohen

No one can plan for everything, and difficulties will always be present, but how we manage them defines us. The pot may not be perfectly round, but that does not stop it from holding water, nor does a crack prevent pouring.

Instead, embrace the imperfections and learn how to overcome them. After each challenge, reflecting on both the issue and your response gives valuable insight, and helps you plan for what the future may hold.


Forge Ahead

The last step of making the pot is the kiln. After hardening in the fire, the pot is finished and can maintain its shape for centuries.

UAMS is our kiln. We are forged through long nights pouring over textbooks, rewarding days interacting with patients, and diligent hours working in labs. UAMS will prepare you with the skills and knowledge to succeed in your profession, but it is up to you to shape your success.


Please stop by the Student Success Center with any questions, concerns, or motivations needed to overcome the challenges of this new year, and once again – Welcome to UAMS.


Kent Chamberlain, Second year College of Pharmacy student