Biology

TU Alumna Olivia Campbell: Becoming Comfortable in the Uncomfortable

Humble and insightful are two of the many words that describe Olivia Campbell, a recent TU alumna. Her TU story is one that will inspire others to take a leap outside their comfort zones and tackle that uncomfortable feeling head-on. Campbell graduated in May 2018 with a degree in French and a minor in biology, pre-med.

Her Story

Her time at TU started differently than most students. She transferred in as a sophomore looking to combine her love of studying French with a passion for science; something few individuals would typically pair. Her desire to learn French began when Campbell took courses through TU while in high school. This infatuation with French turned into something even more, when she declared French her major and biology, pre-med her minor as a college freshman.

Campbell found her way back to TU as a sophomore but was at a loss of what to do with two vastly different subjects. Being in two different majors helped her tremendously in putting herself out there, which enabled her to find out about the study abroad program that changed her entire career path.

TU offers more than just French classes. Learn about all the languages available to study. 

While Abroad

Campbell studied abroad in Spain and France, where she was able to strengthen her language skills as well as overcome the initial culture shock of both countries. An example she gives of this was while she was working in a hospital in Spain, patients would show up whenever they pleased. Appointments would be scheduled for a specific time, but patients would almost always arrive late. “What would seem absolutely unacceptable to us, is part of their culture.”

During her study abroad, Campbell took classes for her degree and interned at a hospital in Nice. This allowed her to gain real-world experience of what it’s like working in the healthcare field in another country versus the U.S. “Seeing that it’s okay to be different and have totally different ways of life and everyone’s happy about it. The biggest lesson I learned was how to be comfortable being uncomfortable.”

She was not only able to overcome the initial struggles she faced during her time abroad but was able to adapt and learn more about what she felt passionate for – practicing culturally conscience healthcare.

Interested in an adventure abroad? Check out Global Education.

Back in Tulsa

Once she returned home, Campbell was able to apply this ability to be comfortable with being uncomfortable in her classes and thrive. She explained that she was able to accelerate her learning in a way she wouldn’t have thought of before.

“My professor told me right after I returned, ‘Olivia you seem much more comfortable speaking in class,’” Campbell said. “That’s because I really learned to be comfortable being uncomfortable.”

She had always planned on medical school being her next step, but after returning from her study abroad, she decided to go to graduate school for intercultural work first before attending medical school. By pursuing a master’s degree in multidisciplinary studies, Campbell plans on becoming a doctor who will listen to her patients and truly understand what they’re saying. She believes having a graduate degree, along with a medical degree, will allow her to be the best doctor possible for her patients.

Her ultimate goal is to practice culturally conscience healthcare in Haiti, where she can utilize her overall skills gained from her study abroad experience, master’s and medical degrees. Campbell has proven that stepping out of her comfort zone was beyond beneficial towards her future growth.