In its new series, “First Year Q&A” News@Wilkes will highlight the journeys of first-year students.
Meet James Hughes
Major: Neuroscience, Pre-Med
Member of the Honors Program, Guthrie Scholar and Penn State Hershey Medical School Guaranteed Seat program
The Guthrie Scholars program is designed to give qualified seniors at Wilkes University who are interested in pursuing medicine the opportunity to earn 15 credits while gaining first hand knowledge of the life of a physician.
Hometown: Kingston, Pa.
Activities: Student Government Freshman Class President, Residence Hall Council, Neuroscience Club, Pre Health Society, Intermural Soccer
Favorite class: CHM-116 Chemical Reaction “I have Dr. (Megan) Youmans (assistant professor of chemistry) and she’s great.”
Why did you choose Wilkes?
“I picked Wilkes because I’m well anchored here…The BS/MD ( pre-medical early assurance program) I’m in here, you can’t find it many places. I would have had to go to Temple or Drexel… I like it here; I like the teachers, the campus. It’s not too big—it was between Ole Miss and Wilkes, and I would have gotten lost at Ole Miss. I probably would not have the positions I have here or the friends I have here.”
Where do you live on campus?
Waller Hall. “I’m local but I live on campus—that was the requirement from my parents. I could go to Wilkes but had to live on campus.”
What are your career goals?
“Well, of course I’m in the BS/MD program so I hope to be a doctor… Family practice physician for the Navy, or practice locally in the community. Maybe primary care, surgical or emergency medicine… Maybe the Navy and be a trauma surgeon for them. I will be going to Penn State Hershey Medical School.”
How has it been adjusting to college?
“It’s been tough definitely from the workload standpoint. I came from a private school (Wyoming Seminary) that was very similar to college and so it was easier but there aren’t teachers checking deadlines or checking your work. Night classes are a different experience to have and labs are a lot more intense. It’s just a lot more of managing your time to schedule it out.”
What don’t they tell you about coming to college that they should tell you?
“Definitely before you register for a class, talk to students who have already taken it. Definitely go and see that professor to see if you click learning style-wise because there could be multiple sections and you may work better with a certain professor because everyone learns in their own way.” Hughes added, “Try as best as possible to be friends with your roommate—I got lucky with that… it’s also okay to be the loudest person in the room. I thought that was a bad thing but then you get to make new friends and meet new people.”
What’s the best piece of advice that you’ve been given about starting your college journey?
“Never hurts to ask. The Guthrie program for instance, I didn’t know where to start so I reached out to Connie (Dombroski, director of Center for Health Sciences and Student Success)… Just coming by and asking, ask for help. People are always willing to help you—it helps put you in a better spot to help others, too. It’s a scary thing, but it’s a lot easier with another set of eyes.”