Henry Lam

Graduating Class: 2020

Major: Biological Sciences

Hometown: Elk Grove, CA

What motivated you to pursue higher education?

Ever since I was young, I always remember my father pushing me to my academic limits; motivating me to become something greater than he was. Coming from an immigrant family, I wanted to achieve the American dream that my parents were never able to reach. I always strive to better myself in my academics because of my parents. When my father passed away from cancer a few years ago, I found a passion in the medical field. While interning at a hospital, I solidified my goal to become a radiologist so that I can help save lives. Ultimately my family circumstances and career goals motivate my drive to pursue higher education.

What would you like to have known coming into your first year of college?

I would’ve liked to have known how demanding my major was. I am in the biological sciences major and it has been a struggle. Learning how to adapt to the college lecture style was one of the hardest obstacles I have dealt with so far. However, after taking the Uni Study 83/84 class in Summer Bridge, I learned that I was not alone in this struggle and that there are so many resources on campus that I can rely on. Student Services has been such a helpful resource throughout my first year and I am thankful for the programs they have for first generation students!

What was a challenge you faced as a first generation college student and how did you overcome it?

As a first-generation college student, one of the most difficult challenges that I face is not having a parent who will understand the struggles that I face everyday in college. Parents of first generation students typically know little to nothing about college. They have no idea how hard classes are, the stress you are put under, the social climate of the campus, etc. So, when I moved to UCI, I did not know what to expect. I had to use the given resources to find someone who could become a mentor and show me the ropes. Luckily I found one who was patient and detail orientated.

What was a resource that helped you navigate UCI?

Other than the Summer Bridge program and Student Services, one resource that helped me navigate UCI was my mentor/TA, Lizette. She was one of several TA’s for the Uni Study 83/84 class I took in the summer. From skills, such as creating a resume and using EEE, to learning about campus organizations, LARC and other resources, I have learned how to navigate UCI and life in the real world. Lizette opened my eyes to all the possible experiences that I never would’ve imagine myself doing, including becoming a TA for the same Uni Study class!