Omar Ahmad

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Omar Ahmad
B.A. Health & Human Physiology - Health Studies
Fall 2021

My goal is to enter a master's program to further my education in the field of health studies. One program that I am currently looking at right now is Exercise Physiology. Afterwards, I will hopefully be applying to physician assistant schools!

I believe the HHP major offers a wide range of options for individuals who want to focus on specific fields such as exercise and the benefits of it on our body or public health and the understanding of the socioeconomic status of different areas around us. Exercise has always been a big part of my life, and it sparked my interest in the human body and the ever-changing field of health sciences. These courses have provided me with a wealth of knowledge that I can put to use in assisting others. I also believe that the most important aspect of going into the health field is that the student learns not only about the human body but also about the policies and rules that govern our health-care system. 

My favorite courses in the major so far are Human Growth and Motor Development,  and Policy, Environmental, and Social Determinants of Health.  As I near the end of my degree, I wish I would have taken more courses in the exercise field as my electives such as athletic training.  My favorite courses outside of major were Introduction to Sociology, Introduction to Health Care Professions, and Sport and Film.

I spent a couple semesters volunteering at the University of Iowa, specifically in units of Child Psychiatry and Emergency Medicine. It was amazing to meet other students that shared similar interests and being able to work with them. I remembered often talking to many of my volunteer friends about our future goals, what courses we were taking, and overall spending time helping people within the hospital. I was also grateful to meet many staff members that helped me understand the system at UIHC and how the unit functioned daily.  I also was involved in the University of Iowa Muslim Student Association where we often volunteered in activities such as Habitat of Humanity. 

Outside of your academic career, get involved in groups that may be of interest to you.  Participate in groups that you enjoy, rather than using this as a checklist. I wish I was more involved on campus and in other opportunities that piqued my interest. For example, I made many friends during my volunteer hours, which kept me motivated to do well in my classes. I also joined the eSports club because I had previously competed in video games and played for Iowa's team against other colleges. These were the encounters that kept me going and allowed me to meet many other people with whom I still communicate today. 

Next, meet with your professors, which I did not do until later. I spoke with a few professors who have given me excellent advice on my courses and outside careers, and I wish I had made more connections. 

Overall, remember to have fun and enjoy the experience. I know that many of us, including myself, get so caught up in our course work that we forget to take care of ourselves. Attend a basketball game, participate in intramurals, join a club, make new friends, attend lectures that may be of interest to you, and so on. Also, remember to take breaks from studying by doing things like exercising or eating a healthy diet. Make this an unforgettable experience! If you have any questions about the HHP curriculum, please ask; I am happy to assist!