NHS Not Just a Sorority
Published: Thursday, September 6, 2012
Updated: Thursday, September 6, 2012 23:09
Telling someone you’re in the School of Nursing and Health Studies, especially as a guy, always renders interesting social situations.
When I tell people that I am part of the NHS, I usually get an intrigued “Oh!” and responses that usually follow the likes of, “So, are you going to be a murse [male nurse]?” or “Oh my god, you’ve come out of hiding.” That’s usually followed by requests that I diagnose a condition that, most of the time, isn’t actually there.
I assumed that some of this confusion was the result of my being male in what is assumed to be a female-dominated school. I’ll even admit that I was made a little curious and a tad uncomfortable by that fact in the beginning. But now that I truly understand the NHS and its significance to Georgetown, that discomfort has transformed into appreciation and admiration.
Georgetown’s NHS comprises four majors: human science, nursing, international health and health systems administration. I am an international health major with a pre-med concentration. The NHS is much more than just a place where people exclusively study nursing.
The school is embodied by its commitment to fostering an environment that teaches students to be more than health professionals and administrators. Instead, we are urged to come up with solutions to the issues that affect people’s health all around the world. As a student here, I have been exposed to professors who have made significant contributions to their fields, yet still found the time to have long conversations with me about my goals and interests. They taught me to develop a passion and follow it.
I have used these skills to participate in very non-NHS types of organizations on campus, such as the Philodemic Society and Georgetown University Student Investment Fund. When I participate in these organizations, I wear my NHS colors proudly and value the perspective that being in the school has given me.
While I have made my love for the NHS clear, I can’t deny that the gender disparity crossed my mind at times. I would ponder why my gender seems to be turned off to the concept of the NHS and whether I am somehow emasculating myself by being a student in the school.
The women who surrounded me in the NHS helped me realize the absurdity and narrow-mindedness of this thought process. No offense to my fellow guys out there — you’re great, too — but I must give credit where credit is due. The women of the NHS have an ability to combine their work ethic with an amiability that makes them a pleasure to work with. I learn from them, they learn from me and the result is a wonderful group dynamic where it is not a boy working with a girl but a collaboration between two individuals with equally assiduous personalities.
What does it mean to be a guy in the NHS? It is the pleasure of working with faculty who seek to develop you academically and personally. It is being pushed by colleagues who force you to think critically, come up with answers and carry yourself with conviction. In a sense, being a guy in the NHS is about gaining the skills that make you a man.
So to my fellow guys out there, do not pity the time I spend in classrooms with women who impress internally and externally. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
KEVIN DIASTI is a junior in the School of Nursing and Health Studies.