Epilogue: Graduation

By Jae Won Song

By Jae Won Song

Alumni Staff Writer

Hey, Alexa, play “Last Dance” by BIGBANG 🇰🇷

A big congrats to my fellow Thunderbirds who are graduating this semester. You have all come so far since the first day of Foundations. As always, regardless of what happens after this journey, it is the blooming of the start of a new chapter in your life.

For those of you who are nervous about the future, don’t be. Life is not intended to be straightforward or perfect, which is what in turn makes it beautiful. Life is exciting because we wake up each day to a new adventure, new changes, new challenges…

For those who received job offers, congratulations on your diligence! Be ready for an unforgettable journey, and this graduation is one of those steps to take you toward your future goals and ambitions. 

For my other colleagues who are still looking for a career or have other aspirations. Keep trying; don’t quit. As Thunderbirds, and at this point family, it is okay to reach out to others who don’t mind helping you out in form of advice, application renovations, connections, and so forth. 

The world is yours. 

My Manifesto:

Some insight into my life after graduating this past fall. My name is Jae Won Song. I originally came to the U.S. from South Korea when I was a year-and-a-half old. I am currently working in the Radiology department in OrthoArizona Deer Valley to get more clinical experience for the hopes of achieving my ultimate dream: to become a physician. Some have asked why I have had this dream since my younger years, and as my last article before I retire, I would like to enlighten those who are curious.

Ever since I was younger, my parents carved an indelible impression into me regarding the importance of friendship and the need to understand that kindness and care do exist in a world that feels so uncertain. My father, a T-bird alumnus of ‘03, has told me of the trials and tribulations that my family has encountered coming into a new country to have a new start.


He always stated the importance of open communication and honesty, which is why I have grown the way that I have and why I was always influenced by his wisdom. Additionally, my mother always expressed the need to have boundaries and learn the value of independence. This is where I gained the ideology of both figureheads in my family and eventually continued to grow through my own experiences and differing environments. 

In my first year of high school, I was torn from the experience of having a best friend battling demons in their life, which consequently ended with them vanishing from mine. That moment was the first time I ever experienced hopelessness and loss. The experience of having a friend who I’d been seeing and speaking to daily for years vanish in an instant was a life-altering, pivotal moment that cemented my want to pursue a future in healthcare. 

This journey is still in process, but the story so far is one full of laughs, ups and downs, and every emotion possible. Even though I am still in the process of getting ready to apply for medical school, I would 100% always redo this chapter over again regardless of the end result. As of now, I am fortunate and grateful to everyone that has supported my journey, and I will not disappoint anyone, including myself. 

For those who feel overwhelmed with life right now, and have dreams to get jobs straight after our program or other ambitions, it is okay to take some time for yourself. Don’t belittle yourself, and continue to push forward. You’ve done so much to this point, so continue to strive hard and pursue your dreams! There are still times where I still feel overwhelmed by my ambitions, but even though I may not become a future doctor in 10 or even 15 years, I know this is what I want. I will continue to work toward this future because this journey just feels so right, and I know many of you will eventually see the light at the end of the tunnel and see your variation of “success” in the near future!  You’re not alone! We’re all here to see you grow from here! 🙂

From one Thunderbird to another, you got this! 

I’d like to give a special thank you to the Das Tor team, and a personal shout out to Sophie, who has helped me tremendously throughout this whole process. Additionally, a big thanks to those who have and continue to support my journey!

I am Jae Won Song, Class of Fall ‘21, with my final goodbye to the Das Tor team and a thank you to those who enjoyed my articles! It was a very enjoyable experience.

Some Photos of My Story so Far

Figure 1: With the one and only Editor-in-Chief Sophie Dessart 🤯

Figure 2: My current mentor – Dr. Michael Allard, DDS, MD *Best oral surgeon ever 😤*

Figure 3: My dad and I take a picture with the one and only Professor SDL at Fall 2021 Graduation 🥳

Figure 4: The boys coming to support my graduation 😮‍💨

Figure 5: The family for graduation 🥰

Figure 6: PQBarcon GCL team 🤝😵

Thank you, Thunderbird, for an unforgettable end to another chapter in my life. 🕊

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