When she first arrived at The College of Texas at Austin, biology senior Tien Nguyen discovered herself stunned by the scale of the college. As a first-generation faculty scholar, she was unsure about how finest to navigate faculty life and discover an outlet for her passions and power.

Tien Nguyen. Photograph by Kevin Vu.

“It was troublesome to use to varsity at first, primarily as a result of nobody in my household had ever utilized to varsity earlier than,” Nguyen mentioned. “In lessons, I used to be all the time scared to talk up.”

Throughout her Scientific Inquiry Throughout the Disciplines course her freshman 12 months, Nguyen was launched to The Each day Texan by a visitor speaker. As a fan of each science and writing, she determined to provide reporting a attempt. Whereas she labored at The Each day Texan just for a 12 months as a science and know-how reporter, the expertise helped her uncover certainly one of her best passions throughout faculty.

“I took an opportunity to get out of my consolation zone and work as a journalist,” Nguyen mentioned. “I discovered it is vital to attempt issues. That may be a catalyst for a larger ardour that you could pursue later in faculty, or later in life.”

Nevertheless, Nguyen mentioned she needed to do extra with well being communications.

“Once I was working at The Each day Texan, it was extra interviewing individuals and writing about analysis, however I actually needed to do one thing extra health-care-related,” Nguyen mentioned. “And I used to be concerned with girls’s well being. So, I assumed perhaps I ought to mix these two passions collectively.'”

Nguyen left the scholar newspaper after her freshman 12 months and created a girls’s well being weblog over the next summer time referred to as The Chatty Gal, after she noticed that UT didn’t have a devoted girls’s well being weblog. The imaginative and prescient for The Chatty Gal was to have an off-the-cuff, digital area for individuals at UT, and even outdoors UT, to write down about their expertise with girls’s well being and with their well being basically.

“Girls’s well being and reproductive well being can typically be taboo,” Nguyen mentioned. “There are lots of matters there that folks do not actually like to speak about with their pals or household, however these points are vital to debate basically. Even girls’s well being analysis is de facto underfunded, and we do not know quite a bit about girls’s well being.”

With the assistance of some pals and folks she reached out to, the weblog produced tales regarding bodily and psychological well being, navigate social media, balancing college and different matters. It was Nguyen’s first time managing a mission as an editor with a whole crew of writers.

“I used to be positively scared at first, and I assumed I used to be going to fail,” Nguyen mentioned. “However I remembered the motto that I informed myself, which was to step out of my consolation zone. I will attempt it. If it fails, it fails. But when I do not attempt it, I am going to by no means know.”

Nguyen envisioned the weblog being learn by college students, which is almost all of its viewers, however she was shocked when she acquired emails from individuals throughout the nation concerning the weblog.

Nguyen additionally joined different analysis tasks and internships specializing in well being communication. She joined UT’s Middle for Well being Communication as an intern engaged on advertising and marketing and promotional content material for the middle’s new app for fathers with pregnant spouses, as there weren’t many sources for fathers. Very like the weblog, the internship mixed each of her passions for well being communication and ladies’s well being.

Due to her expertise with analysis and well being communications at UT, Nguyen goes to medical college, working in direction of being a doctor researcher within the subject of ladies’s maternal well being.

“I spotted in faculty that the issues that you simply do in life do not should comply with a linear path and that you could combine your passions from a bunch of various issues,” Nguyen mentioned. “Though I’m going to medical college, I nonetheless discover room to combine my ardour for ladies’s well being, scientific analysis and well being communication, so I positively see my profession and my future path as a mosaic of all my totally different passions.”