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Growing Up Medical School Premed

Long Overdue!

Woah! I sorta fell off of social media unintentionally. Things got crazy the last month of the semester.
But I have made it! We made it. I have finished my first semester of medical school. I had so much help and support. Seriously could not have made it without my classmates. We fought through so much information and talked and argued and learned so much together. I walked out of my last final and seriously did not know what to do. So I waited around for everyone else to finish. I didn’t want to go home. I wanted to relish in the moment with those people who got me through. Compared to college where I had my bags packed to head home straight from my last test and didn’t look back; it’s quite a change.
There’s so many feelings surrounding this semester, I don’t even know how to sum it up. I know what I sacrificed personally to make it, but I’m realizing the sacrifices my family has made as well as a result of my being in medical school. Most noticeably, I felt like I wasn’t as available to them. Not that any of my sisters or parents are dependent on me, but I was only able to talk on my schedule, my terms. And I heard the majority about everyone’s lives from bits and pieces talking to my mom. I know it required more effort on their part to stay in touch with me and all my conversations were word vomit about studying and the fast food, sleep deprived delirium I spent my last 5 months in. I know my nieces went without their Aunt Andi a lot more, but they handled it like understanding little pros and I tear up thinking about how gracious they were to me when I missed their school program and studied over Thanksgiving instead of spending time with them.
Basically, a lot went in. More than I expected. More than I thought was possible. I could have done better on my part in so many ways. Still, I had way more support than I would have imagined I had available to me. So thanks to everyone who kept up with me and supported me! I appreciate it!
Over and over during the semester, I would think about how much time I spent in undergrad researching on AMCAS and AAMC and other websites, reading about what medical school is like. I still had no idea. So few people know that “medical school” is for future doctors (not nurses, thank you!). But, no one knows the application process and time it takes to become a doctor better than pre meds, so when in that position, you feel like you have a pretty good grasp on how much time you will spend studying. I remember dreading the vast amounts of studying before me, but seeing it as a necessary evil. I now realize, there’s just no way to accurately assess how much time you spend studying before you’re in the thick of it. Even living with my parents- they saw my hours, they knew my comings and goings; I still don’t feel like they fully understand how much time I studied and how hard it was. nobody understood it, except for my classmates- and we were all delirious!
I had a blast, though. I came in to my own. I grew up. I grew personally, professionally, relationally, and intellectually. I stretched myself physically and mentally. I flipped out, broke down, and gave up at times. There’s nothing light or breezy about going into medicine, and its not just the workload while you’re in training. The world is full of healthcare problems I haven’t yet had the time to fully consider yet and I still feel like sometimes I don’t make the cut to be an excellent doctor that can affect change in the healthcare world. But I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Walking out of the last final was the most proud of myself I’ve ever been. I felt light and free and yet ready to get back to it, because I know there is still much to learn. I was ready to celebrate with my class and revel in our tiny step forward on a long road ahead.
I’m still sighing big breaths of relief and I’m already well into soakingĀ in the time to myself to be silent or watch tv or run, to color, change clothes just because, lay on the floor, think, watch TED talks, and eat whenever I want, throw my anatomy papers to the wind, take a bath and whatever else the heck I want to do without any “I should be studying” guilt whatsoever. I feel a little like I deserve some “me” time.
Class of 2018, we are 1/8th done! Until residency. LOLZ.
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Categories
Life Science

How I know I'll make it

Yesterday I was faced with every senior’s dream come true…
A pass/fail (hard) class with a final I can get a zero on and still pass. I can literally walk away. Unscathed. Scot free.
I rejoiced. I bragged to several people. I mentally told myself that I do not have to study at all for that final, giving me a completely free evening. I breathed a sigh of relief, knowing that I had perhaps already taken my last Malmberg test.
I considered not even going to take the final. I entertained the idea of not studying. Both are opportunities I have only dreamt of having in my four years here. This does not happen in the OBU science department. Even if your grade is good enough, you dare not skip a final because you will undoubtedly have that same professor again next year and you do not want them to have a bad view of you. I’m telling you this so you realize how big of a deal this is.
So, here I was faced with this exact scenario.
Pretty quickly, I decided I would go take the final and just not study.
I sat idle for about 2 minutes. Then I picked up my book, got out my notes, and studied- hard- for about 6 hours.
I know. I was surprised as well.
I studied it while I ate snacks, I studied while I watched TV. Each time I got up to pee or get a drink, I picked it right back up without dreading an evening of studying. I did it because I wanted to.
Suddenly, when presented with the opportunity to either learn optional material or just sit and be ignorant, I decided to learn. Maybe I am frightened of being unprepared for a situation I have control over. Maybe I care more about what my professors think than I say I do. It could be many things. It is not, however, because I am an overachiever or a star student. I doubt I will even do that well on the exam.
It’s because whatever else I am or am not, I will not settle for less than the best of whatever I can do right now in the moment. I am a doer.
This is something my dad will tell me he knew was true all along.
But it’s revolutionary for me, going into medical school, afraid of already being burnt out on school. Now I know that however much I’m beaten down, however bad my confidence suffers, however much work I have to do, that I would still rather do the work than have nothing to do at all. I want to know all the things. And apparently I can’t rest until I know I’ve made progress in that endeavor.
Bring it on med school