I officially waved goodbye to being a freshman medical student last week with an ironic feeling between let’s-celebrate-this-a-huge-accomplishment and wait-you-are-just-on-the-first-step-of-a-hundred-step-ladder.
Nevertheless, I can’t deny the fact that I am really happy I survived year one alive (that was a year of torment with biochemistry garnished with anatomy and physiology). I had my fair share of crying and just laughing my stresses out. I’ve been through those many nights burning the midnight candle just to finish encoding a trans or summarizing a certain chapter for that week’s long exam. Most nights, just praying.
I can still remember that night when I moved in to my dormitory, clueless of what lies ahead and somewhat excited to finally pursue this dream after several frustrations beforehand (check my previous posts to know more). That night, I made a commitment to God that this dream is not my dream alone. This dream includes Him, my family, and that special person who holds a special place in my heart. Hence, I wouldn’t have survived this year without my triad of support. We made it together.
Being the goal-oriented, planning-addict person that I am, before classes began I made a list of things I want to accomplish by the end of the school year. One of them is to not just pass all my subjects but to excel so I won’t have to take any remedial exam. My God has always been faithful. As I have dedicated these lists to Him, He fulfilled each one in His perfect timing. As I firmly believe that God is the Author of Life and The Greatest Physician, I trust that everything I study from Anatomy to Histology He is the One who knows best. Everyday my prayer goes like, Teach Me Father and enlighten me about how You fearfully and wonderfully created this human machinery. And believe me, enlightenment comes in the most unexpected ways!
Daily quizzes, weekly exams, and more. Believe me, the routine is very exhausting— mentally, physically and emotionally! There are days when I just wanna lie down and sleep because I hadn’t had any decent sleep since classes began but I can’t afford to fail even one quiz because in medschool EVERY POINT COUNTS. I cannot even get sick because a half-day absence is a great loss.
I also had to deal with the temptation of just lying in bed instead of studying so I had to find ways how to be productive. Coffee-shop hopping is one. Believe me, I have been to ALMOST EVERY coffee shop in the vicinity. Ask me their menus and I can answer even when I’m asleep.
Dealing with stress is one of the greatest challenge. When you let your stress consume you, you will lose at everything! That is why we need friends, they make the burdens bearable. And as an introvert one of my stress-relievers is writing, reading non-acad books, and music (either I play it, sing it or listen to it). Most nights, after several hours of just reading and comprehending medical concepts I would randomly look for karaoke tracks on YouTube and sing my heart out until I gain enough motivation to study again. Good thing I don’t have a roommate to bear with my terrible singing voice. Haha
One more thing, I have realized is the advantage of being a reader. I have been a lover of books since grade school when my sister would buy me books to read. So I guess it is safe to say that since then, I have been used to reading a lot. That is why the amount of things we have to read in medschool did not surprise me anymore because I know I can manage. I even have time for other books despite all the chapters in Guyton and Harper’s that I have to read.
I have also realized that you do not need to be smart to survive medical school. You only need to persevere! It is a matter of getting up after every fall, smiling after every frustration, and moving on every after downfall.
Medical school is tough. So am I.
Year 1, done! And I am looking forward to the next several years in this life-long commitment of becoming a physician.
Soli deo Gloria!