Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Half way through: one chapter closes, another one opens

I can hardly believe I am here writing this, I can hardly believe it has been 2 years since this part of my life has began. I feel like they have flown by, I swear we just started yesterday. I was weepy yesterday as I finished my last finals and talked in the hall with some of my dear friends, as we are all on different tracks and in different places and I will not see some of my closest friends for at least the next year of my life. It felt in some ways like a graduation, you know you will not see these people again yet you hope to see them sometime in the future. So the chapter of my life where I spent hours in classrooms has come to an end and I am now onto the chapter of my life where I am ready to be in the working world - even if it is doings cut work or running around like a chicken with my head off. I figure now would be a good time to share everything I have learned about myself and this process over the last two years with you all in hopes that it helps someone along the way :) 1. Second year really is better than first year. I remember in the middle of first year and anatomy that some of my second year friends told me to hang in there that second year was so much better. And I also remember looking at them and thinking that they were crazy and that I wanted stock in whatever they were sneaking in their cup of coffee in the morning. I was beyond pleasantly surprised to find that they were right. Personally for me the courses were mor interesting and more applicable to what we are going to be doing a future doctors, and the tests seemed to be different in their focus and in the way the questions were asked. There seemed to be far fewer questions focused on the can you remember the random fact on the third line from the bottom on page 12 of the 9th lecture, a blessing for this non-photographic memory student, and far more oriented on the understanding of how you differentiate between one cause and another which I found was much more suited to the way I learn. Now I will say that this was not true for everyone in my class, there are people who found second year more challenging. I think the difference in how people have felt about it all hinges on how you learn and how your brain thinks. But without a doubt I can 100% say that second year was so much better. 2. The good, the bad and the ugly - other wise known as the roller coaster No matter how prepared you are, no matter what you think you will go through, no matter your background I think everyone has had ups and downs throughout these past two years. You can literally go from the lowest of lows to the highest of highs within 72 hours.....sometimes it feels a bit bipolar but that is how it can be. You can go from struggling with something or not getting a position you applied for to being on top of the mountain and getting a complement on how well you did something or doing something right the first time of getting a good score on something. There will be times when you feel like nothing can go right and no matter what you do or try it will turn out wrong, and those times will push you to the verge of wanting to quit. There were times first year I myself looked at the administration building and thought about walking into the dean's office and saying "I surrender", in fact probably more than I expected. The things that got me through those times were the fact that I knew they would pass, and I also knew that I have lived through worse. It was those times that I had to remind myself how hard I worked to get where I was and how hard I was working to be where I was and how many people took pride in where I was. It was those times that I would find the simple thing like doing well in something that I did not expect to do well in that would give me the gumption to continue. It was those times that you find out what you are made of and will make you the person and the doctor you know you can be. You will be pushed, often to your limits, you will cry, you will want to quit, you will think about quitting - rest assured you are not alone in how you are feeling, you will not be alone in how you are feeling and that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and a good day will come before you know it. 3. You will have friends you did not expect and they will get you through the madness. It took me a while to find my groove, I am by no means a quiet person but I found myself very reserved around the 20-somethings sitting next to me. After al what did we have in common?? They were sitting here at the start of their lives, and while I was no where near the end, I was certainly more established in my general life timeline. They were going out and drinking or celebrating after tests and I could not drink due to the bypass and I also wanted to get home to my family since my time with them was so limited. Then every thing started going south, and I started talking to people more and I found I had support and friends in places I would have never expected. And second year I made more of an effort and I made more friends, again with people I would not have expected. But through all things they have been one of my saviors. If I was feeling frustrated on a case or a test its as nice to vents with someone and discover that someone felt the same as me and that I was not alone. The moral of the story is that even if you are slower to make friends, you will find your group and they will be your lifeline. And of course I could not have done any of this without my incredible family. They have been so supportive and have pitched in wherever they can and the last two years have been a group effort.