Just over a year ago, I was sitting in Jack Trice Stadium ready to accept my college diploma. Little did I know I’d eventually find myself writing this blog post, after just completing my first year of medical school!
It seems unreal that these past 10 months have flown by. At times, I wasn’t even sure I’d make it, but here I am feeling elated and somewhat relieved. I can’t put into words how accomplished I feel knowing I successfully made it through my first year of medical school. Even so, I know I have many years ahead of me, but I think my classmates would agree that we need to celebrate every accomplishment no matter how small.
If you had asked me a year ago how medical school would change me, I’d have no idea. But now with new experiences under my belt, you bet medical school has changed me. Changed me in ways I didn’t think possible.
When school was grueling and the winter months were never-ending, there wasn’t much to look forward to. It was during those times when I had to stay positive or I’d be consumed by the negativity. I often found myself thinking about how I might fail an exam or that I’d never be a good physician. But each time these thoughts reappeared, I forced myself to focus on something else. Soon, I found myself encouraging my classmates and myself to persevere. I tried to find something positive in everything that we did, even though it wasn’t always easy, because let’s face it – we studied, A LOT.
That’s not to say I didn’t have my bad days. I had days where I didn’t want to get out of bed, deal with my computer (which I had to eventually replace), be a morning person or most of all, study. However, I managed to find motivation during those bad days, and thank goodness, because without it I wouldn’t have finished this school year.
As the days went by, the idea of failing got a little less scary and more of a potential reality. I fell into a routine, that dragged on day by day. I wouldn’t realize how much I had learned until test days began to approach, and that knowledge overwhelmed me. I found these times to be extremely stressful. I would complain, I would get sick of studying, and I’d say I’m giving up. But I never did because there was a part of me that remained patient.
Patience was NEVER my strong suit. If anyone knows me, they know I have never been a patient person. However, somehow within these past 10 months I found patience.
I was reminded of this new-found patience the other day, after exams, when I was cleaning my room. As I was rummaging through my sock drawer, I found a little piece of paper at the bottom that read: “patience”. I had ripped it off a sign posted at school, near the beginning of the year, that read “take what you need”.
At the time, I knew I would need patience if I was going to survive my first year of medical school. So, I took the piece of paper home and it somehow found its way into my sock drawer. I had forgotten all about it until now.
When I found the paper again, I had to smile as I thought about how far I had come. Now if you ask me how medical school has changed me, I’d tell you I found patience.
Congratulations UNDSMHS Medical Class of 2020!