10 Ways Med School Has Changed Me!

 

1. My handwriting has gotten a little sloppier

2. I’m wayyy more sarcastic

3. Don’t be a smartass

4. Having a good support system and faith is crucial

5. Don’t take things personally

6. Remove ALL Negativity from your life immediately

7. Be present in the moment, Don’t put your life on hold // Don’t put a timeline on your life. Don’t wait until you’re 35 and done with training to fall in love, have children, have fun, etc. You’ll never be this young again, enjoy it.

8. Don’t be afraid to ask for help // Even a brain surgeon had to start somewhere but I guess people forget this sometimes. “The art and science of asking questions is the source of all knowledge.” Thomas Berger

9. Don’t base your self worth on your grades

10. Have a life outside of medicine! // Depression, Burn Out and Suicide amongst Med Students, Residents, and Physicians is real. Don’t lose your hobbies and outside interests. They will honestly keep you sane!

I Survived My First Semester of Medical School.

“I used to think I was the strangest person in the world
but then I thought, there are so many people in the world, there must be someone just like me who feels bizarre and flawed in the same ways I do
I would imagine her, and imagine that she must be out there thinking of me too.
well, I hope that if you are out there you read this and know that yes, it’s true I’m here, and I’m just as strange as you.” –Frida Kahlo

I shared this quote because when I originally created the concept of this blog, I was going to be real and honest about my experiences thus far. However, it’s getting harder and harder to do that. Keep in mind, that my experiences are my own. You may have a mother, friend, sister, cousin that has been in med school and had a totally different experience than mine and that’s cool! Even my own classmates might totally be having a different outlook than my own as well, again that’s cool. They should start their own blog and share it with the world. But these are my own personal experiences. I don’t even share my personal thoughts with my classmates and honestly, sometimes I fear that they will read this blog but oh well. Not everyone is genuine, real and open- I’ve always appreciated the ones that were.

Again, let me start by saying that I don’t have a parent that went to Med school. I don’t have a sibling that’s already a resident, etc. You’d actually be surprised, a lot of people in my class do. I wasn’t in a bridge to medicine program in college. That’s the thing with the whole first generation doctor thing, keep in mind I was a first generation college student too. This is all very new to me.  Going to Med school, I didn’t know what to expect. So hell yeah, I was afraid. The only things I’d heard were things that I googled, the brief things that a doctor I was shadowing would share, just random tidbits. I just graduated college- an experience that I completely figured out each day along the way. And then med school happened. It’s all just been very quick. I went from the highest point of my life, straight to the bottom yet again.

But let me tell you, I’ve been learning very quick. Not only do you have to completely learn how to study all over again (knocking down my 3.9 college GPA ego all the way down) but you have to make your new apartment a home, you just met your classmates and you’re supposed to find a way to befriend them, you have to learn your way around campus, you have to figure out your study schedule, you have to find time to work out (especially after learning about the horrors of diabetes in biochem), you have to find time to go to church, you have to find time to call your parents, wash the dishes etc, etc. And don’t forget the random days where your AC breaks in your apartment, your car gets towed while you’re in class, Trump gets elected as president or any other mishap. And none of these other aspects of your life can just be ignored. And it’s so easy to say omg, that’s not that hard, if I were you I could do it. But being in the experience is completely different.

How have I personally been managing all of those things? Eh, depends on the day. I’ve been working really hard though to do it all with a smile, even if it’s forced. But there is a huge pile of clothes in my laundry basket that I haven’t washed in weeks because I’ve just refused to make the time, I’d rather study or just watch a show when I can instead. And lots of breakdowns along the way too. Within the past year, I’ve really developed the sense of how much I need God in my life. I can’t do it all on my own, I haven’t done it all on my own, there’s no way. And even when all of these things are just happening out of your control, it is sooooo peaceful to know that God is watching over you and protecting you through it all. 

And then the aspect of comparison comes in. You’re doing you and you’re doing a damn good job at it, or so you thought. But then out of nowhere, you see your classmates on Facebook going to Six Flags or Europe over the weekend, while you’ve been studying your ass off just trying to grasp the 10 lectures that you’ve learned within the past week. And you’ve studied a lot today and been very productive- but now you feel like sh*t. You might even consider muting all of your classmates besides your own friends from your newsfeed just to make it through the day, and that is perfectly OK. Comparisons hurt, they will eat you alive. I’ve always been someone to try and make the best of my situation, but you have to relearn how to do that in every new situation. I know that comparing myself to others is unhealthy but damn, it’s so hard not to. But I’m learning to not let myself even water those thoughts at all. It’s a process, but it’s vital to learn as you go all throughout life. If you focus on the things that you don’t have constantly, of course you’ll be unhappy. But if you focus on the things that you do have, you will be more grateful, more mindful and more proud to be you. 

Also, this whole friends thing. Some of my classmates have formed huge friend groups. Like some of them are literally #FriendshipGoals, lol everything is goals nowadays it’s actually hilarious. I’ve made friends that I hang out with after a test or after everything has died down per say, but I have yet to make an everyday friend that will hold my hand during the storm. I know things like this take time and I’m praying that I will find at least one person in my class that I can talk to about how my small group session was just god awful that day, but to also share about how great my day was. It’s literally exhausting dealing with fragile egos and facades all of the time. It’s the little things that count in life, but if you look back all of the little things really add up to be the big things. It’s also been hard for me because there is nothing I can’t stand more in life than being the “tagalong.”

But overall in retrospect, I am damn proud of myself. I am 1/8 step closer toward becoming a doctor. I am blessed and humbled and more grateful than ever for this experience and this opportunity. No one said becoming a doctor was going to be easy, I didn’t expect it to be. And I am so much stronger than the girl who walked in all bright eyed on the first day of orientation. I’ve met some pretty amazing people and I look forward to building upon those relationships and forming new ones. I’m thankful for my parents, my family and my close friends- I know they are praying over me often, even if I’m not aware of it. Apparently the time in med school flies by, but even through it all I’m going to consciously try my best to make the best of this experience for everything that it is worth. One day I’ll be glad that I got through it, but until then I just have to get through it. This is just the beginning of my journey and I can’t even imagine what’s in store for me through the next chapter. But God will be there with me through it all.

Cheers, to a new semester that starts this week.

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” –Nelson Mandela

Adjusting to Medical School

I’m not gonna lie, it’s been hard. And not just academically, but all the other aspects that no one likes to discuss are too. I didn’t really know what to expect once I actually started Medical School. I just knew that I was afraid. Is this something I really even want to do? Am I even capable of doing this? Was letting me in a mistake? I was a Psych major, so that fear stems from something called “The Impostor Syndrome” and believe me, it’s real…

I was the first person in my immediate family to go off to college for 4 years and that was a whole journey within it self. I had a difficult time adjusting my freshman year as well. I had similar thoughts of wondering if I would be “smart enough” to succeed in college. I can still remember all the fear that my high school teachers instilled in me that “College would be so much harder.” They said that the teacher would skip to the next slide before we even finished writing, that we would have to read all these long, difficult books, write 20 page essays every week and that our professors wouldn’t even notice or care if we made it to class. LOL, oh man. Looking back on that, the only thing that was true was the part about the professors not caring if you came to class. Lol, but everything else was definitely manageable. Nevertheless, I hated the school that I was at my freshman year, so I took a leap and decided to transfer colleges. Here I was again, a sophomore feeling like a freshman, and I had to readjust and relearn everything all over again. That was totally not in my original plans to transfer, but everything works out the way that it’s supposed to in the end.

Back to Medical School. Here I am again, in this adjusting phase. I’m in a completely new city, where I knew absolutely no one. A completely fresh slate. My first class was Anatomy, and boy was I in for a loop. Here I was, an A collegiate student, trying to figure out how to even study for Anatomy. I still to this day don’t remember how I studied in college, lol all I literally ever did was go to class and read my notes, over and over again. That’s literally it. (Not completely it, but for 75% of it) And the A’s just piled up one on top of the other. And I had so much spare time, I could hang out with friends, go party on the weekend, watch a whole Netflix series, I had a job, and still made it to church on Sunday. That seems like a dream right now, a far fetched dream. I can’t believe I took all that for granted. So, here I was in my first class of medical school literally crying because I didn’t know how to study this massive amount of information. It was a honestly a shot to my pride. And those feelings of doubt started to seep in, one by one..

Aside from the few doctors that I shadowed or briefly encountered in college, I had no real clue of what med school would actually be like. It’s been hard. I never really had many Pre-Med friends in college, omg I thought they were so annoying. They were so anal about everything: joining clubs I didn’t even know existed, their brothers best friend’s sister was a doctor and they’ve been shadowing her since 6th grade… Yeah, no. It just felt like everything to them was a competition. That is not my personality at all and I don’t mesh well with those type of people, they stress me out. Lol so imagine the shock once I start school, and these people are becoming my friends. Till the day that I die, I have to stay true to myself and I am a self-proclaimed relaxed easy going hippie at heart.

A recent story, last week I had just finished up with my first class and we quickly started the next one that following Monday. One night, I was studying, studying and then out of nowhere I just had a huge breakdown. We hadn’t got our final grades back yet from the first class and here I was studying for the new one. I was so anxious because I was worried if I even performed well in that class and if I needed to reevaluate my life for my new one. Our grades eventually came a week later, and my nerves were finally eased, but these feelings were real. At first, I felt kind of ashamed to be feeling this way about having a difficult time adjusting to medical school, feelings of inadequacy, etc. But no, no, no. My feelings are valid and I am not ashamed nor do I feel the need to hide them. I’m only human. I don’t have everything figured out and I never will. I’m sure other graduate level programs are like this too, but some medical students are literally the most prideful people you will ever meet in your life. It feels like everyone has on a pokerface. Sometimes, I just feel like I’m surrounded by these auto programmed robots that just act like they have everything together, showing absolutely no signs of “weakness.” I’m not one for the false pretenses though, lol I feel like the curly fry in the box of regular. And I guess it’s difficult for me because I usually separate my work life from my social life, but here in medical school, they are literally the bulk of the people that I interact with on a daily basis so it’s frustrating at times.

The moral of the story is adjusting sucks. I had to adjust to college my freshman year, I had to readjust all over again when I transferred schools my sophomore year. But I ended up not only succeeding, but thriving actually. So that is my motivation to push through right now. I’ve overcome before and I shall overcome again and again.. Sometimes you just need to remind yourself of how much of a badass you truly are. I am destined for greatness and right now, I’m just getting my feet wet. But I’ve cried, I’ve prayed, I’ve meditated myself out of tantrums and breakdowns. Everything is gonna be okay. I hope this post inspires you readers to push through and overcome as well. We got this. If God brought you to it, he’ll bring you through it. 

Be sure to check out my latest Youtube video Click here

“If everything was perfect, you would never learn and you would never grow.” Beyonce Knowles

Xoxo, Until next time.

I survived my first week of Medical School.

This past week was definitely an adventure and I can’t even imagine the road that lies ahead. It’s going to be a tough school year, academically, mentally and emotionally. I am excited for you guys to follow me along my journey to becoming a real life doctor, it still feels surreal to even be able to say that honestly. My first Youtube video was just published, so please like, comment and subscribe. Please let me know if you have any questions about anything, need advice and if you have any suggestions for future videos or blog posts that would be helpful to you all.

“Everything you want to be, you already are. You’re simply on the path to discovering it.” -Alicia Keys

God Bless!

XO, PrettyGirlPractice