“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.
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
Lovely post! Really inspiring.
Hello Cree! How are you? I hope you are well. I hope the new semester is one that feels more familiar as you work towards being 1/4 closer to an M.D.. My name is Edward and I came across your vlogs on YouTube since I’m hoping I will match to UTMB on Feb. 1st. I watched all your videos…twice!!! I love your channel and think you do an excellent job. I especially appreciate your candor and wit lol:) Being completely honest is not easy, but I believe I speak for most of your viewers when I say I greatly appreciate that. I was hoping you would post another video soon, but I understand the rigors of medical school may not allow for that right now. After reading this post, I just wanted to tell you you’re not alone. I am also the first to graduate from college, and everyday certainly was not easy. It’s often like paving the path for those after you just to figure out that the road you traveled could have been so much easier with resources you did not know were previously available. And being a minority, the journey sometimes felt a little more taxing. You are doing an incredible, yet not easy thing, and as you have said, God is most certainly with you. Every good and perfect gift is from above (James 1:17), and you can most certainly do all things through Christ Who is your strength (Phil 4:13). You are obviously smart, and I have heard from students at UTMB as well as others that medical school is a huge adjustment and previous study habits are often futile. Please hang in there Cree!!! The road is not easy, but I find remembering why I wanted to do this in the first place helps. Lord willing, one day you will be advising medical students as an attending physician and telling them “I know this journey is often difficult, but I am living proof you will make it!” I am rooting and praying for you!
On another note, if I may ask, I was wondering if you knew what specialty you wanted to go into?
Have a blessed day,
Wow! Thank you so much Edward for your encouraging words and for supporting my blog 🙂 I’m glad to hear that you are a first generation student as well. I truly hope that you do end up coming to UTMB!! I believe that you would be an inspiration to many yourself. God bless you. And as far as specialty, I’m not sure. I’m still weighing the pros and cons between several fields. Do you know what specialty you’re interested in yourself?
Really inspiring! I’m the first person in my family to go to med school as well so I’m really flying in blind and don’t know how things will turn out. But, I know I’ll definitely work my ass off. I would love for you to check out my blog when you can. Best of luck on your medical journey! 🙂
Hey there 🙂 Well done for surviving that first semester. I can relate to a lot of what you said. My first semester was filled with many emotional highs and lows, perhaps more on the low side unfortunately. But it makes you a better person because you come out stronger on the other side. I’m also from a non-medical family background so don’t worry, there are plenty of others out there who are like you.
Take care and the best of luck for the duration of your course. I’m sure you’ll be awesome! 🙂
My first semester is just over so this is really inspiring 🙂
I have the same thoughts and I can totally relate to you. I just started blogging about my medlife. You’re not alone dear.