So today we start a new class–the final class of the semester! Technically it’s 2 classes combined, but it’s exciting nonetheless! That means we’re officially done with two med school classes (first was anatomy, second was histology)!
But, for the sake of the first blog post, let’s back this train up and go back to the beginning of med school…
It takes a lot of hard work, time, and energy to get into med school.
And suddenly you’re here. You no longer have to get into med school: you’re in.
But something strange can happen when you actually start: you begin to question if you deserve to be here.
You’ll wonder if you’re smart enough…if maybe the admissions committee made a mistake.
You’ll think back to all the groans and sighs and “Wow…med school? You’re going to be in school forever!” that you’ve heard countless times.
You’ll wonder if this could be the worst (and most expensive) mistake of your life.
And here’s the thing: it could be.
“It could be” was one of the most used phrases in anatomy lab…mainly by our lab prof and one of the guys in my group.
(shout out to Ade, Jess, and Cody aka Table 6)
Ex. “Is this the lingual nerve?”
(See, I’m sure that example cleared up any confusion.)
At first, that answer frustrated me beyond belief. But then I started to realize something. Half of the fun is figuring things out. If everything looked exactly like the textbook, lab would certainly be a lot faster and smoother. But digging around and making mistakes and hearing “it could be” over and over is what motivates you. It keeps you going, forces you to dig deeper and think harder. “It could be” means there’s more to be discovered…more than what you’re currently seeing.
It could be that med school boosts your self-confidence because you’re rocking every exam. More power to you. Don’t be a jerk about it.
It could be that med school shakes your confidence because you’re not at the top of your class. Keep in mind that the majority of your class is NOT at the top of the class.
It could be that med school makes you wish you had chosen a different career path.
It could be that med school makes you really excited to be a doctor.
It could be that med school is where you will find some of the best friends of your life.
It could be that med school will take away all your “free” time.
It could be that med school will give you plenty of free time.
It could be that med school will make you frustrated beyond belief.
It could be that med school will provide some of the best stomachache-inducing laughs you’ve ever had.
And it could be that you realize med school doesn’t shape your experiences.
You get to decide how to react.
You get to choose joy or frustration.
You get to choose contentment or dissatisfaction.
You get to choose gratitude or complaints.
Yes, it could be that med school was a big mistake. Or it could be that you need an attitude readjustment…or a nap. Or (if you’re anything like me): both. And ice cream.
The point is: there are “up” days and there are “down” days. But that’s life. It doesn’t matter who you are, what you do, or where you live. You will have good days and you will have bad days. However, the days don’t define your life. Just because you’re having a bad week does not mean you have a bad life. It just means that life is tough right now. But it will get better.
I’m so thankful that I have friends and family who love me enough to help me see when I need an attitude readjustment. I’m all about honesty, so I’ll be honest and admit that I started out med school with a very ungrateful, dissatisfied heart. Only after a lot of venting and praying did I realize all the blessings the Lord has given me.
I’m blessed to have the best classmates ever. Everyone is so different, yet we all get along so well. I’m biased, but I think the Muncie campus has the kindest, funniest, most fun students. And I get to hang out with these people almost every day.
I’m blessed to know many of the second year students who offer great advice, encouragement, and hilarious stories.
I’m blessed to be at a campus where the professors genuinely care about us and want us to succeed. In undergrad, there are so many courses with professors who try to “weed out” students. But what a blessing to be in a medical school with faculty who want us to work hard so we can reach our full potential, not so they can weed us out.
I’m blessed to greet the sweetest ladies in the office (shout out to Kim and Ila) who are kind enough to provide food and drinks for us. They’re so friendly, efficient, and caring. What a blessing to have them here to keep everything and everyone organized! I don’t think this is biased: I’m pretty sure we genuinely have the most organized campus. And that’s mainly because of Kim and Ila.
I’m blessed to have a dean who was brave enough to host a big party for everyone at his home. And I hear next time they’re serving steak and lobster… :)
I’m blessed to know Kara, the friendly girl who works the night shift cleaning our building and then spends her free time studying for her nursing exams. What a privilege to know her and be motivated by her work ethic and cheerful attitude!
I’m blessed to have the privilege of eating dinner together with many of my classmates every Monday night at the home of a local physician and his wife. They generously feed all of us, provide us with reading material, and open up their home to host a Bible study for us. What a blessing to have role models like them in my life.
As I started counting my blessings, my doubt and discontentment turned into joy and gratitude.
It could be that med school is where you hope to be in the future.
It could be that med school is where you are right now.
It could be that you hate science and blood and have no idea why you’re even reading a medical school blog.
It could be that you stumbled upon this blog and have no interest in school whatsoever.
Whoever you are, wherever you are: I hope you see the beauty in each day. The beauty in your life. You have so much to be grateful for, regardless of your circumstances. So many things could have gone wrong that didn’t. There are a lot of things out of our control, but our attitude is always our choice. That’s a lesson I’ve learned since starting med school–a lesson that has made med school so much more fun and enjoyable. It’s one I have to remind myself of every single day.
Choose joy. Be grateful.
And for all you med students/future med students out there:
It could be that med school will teach you some amazing things…that have little to do with medicine.
The views expressed in this content represent the perspective and opinions of the author and may or may not represent the position of Indiana University School of Medicine.
I’m an MS4 based at the Indy campus, though I spent MS1/2 at the Muncie campus. I started med school with a strong interest in international missions, pediatrics, education, and whole person care. I’m still interested in all those things, except I re...