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Just Keep Swimming

Med school is hard. It’s not always fun. But thankfully, this week was pretty motivational for me. You should know that this past weekend, I was seriously contemplating dropping out of med school. You should also know that this contemplation happens for almost everyone at some point. Usually at multiple points, actually. Ok, let’s be real: sometimes it can happen multiple times a day! But I’m pretty sure that’s how it is with most things in life. There’s the initial excitement, then reality hits. And the reality is that most things aren’t great all the time.

Sometimes you feel like giving up. Sometimes you question your sanity. Sometimes you question the sanity of everyone around you.

My advice?

1) Give yourself permission to have doubts and “off” days. It’s okay to admit you’re not loving what you’re doing at the moment. In all honesty, it’s a better alternative than being fake.

2) Seek the advice of wise people. This week, I was able to talk with 3 different physicians. It’s amazing how helpful and motivational it can be simply to talk/listen to someone who’s been in your shoes and says it’s worth it.

3) Just keep swimming. As one of the docs said this week: “Passion wears off and things become routine. You need to focus on sustainability.” It’s good to be passionate about what you’re doing; it’s also good to keep doing what you’re doing even if the passion wanes. Obviously, there are exceptions to this rule. But I think it’s a good general principle. If what you’re doing is worth doing, then do it whether you feel like it or not. Med school can be ridiculous and stressful and boring and terrible all at the same time. But at the end of the day, we’re here to learn as much as we possibly can so we can one day provide the best medical care to as many people as we can.

So for now, we’ll just keep swimming…err, studying.

Accurate description of med students studying for Step 1

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.

Roshini Selladurai

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...