The musings of a final year medical student

Friday, 26 December 2014

Personal reflections

Since returning back to the South West for Christmas, it has been an utter whirlwind. A few hours after getting off the train - Birmingham New St Station was a nightmare - I went to meet my 30 closest school friends from my old secondary school. I was already exhausted and hungover but the experience was awfully overwhelming, and I kept wanting to cry. I asked to leave early because I couldn't really handle it. So many emotions were going through  my mind at that point in time: already missing my university friends and boyfriend, wanting to get back to the house to see my family, and feeling awfully guilty for not making enough effort to stay in contact with my school friends. 

On my and my mum's birthday, the 21st, I had a lovely relaxing day at home, including a walk to a lovely restaurant in a village in the valley. I then spent the day in London with my sister and granny n the 22nd; we had ice cream sundaes at Fortnum and Mason after a day's shopping in Covent Garden and Regent's Street. On the 23rd I relaxed at home and then popped out to see a friend at a newly opened bistro place in my town. It was wonderful to see her, but also rather guilt-inducing. You see, my experience of university has been perfect. I settled in straight away, loved my course since day one, made a tonne of new friends and barely missed home life. However, it certainly hasn't been the same for all my other mates, unfortunately. Many of my friends did question the course, the location, had personal life issues to juggle at the same time, and couldn't find friends to live with for 2nd year. I just assumed that because I wasn't hearing bad news, that meant that there wasn't any to share. But because I was having so much fun at medical school and not maintaining my school friendships, I wasn't there to support my friends when they really needed me. I would have described myself as the agony aunt of my friendship group at college, and I really enjoyed being there for my mates through those tough times. 

One of the main reasons I felt so guilty for this was because recently I realised that my life is perfect. I can hand on heart say that there is nothing I would change. I have a wonderful family, friends at uni and at home, lovely boyfriend, loving the course I am on, and have finally accepted myself as an individual. And it was embarrassing to realise that naïvety in thinking that everyone else felt the same way. Not many people can be that confident and assured in their lives, and as a good friend I should have checked and helped them where I could. Now I am trying to ensure that I do just that.

Later that day, I had a dinner party to celebrate my 19th birthday with my friends from back home. I felt truly spoilt, as this was the second dinner party I had had to celebrate my birthday, having already had one with my uni friends before I came home. I was showered with presents that I didn't feel I deserved, having not seen these lovely people in 13 weeks!

I can already see this Xmas holiday slipping through my fingers, but I want to make the most of every minute.

In brief: make time for your friends and family. Don't get caught up in all the small stuff and forget how important the maintenance of those friendships are. To me, friends and family are the same thing: you should be obliged to love and support both of them equally. 

 Dinner with university friends, 19th December 2014
Christmas day with my family, 2014

Afternoon tea at Fortnum and Mason's with Lucy, 22nd December 2014

My 19th and my Mum's 48th, 21st December 2014

Dinner with friends from back home, 23rd December 2014

Merry Christmas



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