The musings of a final year medical student

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Stress and Festivities

I'm starting to realise that what makes medical school hard isn't actually the content that you are expected to learn, but the sheer volume of it, in conjunction with a million other medical and non-medical commitments.

One issue is the timetable. For my medical school the timetable is different every week; it isn't just the order, but new themes and lecture types are constantly being added. We also have our own personal research projects which I am the group leader for, meaning I am responsible for organising our meetings.

In brief: currently feeling like I am drowning in work, and I'm being a grumpy cow about it. The new learning style is still testing me, and I'm still trying to get my head around it. At school/sixth form, I always learnt by being taught something in a class room setting and then asking questions constantly until I felt I had no more queries. Studying at uni definitely feels more like stabbing in the dark, and you have to have faith in your own comprehension, because there isn't really anyone who is going to check or that you can ask to clarify your problem areas. Instead you have to think laterally: spend ages trawling through various textbooks until you find a decent answer. Failing that, anything comprehensible from Wikipedia (bad, I know).

We are currently trying to sort out next year's accommodation, but it is not going smoothly. Finding properties for a group of eight that suits everyone's needs isn't easy. And now the worries of sorting our my research project and my accommodation before going home this month for Christmas has sort of killed any December-buzz that I should have. I love December. This is my all-time favourite part of the year, and now I feel like I have my head so absorbed in things that I'm not taking time to look at what's around me: the Christmas lights in the city, festive coffee drinks, Christmas markets, enjoying layering up for the wintery days, ice skating and singing Christmas carols in the shower. What's the point of living if you don't relish the sentimentality of those sort of things, really. I don't want to be too busy to not see the wonder.

You know when one thing gets you down, and then all the tiny, minuscule things then manage to set you off spontaneously, purely because you're already in a foul mood? Yup, that's me right now. Catered food is shit. Don't get me wrong, the portions are huge and there's plenty of options. It's just boring and very unhealthy. You don't want to wait for the over-boiled vegetables to be restocked after you've already queued for 30 minutes (at worst).  My low will power makes it impossible to resist the pre-made cakes, too. But because the catering is half board, and my kitchen doesn't have a cooker/hob or freezer, it means buying rather expensive lunches. I cannot tell you how sick I am of the bloody Tesco £3 Meal Deal.

Don't get me wrong, these are GOOD problems to have. To be woman who is allowed to study at higher education and has financial stability and everything going for her, it seems ridiculous to be complaining about food quality and busy schedules. I'm taking the night off to recharge and contextualise all these qualms. But what I really wanted to get across in this blogpost is that there are shitty days. It's a lot to handle, but I wouldn't change it. This is where I want to be, what I am most passionate about. Just need to remind myself of that from time to time.


"Je ne te dis pas que ce sera facile,
Je te dis que ├ža vaudra la peine"


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