I’ve been blogging for the university student blog for a little while now, it’s been a welcome change from my essays on patient cases, pathologies and biochemical cellular mechanisms. However, I’ve yet to post anything truly personal. I figured this would be the time to do so and share my thoughts on the academic year (2017/2018).
This year has been a personal roller coaster. I decided to intercalate as a way not only to experience a world away from medicine but also to take a well-earned (in my biased opinion) hiatus from the pressures of medical school. I began with a high. I was awarded two independent scholarships to fund my BMSc year, something which I hardly expected. It felt like the boost I was looking for. Coming into medical school, or university for that matter, can sometimes leave you a little lost. I had also moved halfway across the world, away from family, friends and any connections I had to pursue personal goals or other interests in the community. However, like all good things, all it took was a little time. I made incredible friends, learnt to be independent and have adopted Scotland as my beautiful second home. At the end of my 3rd year I finally felt like I had settled in – I resolved to take a year out and truly embrace the ‘campus experience’ before it was too late.
Here comes the quick dip in this ride. I eagerly began work on my research project of choice – a full time laboratory project. For those of you who have dabbled in scientific research you’ll understand what this entails. In my case it meant long days in the lab working with little or no room for error. I was quite frankly out of my depth. My relaxed BMSc year looked like endless weeks in the lab. I had just enough time every day to get home for dinner, study and repeat the cycle all over again. Needless to say, I barely had time for socialising. It was a shock to the system and there were days I questioned why I left the cushioned student-centred environment of classes to be immersed in this strange new world. Of course, in true me-like fashion I had committed to sitting on two student committees and various university projects including the Global Health Challenge and this student blog…
Well to keep with the running theme of this post, all it took was time. A few weeks in I realised it would only be as miserable as I made it out to be. If I had to dedicate extra hours to this opportunity – shouldn’t I live in the moment. It was just a tough week.
At the close of the semester, I can honestly say I have grown in on both a personal and professional sense. Being pushed out of your comfort zone can be daunting but with it comes the ability to persevere and the rewards that follows. This semester I submitted my dissertation, exams, assignments and completed my viva presentation. The relief and joy at it’s completion was unparalleled. If you’re at a crossroads yourself – take the path that scares you. Trust me, you can do this.
P.S. Will be inter-railing this summer before returning to medicine – look out for a much less serious, fun post soon.
Until next time x