Truths of a Medical Student

Hello there, fellow medical students, kudos! You are one brave soul, just like me, to waste time in this virtual reality we call THE WEB. Or you know, it’s a “study break” as we often label it to lessen the guilt. On a scale of a 20-minute nap to a caffeine-fueled all-nighter, how’s it going? In my case, I am a cup away into the latter and I am absorbing nothing so I’ve decided to write this instead. Lo and behold, the truths behind every medical student!

WE CHASE TIME OR TIME CHASES US.

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Time is a paradox. Time is an illusion. It is both freeing and binding. Freeing, because we know it is there but we try not to care, because if we do, we go into panic mode, anxiety heightens, everything we do becomes futile. Binding, because we never really get to do things without thinking about time. 

Multiple exams with multiple references yet we still get bored.

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I don’t know but during these trying times, boredom can’t be killed. Boredom fights, boredom gets through and so boredom survives!  

The paradoxical effect of caffeine consumption.

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Stress if funny sometimes. 

The level of drowsiness is directly proportional to the amount of upcoming exams.

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HIGHLIGHTING IS EVERTHING. LITERALLY.

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But in all seriousness, if painting the whole page with a neon highlighter works for you, then by all means keep doing it. We have different ways of studying, different strategies so really asking tips from different people is a risk. What works with them might not work with you. Study at your own pace, at your own way at your own risk. Stop comparing!

Power naps only powers up our perpetual desire to sleep and become a panda instead.

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I just feel twice as tired sometimes. 

Studying = 5 minutes, Study Break = 1 Sherlock episode, 1 whole season of FRIENDS or 5 magical hours spent on the internet watching videos of baby elephants taking a bath.

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The endless cycle of doubts and questions of self-worth.

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TRIGGER: A succession of failed exams, lack of sleep and significantly increased stress levels. It happens, might even be normal to some point, just make sure you don’t get trapped in such vicious cycle. Go out, talk to friends, eat or read a book. Think happy thoughts. 

Nobody said it was easy, but no severity scale can quantify how hard medschool is.

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You live for the eat-outs and drinking sessions as a celebration for a hellweek (which is pretty much every week)

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You have every sign and symptom of every disease in Harrison’s Textbook of Internal Medicine. Even flatulence makes you think you’re dying.

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PERPETUALLY BROKE

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PERPETUALLY HUNGRY

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When you’re done studying or you have no time left.

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Friends make it all worthwhile.

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You don’t need to be friends with everyone. But you have to find the real ones, the rare gems, the snort-laugh inducers, the drinking buddies, the nonsense talkers, the equivalent of 5 cups of brewed coffee and you’ll find that medical school is the best thing that has ever happened to you. As they say, it’s all about the journey not the destination. 

Now back to studying, young Padawan!

 

 

Existence of the Weed

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I was staring intently at a weed. It was still young, with its slim roots clinging tightly to the ground and its tiny leaves swaying proudly to the subtle touch of the wind.

Then it hit me. It’s there living in a space surrounded by substantial life–fruit trees, daisies and some wild roses too. Oblivious to the fact that weeds are savagely plucked out or stepped upon.

So I thought, “What if this weed came into existence thinking it is needed like everything else that surrounds it?”

“What if it took notice of a white rose just beside it? Of its elegant beauty. Of its velvety petals as white and as pure as the pearl in the middle of the sea.  Of its thorny stem and its tiny leaves. Of how gracefully it stands out but still adds to the beautiful chaos of the woods.”

“What if in that mere moment, it became filled with hopes of becoming an elegant white rose?”

“What if in that mere moment, it longed to have the worth of a rose?”

“What if because of that mere moment, it decided to live its life trying its best to become a rose?”

“And then what if it finally matures and realizes that it will never bloom into a rose?”

What if I was the weed? What if I thought I could be a “rose” too? What if I’m wasting my time, patching the holes of my existence, pushing one foot after the other, climbing what seemed to be a never ending staircase only to find out that it’s all futile? What if I found out too late that this has all been a mirage? What if I can’t be what I want to be even if I’ve exhausted all efforts?

What now?

MED SCHOOL 101 – What it’s actually like to be a first year med student!

15. First year of medical school is PURE EXCITEMENT!  

Oh, how pumped up you are to get started! 

14. BUT, there’s the predicament of finding new friends.

You scan the room full of eager (nervous as hell) first year medical students. You try to evaluate who you’re gonna sit with, because you have to look for that one person, the right person, whom yourself (the introvert that you are) is willing to spend an entire lunch with. 

Note: Only applicable if you have decided to enroll in a medical school where you don’t know anybody even the lunch lady.

13. First time reading the syllabus and class schedule be like…

12. Meeting the doctors who are gonna guide you through the whole year is quite unnerving!

But guess what? They don’t bite. Proven and tested! So chill. After one complete small group discussion for a case with your facilitator, you’ll start thinking of them as your best friend! 

11. However, when the Mother of Dragons Doctors shows herself, stay low, keep calm, don’t do anything stupid, follow instructions, obey the rules and voila! You’ll get a smile and you’ll live.

10. When it’s already been a month and you’re actually living the syllabus and class schedule.

9. That feeling you get when you first have a glimpse of your very own stethoscope and that moment when you get to use it to a patient, even though it’s just simulated is beyond words!

8. Thinking about working on a cadaver is a realm of emotions!

7. Eat up. Sleep when you can. Drink. Remember: NEVER FORGET TO HAVE SOME FUN WITH YOUR FRIENDS!

Celebrate the temporary end of your exams–pass or fail! Best advice ever. It works. It’s legit. 

6. You will always have tons of reading material in your hands and books are gonna be piling up in your desk, still sometimes you can’t find the determination to get things started. 

For the love of coconuts! Don’t bug your medfriends about it. They’ve got the same workload as you do. So go outside, take a walk, grab an ice cream or a beer and sleep if you must. Determination will come crawling back to you once you get to relax your mind. Find your zen!

5. GROUP STUDY-OUTS? Works just right only if you don’t know anybody in the group.

For me, my place works just fine. However, when lazy days and comfy bed tries to work its magic on me, I study out. But I think the most productive way is to do it your way. Stop listening to one advice after the other. What could make them fly could make you fall. Create your own timetable. Manage your readings independently. Highlight texts as colourful as you want. Just do find what works for you and stick to that!

4. There will be a day or DAYS that you’d start posting your personal drama on your social media accounts.

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But hey, those comments from my friends made me smile. And sometimes, that’s all you need. 

3. You’ll often get 2A.M. life evaluations. That’s normal. You will stare at the wall for what seemed like ages and it’s still nothing. You’ll talk to yourself once in a while. Still, that’s normal. I guess. 

2. You’ll cry. Hell, you’re gonna breakdown! And that’s ok.

You get to have tears after that failed exam. You’re allowed to release your anger because of all those sleepless nights of reading Guyton, Netter and Gray and still it seemed like it’s gone to waste. You can have one night of literal and figurative darkness. JUST DON’T WALLOW IN IT. I know you’ll hear this often, I’ve been there but I tried to make reality hit me one more time. To tell me that I won’t make it any better if I don’t start by turning on the light. One good thing you get out of a failed exam is the sense of urgency and determination that could help you ace the next one. 

1. Then first year is over and you realize, you’re just getting started! 

Social Media Update!

Hi there! Lately, I’ve been thinking of ways on how I can expand. LOL. If you know me, you’ll understand this trepidation I have with regards to social media sites. However, when I started blogging I realize that it’s actually not a scary world out there. Then when I accepted review requests from authors, I started thinking of ways on how to help them spread the word about their self-published books. So here I am opening myself once again to another social media site, TWITTER! But only so I can give exposure to books that I think deserves to have the light!

So let’s start being friends 😀 What d’you say?

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And you can also find me here:

Goodreads

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Pinterest


Have a great day ahead of you and God bless! :*

 

Hello, Summer Vacation!

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Kalanggaman Island, Leyte, Philippines

First year of med school: CHECK! *praying to get into second year*

HELLO SUMMER ❤

Summer in the Philippines means temperature could go as high as 35 degrees Celsius. But hey, it brings forth lazy days perfect for tackling that ever-growing TBR pile. It signifies freedom from all the stresses of work or school. It’s the time of the year when people go on backpacking trips on mountainous regions, weekend camping on the outskirts of town or hopping from one island to the next and just wallowing all day in the turquoise waters of the beach.  If you have the right people with you and you know where to go, temperature is the least of your concerns. Fortunately for me, I found them and I’d like to share with you guys some photos that marks the beginning of our summer vacation.

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Tinago Falls, Biliran Island, Philippines

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Sambawan Island, Biliran Province, Philippines

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’tis a rare moment that these two best-friends go on a trip due to the busy schedule of the girl on a dress. 😀

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Lake Danao, Ormoc City, Leyte, Philippines

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Boat ride going to Kalanggaman Island

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Kalanggaman Island

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Stretch of the Kalanggman Island sandbar.

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The striped girl with her med stabilizers.

We visited 4 destinations (a falls, two islands & a lake) in 4 days and it was worth every peso! The time we spent in all four places was just enough for us not to get totally drained.  I enjoyed ever second of the trip!

And now that vacation is finally here, I get to go over my TBR pile and finally interact with the rest of the blogosphere! Happy reading and I hope you are having a fine day wherever you are! xoxo ❤

-Charlotte