For many of us students, the key to coping with the load of medical school is by following a highly predictable schedule that gets repeated day in and day out. It took a few weeks for me to establish the routine as I adjusted to second year, but quickly, I found myself in the rhythm – waking up at the same time, eating the same food for lunch, wearing the same flip flops, studying in the same desk, and walking the same route on study breaks. In some ways, I find myself getting desensitized to the little joys and unique experiences of each day because I get so caught up in my same routine. However, I’ve recently been trying to let me eyes and ears perk up to the little things that make each day of second year special, and I thought I would share six of those little sights and sounds with you.
- Outside of Alumni Hall is a nice loop of sidewalk that is often inhabited by MS2s like me who like to get some fresh air, increased venous return, sunlight, and exercise as we review over notes.
2. The other day as I sat in my study carrel, getting in the last few minutes of studying before Sabbath, through the walls I could hear someone singing with great fervor, “Deliver Us,” from the Prince of Egypt sound track. I found myself laughing hysterically as I saw the similarities between us, the second year medical students and the children of Israel held captive in Egypt.
3. You can learn just about anything on YouTube, including how to draw blood. So that’s exactly what we did 🙂 Thankfully, my partner and I both got the “flash of blood” on our first try. We received a complete blood count and looked at our blood smears under the microscope.
4. How do you spend your Saturday night? I spent mine listening to music as I made a super sized table to organize the details of lymphomas and leukemias. If you must study on a Saturday night because you’re a little behind in classes, good music always makes the process much more enjoyable!
5. The study carrels are indeed as they are named, used for studying. They are a cozy little place that provide the quietness needed for focus, but also the company of others that you need in order to keep from feeling too isolated. The carrel that I am in is often pretty quiet, but every few hours someone will say something and before you know it, everyone has abandoned whatever they were doing to join in on the conversation. It’s in these conversations where we have shared great laughs, told stories, and bonded with each other. These are moments and sounds that I savor. After a few minutes of chatting, there will be a collective sigh, and everyone quietly makes their way back to whatever task it was that they were working on before.
6. One of my favorite sights of second year has been the amount of sunrises and sunsets that I have been able to watch. Following in the footsteps of some of the other MS2 bloggers, I also have shifted my sleeping schedule to fit in study time early in the morning where I am more efficient and focused, allowing me to see the sunrise every single day. Each evening, I often walk home around sunset or I get to watch it from the window of my study carrel as the day draws to a close. There is something really special about truly seeing the day from start to finish in the unique and beautiful ways that the Creator paints the sky. It helps remind me of His new mercies that begin afresh each morning, and of His faithfulness that gets me through each day.
It might not be the most exciting life that we live, but these are a few of the little wonderful moments in each day that provide just enough joy to the routine that keep us happily moving forward from one day to the next.