Next week is my first set of medical school exams.
Hm, writing it just now was a lot more intimidating than the actual lead-up to it has been so far. Isn’t it ridiculous, though? In undergraduate I would have basically just started classes, but as a medical student I already feel like I’ve been a medical student forever.
Anyway, I should probably disappear into a hole (a studying hole), but instead I will share a story.
Yesterday one of my classes, a small group, let out early. Like the good little first-year I am, I decided to use the extra time to study. Like the social creature who hates studying I am, I decided to sit in a very common area, where a lot of people would walk by, so that when other people’s groups started letting out, they would walk by me and distract me.
After about fifteen minutes, someone I knew walked by, and stopped. “Studying?”
“Of course,” I replied.
“Are you going to be here for a little?” he asked. At my nod, he put his (very full) backpack down next to me and stretched out on the cushioned bench I was sitting on.
“I am so exhausted,” he half-moaned.
“You look it,” I said. “Were you here last night?”
“Yeah,” he said. A heck of a lot of students at my school study at the physical school. I have been unable, so far, to bring myself to do such a thing. I much prefer studying at home, with all of my books at easy access, without having to lug everything somewhere else — but that’s just me.
“How late were you here?” I asked.
He picked up his head a little to look at me. “You really want to know?”
I shrugged. “Sure.”
“I was here until 5AM or something,” he said.
“That’s crazy,” I replied. Then I grinned and, a little impishly I suppose, said, “I’m pretty much in bed by 11 every night.”
He raised his eyebrows. “What specialty did you want to go into, again?” Implying, of course, that it must not be a very good one.
That last sentence right there exemplifies an attitude that some med students have that I really, really dislike. A lot. It is this feeling that if you are not punishing yourself, if you are not studying until ungodly hours of the night and depriving yourself of everything you enjoy, you must not be a good student. Conversely, if you are haggard-looking and haven’t seen home in a few days, you must be an awesome student who knows everything.
Okay, so it’s quite possible that this friend of mine was joking. But it still points at this underlying idea that I have definitely seen in a lot of my classmates, and I think it’s just plain wrong. Not only because I think/know I am a pretty good student, but because I don’t think that anyone should be pushing themselves in that way and then crowing about it. If I had to study until 4:30AM in order to know the material, I probably would, but I wouldn’t be happy about it. And it seems to me like these people, in a mild, backwards way, are.
Anyway, with that being said, I’m going to go study.