“Comparison is the Thief of Joy” – Theodore Roosevelt

These past two months, I’ve been pouring myself into my studies trying to do well in my classes. Although I’m not 100% sure what specialty I would like to pursue, I do know that I want to do as best as I can so I don’t have to limit my options when I apply to residencies. I want the option of being able to go into something surgical if I want. So, I put a lot of pressure on myself to do well just like every other student in my class.

However, sometimes on days like today, it’s hard to stay focused and motivated. But, it’s also difficult to just sit around and not study because you feel so guilty when you see your other classmates post about studying or spending late nights at the library. Sometimes, you’re sitting on your couch and open snapchat and look at your classmates’ stories about how they have been studying for over 12 hours and you think, “oh my gosh, I only studied for 7.” It’s an all to familiar feeling, but I have to remind myself all the time that I have to focus on myself.

People will only choose to show you want they want to show you. “What does that mean,” you ask? It means that maybe that person didn’t study yesterday and feels like they are behind! It means that maybe the next day, that person has family coming into town and can’t study all day like you plan to. If you continually compare yourself to other people, it will hurt you in the end. Plus, it’s exhausting. Ever heard of that quote, “Comparison is the thief of joy?” That Teddy Roosevelt was a wise man 😉

That being said, sometimes you gotta take a break. My friends and I joke around about sleeping in too late or waking up from an accidental nap by saying, “treat yo’self.” But it’s so true.  Sometimes you need yoga even when you think your schedule is crazy and you can’t take a break. Sometimes you need to sit on your couch and watch SVU. Sometimes you gotta go to church or go for a run or spend time with a loved one. Take breaks, because burn out is real my friends.

So, yes, medical school is admittedly hard and I complain a lot, but I also want to make sure you guys know that it’s also so wonderful. My mornings mainly consist of lectures from 8-12, but the afternoons are filled with gross lab, practicing patient interviewing, learning how to perform physical exams, and OMM lab. (If you don’t know what OMM is, it is osteopathic manipulative medicine. In short, it’s part of what distinguishes DO (doctor of osteopathy) from MDs.) The afternoons, though tiring, are perhaps the best part of the day. It’s where we as students get to practice and apply what we are learning in the classroom. So in conclusion, even though my life revolves around studying right now, I try to take breaks where needed, and remind myself that I am probably the happiest I’ve been in a while. Medical school has been one of the best things yet and I’m excited for what’s to come. 🙂

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