The Final Days before Final Year

My month-long break from things is coming to an end. It is with a degree of melancholy that I look towards the next week when tight schedules and rigid routines will be back in place. It’s the kind of feeling that makes you want the weather to become wet and rainy so you could sit next to a window and stare outside at the puddles while writing terrible poetry that you could probably make a book out of sooner or later before wrapping the day up by uploading a post on Instagram with the hashtag #aesthetic.

I knew this day would come. When I would have slept my days away and the time to wake up would have arrived and I would feel as though I have come to the starting line with nothing in my arsenal. And yet, I squander the few hours left. Lately, I have been reading Haruki Murakami’s Kafka by the Shore. I probably won’t be finishing it before starting another book as this one is very thick and I can’t take it to school to read. So I’ll probably get started on my reread of Orwell’s 1984. I always list 1984 as my favorite book because I feel like it affected me powerfully when I read it for the first time. It had been a pdf read and after that, I swore I wouldn’t read it again unless I had a purchased volume in my hands. Well, I’ve got it now.

My final year will start on Monday. It won’t be just any average Monday though. It might be one of the hardest ‘regular’ days of the year. Not only is my first module gyne and obs (although I also feel that surgery would definitely high up on the ‘terrifying’ scale) but I’ve also got an over-night call. You know what that means? I’ll be going to class at 8am and going back home at 6am the next day and then coming back to school 2 hours later.

Just thinking about it makes me feel rather unwell. I’m wondering what I should be keeping in my bag. It’s only the first day, after all. I’ll probably carry the two small textbooks I need, my journal and 1984 as well as some other personal things like a shawl (I’m not sure how the weather will be but I assume wearing a jacket/sweater would only end up being cumbersome), perfume, hand creams and sanitizers. Perhaps lunch, although I’m not sure what I would do with the limited amount of food I can carry! Might have to end up going to the cafeteria (I don’t want to!) or ordering in.

I’m not sure and for the moment, I’ve decided not to think about it too much. Whenever it comes, I’ll decide what to do at that time. Worrying about all these things right now when I can’t do anything except give myself anxiety isn’t fun. I only have one day left of sleeping in. I had thought I’d be able to fix my sleeping schedule and start going to bed early, but it seems impossible now.

Did I manage to finish any of the goals I’d wanted to get done in these weeks of freedom? Not really. It has only made me realize that a routine out of your control is sometimes best in order to force yourself to get things done. When you are in charge of yourself, it’s not hard to slip into a sort of nothingness where the days pass and nothing happens. When someone else is in charge of you, you’re forced to make something happen out of the nothingness. And yet I know that for every added day I would (hypothetically) get, I would continue to squander them.

It seems my vice is laziness.

I look forward to my final year in medicine.

I know it will be tough. Not only is final year in itself tough, but I have also shouldered the burden of giving the Step One exam. I look forward to a year of anxiety and studying and spending time in the wards and beating myself up and getting scolded and disgraced by senior doctors. I look forward to yet another year where I’d curse my anxiety and wish I could do more and be more confident. I look forward to another year where exams would cause me to do my best to hide my nervous breakdowns and spend the last hours of my time watching random youtube videos.

And yet I also look forward to a year where I’d be pushing my limits and hopefully setting up a boundary further than where it is now. I look forward to a year where I’d get more familiar with the field I’m about to jump into. I look forward to a year where I continue slaying exams and other demons. I look forward to a year where I manage to juggle my studies and my blogging and my other interests. I look forward to final year.

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Author: Kanra Khan

I'm a Pakistani American student of medicine, or more precisely, an almost-graduate of MBBS Class of 2019. I like to write about my experiences in med school and my adventures in life, which range from traveling, to art, to blogging and photography. Like what you're seeing so far? Consider exploring a bit more! The Lunar Descent is endless.

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