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Chronicles of a Med Student: And That’s a Wrap!

Last Updated on June 26, 2022 by Laura Turner

Whew! It’s been a long year and I am itching for a much-needed, well-deserved break. Thankfully, summer is here to save me. I can’t wait to talk about my summer plans and all the ways to spend the summer between first and second year (also sadly known as your last summer ever). I think it will be beneficial to recap what I’ve discovered this past year!
As I’ve said many times before, I was a nervous wreck before beginning my medical school journey. This is natural, and it would be unusual not to be at least a little concerned about what’s to come. It’s like staring straight into a black hole where you’ve seen people enter but never exit. I had seen friends who were older than me start medical school and I would literally only see them once a year. But I had entered this experience voluntarily, so I promised myself that I would do so with intense dedication. Here’s a pro tip: make sure to retain your sanity! For me, that meant keeping up my workout routine, keeping in touch with friends, and spending time with family. I would highly recommend experimenting with what works for you: it may be taking one night off every week or setting aside some time to play the guitar. I also know I never would have made it had I not formed a tight group of friends in school as well. We were all in this together, so might as well make the most of it!
These were my strategies for success. For those starting in a couple of months, make sure to keep this in the back of your minds! As promised, here are my plans for the summer: I’m traveling! People choose to do many different things. The key is to do something worthwhile (that looks good on a resume) while still enjoying yourself. Summer research is a popular option, since many residency spots look for candidates who have published work at some point in their lives. I considered this, but since that was basically all I spent my gap year doing, I wanted to do something else. Something I deeply regretted not doing in college was pursuing a study abroad program. Luckily a friend of mine knew of a program that worked through a women’s health clinic in South America. We decided to pursue it, and will be spending the next 4 weeks volunteering our time there while being able to experience all that the local region has to offer. This opportunity means the world to me, as I get stay in touch with medicine and indulge in travel. Medical students rarely get to spend their time seeing the world, so it was important to me to seize this chance. I encourage everyone to spend some time doing what they have to put off during the school year. It will be worth it!
Lastly, I want to thank everyone who read along with me as I struggled and found my way through my first year. I hope I’ve been able to provide at least a little bit of insight into what life is like as a first year medical student!
About the Author
Adelle is a 1st year medical student who loves to hike, bake chocolate chip cookies, and doodle on the corners of papers.