Being an adult medical student has its distinct advantages, and a few disadvantages as well I suppose. I’m an eternal optimist, so the downsides don’t really affect me much. But a friend asked me to address at least one of the downsides just to make sure folks know its not all sunshine and roses on this journey!
Probably the biggest downside so far has been having to take a leave of absence.
Most definitely not my favorite thing, having to write to my school and request a break. But since my school doesn’t offer federal financial aid or scholarships, I’m left solely responsible for tuition. Now don’t get me wrong, I am over-the-moon thrilled at the (relatively) low cost of tuition at my school. That said, its still high enough that one little life-hiccup can upset the fine balance of keeping up with payments while still being able to do things like buy groceries.
Being the optimist that I am, I took the break time to dive deeply into powerpoints, recorded lectures, and study aids. Its fascinating to me how much knowledge a brain can hold, and even without a deadline of upcoming exams I was able to spend daily hours in productive study. That Step One review book is becoming my best friend, and q-bank questions are my second ‘job’.
All that to say this: Regardless of what journey you’re on, if you’re passionate about the goal, don’t let anything sidetrack you or make you give up. Will it be hard? Absolutely. Will the journey include hiccups and re-directs and sometimes discouraging detours? Sure. Real life doesn’t offer a straight line from here to there.
But any goal worth having is worth working for, striving for, doggedly slogging through any mess for. As I continued studying and putting in clinical hours, I discovered that any sacrifice is worth it in the pursuit of this grand dream of mine.
Whatever you do, just don’t quit!!