I apologize for my completely lazy title. I’m tired. And it fits.
It’s the end of the second week of the sophomore year here at LLU. Some of you who have read my blog in the past might be wondering why I am writing about the beginning of sophomore year. Well because I am in the sophomore class — again. If you’re curious, check out my post titled “Back to Blogging” where I wrote about coming back to LLU after skipping exams and telling my dean I wanted his signature on my withdrawal slip.
It’s definitely strange. There is a sense of deja vu. Maybe it’s more than just a sense. I am hearing the same lectures for a second time. And I hope I can make the most of it.
But it is alienating to come into the lecture hall and see a totally different class. Unfamiliar voices and faces. And everyone there knows that you are a new face that was not part of the class 3 months ago — that you don’t belong.
I suck it up though. Because this is what I have to go through to get to where I want to be. And I’m not saying that my new classmates are unfriendly. They very well might be. And I have met a couple here and there that have been really nice. But I am definitely not the outgoing type. So that doesn’t help.
As I begin the second year for a second time I have to ask, what about me is different? Because if nothing has changed, then the outcome is likely to be the same frustration and anger that I felt before — which is definitely not a good thing. The last time it led to a failed attempt at withdrawing.
Well in short, a lot has changed. I am not the same student. Sure, I still want to goof off and procrastinate. But I have put myself on a schedule to keep myself on task. My break times, study times, meal times, and sleep times are planned out and printed out. I make a more concerted effort to focus and absorb/understand as much as possible from lectures. I cut down my internet/TV time. But the most significant change is probably attitude. I hate studying. I’ve said that before and I will probably be saying it many more times (or write it, for that matter).
But I have decided that I want to be a doctor. Yes, dear reader (intentionally left in the singular), I WANT TO BE A DOCTOR. And this process of spending hours with the books is NOT just a means to an end. Every opportunity to learn in medical school is a chance to shape the kind of doctor I will one day become. I don’t want to be some run-of-the-mill MD that just barely gets through, perfectly able to handle 90% of the problems 90% of the population see a doctor for.
The thing is, this will probably require me to throw my entire being at chasing a class ranking in the top 20% for this sophomore year (I’m not including the freshman year because mine sucked. I passed. But I’m definitely not proud of it.) Not for the sake of bragging rights, competitive residencies, or being “smart,” but because effectively soaking up everything I can in order to be the best doctor I can be will probably put me in that envied company as a serendipitous byproduct.
It’s a high challenge — especially for a life-long procrastinator and self-proclaimed loather-of-studying like me. Because it almost sounds like that percentile is my goal. And shockingly, that is the case. That’s what I am aiming for. In writing. On the Internet. For all (or one) to see.
In the end, should I fail to reach my goal, I hope that it is because I could not pull it off — not because I did not try hard enough or was not disciplined enough. Only time will tell, though.But the bar has been set high because one doesn’t achieve lofty goals without first being willing to set the goal behind daunting obstacles.
Wish me luck