My medical school journey hasn’t always been a pretty ride. Ever since I failed the first module exam, it’s been a slow downward slope punctuated with occasional rises every now and then.
If I were to describe how the past few days felt like it would be this:
I am tired of having to constantly struggle with whether I should quit or stay. I thought that when I decided to give it my all, things would get easier for me. That I would stop having to deal with doubts and second-guessing myself and I would look forward to coming to school and learning something new. That my outlook would remain positive. That I would strive hard to become a doctor no matter what. Period.
But meaning and joy eludes me and day by day my heart becomes as dry and dreary as the building of my college.
It’s funny because I wrote that about a year ago and my struggles haven’t changed. After all this time, I still wonder if medicine is for me. I thought by now I should have had already decided on that. But when difficulties come, instead of rising to the occasion, I let the currents overcome me and I float along like a dead fish.
Whenever I tell my mom I’m quitting school, she asks me what my plans are and I find myself stammering for an answer. I guess when I say I want to quit, it’s more of a spoken wishful thought. A trigger I will never be brave enough to pull. A glowing exit sign at a show that’s never been quite bad enough to make me want to leave, to borrow the words of Neil Hilborn. Because, really, when I think about it, what else is there for me if not this? All my life has been geared towards me getting into medical school and now that I’m here, the horizon is bleak and my feet, once strong and levelled, are feeble for the journey ahead.
A day before the our modular exam, I told my mom I was quitting school. We had a brief talk and afterwards, I went inside my room to study for the exam. It feels like a defeatist attitude to keep going for the mere reason of not having enough reasons to leave, but when seen through certain angles, the struggle appears like a glimmer of hope, an invitation to seek out what makes the journey worth all the sweat and tears.
It’s been a few days since that conversation and we never spoke about it again.
We don’t need to.
Forgive the incoherence. My thoughts are all over the place.