To the class of 2016: Observations from 2015
Inspired by wayfaringmd’s list, which is perfect. This is an homage :)
Congrats and welcome, class of 2016! You’re about to embark on a life-changing journey. You’re going to love it and hate it, sometimes simultaneously. But your upperclassmen, your loved ones, and other folks are here for you. And as someone who very recently went through the same experience, may I offer these ideas to you?
1. Those of you who don’t drink coffee or ‘don’t do caffeine’: You will. Your poison will be coffee, tea, or chocolate. Or in my case, all three.
2. If a club or talk has free food during lunch, GO. (Whether your reason is for the food or for the talk)
3. Medical students are broke; we do potlucks the way celebrities do Botox. You have 3 options: learn 2 recipes you won’t be ashamed of serving, know your wines or beers, be a shopping god to reduce your costs. My go-to recipe is Japanese curry, and my go-to beers are Sam Adams, Fat Tire, and Yuengling Lager.
4. In that vein, learn how to split a bill, if you don’t know how to already. That is going to happen a lot.
5. Get cable, Netflixs, or some way to watch mindless television: some upperclassmen say you won’t have time to watch TV. True. But when you do need a way to totally veg-out? Never underestimate the power of the boob tube.
6. If your school wants you to buy scrubs, get the cheapest ones you can find. Scrubs are professional pajamas designed to get dirty. Put the money you save towards comfortable professional shoes or medical equipment (stethoscope, reflex hammer, etc.).
7. Don’t talk about medical school in too much detail when your significant other/date/family/friends/loved ones ask about medical school. Because no one wants to know what formaldehyde in a cadaver’s bowel smells like. Or the niceties of GABA transport. Broad strokes, people. Big, broad, beautiful strokes.
8. Get your geek on. Firefly, Blade Runner, Golden Age comics, Marvel vs. DC, Game of Thrones, Settlers of Catan, the list goes on. Because everyone’s a geek to some degree in med school…
9. …But don’t be socially awkward. You’re a doctor in training, now. Get used to talking to people from all walks of life. Practice your social skills.
10. Don’t take too many things personally. Classmates are going to be stressed. So will you. Patients (if you see any), nurses, and others may give you a hard time. And sometimes your professors are nuts or total jerks. Meanwhile, you’re trying to balance life with work. So learn to let things go and don’t take things too personally. Learn to laugh and find the fun in things. It’s those precious moments that make up this blog, and will eventually make up YOUR memorable 1st year.
Best of luck, I can’t wait to meet you all!