004: Dog Days

We’re officially halfway through June and almost halfway through 2017, which I am having a lot of trouble wrapping my head around. It seems like just yesterday I was celebrating my acceptance, and that was almost 5 months ago. Spring semester finals, graduation, and summer orientation zoomed by just like that. It’s definitely been a crazy few months to say the least.

As far as preparation for the fall goes, I recently attended what my school calls a “pre- summer orientation” in order to get some major paperwork out of the way. I felt like I was signing my life away, one sheet of paper after another, for all sorts of things–mentor preferences, photo releases, fingerprinting forms, etc. Immunizations have been another huge thing; in fact, just 3 days ago I had to get a shot in each arm and the first part of a 2-step TB test. So whoever said the pain is over once you’re in…you lied! And it doesn’t end there. In August, we have a 3-day orientation scheduled where we’ll undoubtedly have even more paperwork to fill out as well as getting tested for drugs and receiving our university IDs. But although it feels a little tedious, it’s mostly exciting to feel like I’m finally taking action and it definitely just sort of solidifies the fact that I am in medical school.

Aside from the mounds of paperwork, I also got a chance to briefly meet some of the people who will become my classmates. I say briefly because amidst all the hustle and bustle, I only got to really talk to 2 or 3 of them. Anyone who knows me knows I’m not really an outgoing person. In fact, it can sometimes be really hard for me to work up the nerve to talk to someone, especially a stranger. I get pretty awkward, to say the least. I was a little worried because it almost seemed like a lot of people already knew each other from before. I, on the other hand, attempted having a conversation with one guy, only to see he ended up talking to the people sitting on the other side of him. Kinda sad, I know, but I can only laugh it off for now and hope I make life-long friends like the dean of admissions assured us we would. My school actually prides itself on being on the smaller side, with less than 100 students per class. We’ve been told repeatedly the small size of the class allows us to get to know each other really well, which I am sure will be the case. It’s just hard to reassure yourself of that sometimes when you know you’re not the best at making new friends. So here’s hoping!

The rest of the day was spent getting to know the town I’ll be calling home for the next year or so. I managed to find a pretty great place to live, close to campus and the train station which will be great for when I want to visit home. I won’t have a car on campus this year, so I’ll probably be biking everywhere (how environment-friendly of me). I’m pretty excited about getting to have my own apartment, so I can’t wait to move in come August. The town where my school is located isn’t huge, but since it’s a college town, there’s a lot of activity in and around campus; shops, restaurants, movie theaters, gyms, you name it. Geographically (or demographically, you could say) it is a lot different, since it’s in the Southern part of the state, so it’s a lot greener and hillier, and the people seem a lot more open–I guess the myth about Southern hospitality isn’t a myth after all. I didn’t have time to explore every inch of the city but I’m sure there’ll be plenty of opportunities for that once I’m living down there.

All in all, it’s been great getting to know my school and just getting used to the idea of what my life will be like in medical school for the next 4 years. As far as this blog goes, I know it’s been quite a while since my last post, but there weren’t many medically-related things going on for me to write about. My plan to “journal” my experiences is still a solid go, so once August comes around you can expect to be hearing a lot more from me. Until then, thanks for reading all the way through! And if you’ve got any tips for being less socially awkward, I’m all ears!

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