As you may already know I’m in limbo, the easiest time of a medical student’s life, the period before when they’re accepted and sitting around awaiting school to start. It’s not a bad place to be. So, what am I doing with my time?
Trying to catch up with what is considered common knowledge!
While studying for the MCAT, I stopped listening to music, and replaced all my audio with Examkrackers Audio Osmosis — I even slept with earphones in at times, I often had very odd but scientifically accurate dreams. In college, I had a TV but it wasn’t actually connected to the wall, perhaps it was for the better because I missed the TV dark ages: Jersey Shore, all the renditions of Bachelor type shows, Honey Boo Boo (pre-health condition), and I never kept up with the Kardashians. I also had no idea who Justin Bieber was for some years, and I’m still confused that Miley Cyrus isn’t that little girl I saw on kids backpacks growing up. But, recently I’ve been defrosted from the frigid lands of premed, into acceptance. For years, people flung music and TV references at me that went over my head. Now that I have time, I try to catch E.R. reality shows, science specials, Walking Dead, Colbert Report, Top Gear, SNL. I started watching the Weather Channel when I realized I might be living in any one of the states buried under the next blizzard. I was in a news desert for a while, so I could only listen NPR due to their reliability, but now there’s another neutral news outlet Al Jazeera. When medical school starts, I’ll definitely pare my TV viewership again, but I’ll keep some shows mentally in queue.
Well, I’ve left the country a couple of times already with my own money, including my “dream locale” of Japan. My stepfather started taking me camping when I was about 16, I’ve camped in different states. I’ve personally driven with friends on road trips to different parts of the US, and the medical school interviews tossed me into many states new to me. And, after consulting with my financier of my life, me, I was told I’m out of money for travel. I have family in Japan, so I might just go to Japan again next summer if I’m not beholden to anything.
Pay bills before I’m off to medical school
Bingo. When I started college I didn’t qualify for financial aid, this was because my parents income was considered, but my parents believed in “financial self-sufficiency” about my education. So, this was a nice Catch-22 of looking wealthy on paper, while being poor in reality. So, how does one pay for college and living expenses, work and credit cards. So, I want to pay off my debt (fortunately, it’s not crazy, it just needs to be done). My student loan debt, ~40K? chump change in comparison to what I’ll owe soon, so I’ll just stack that on top of the school other 180K bill I’ll get from medical school. Paying down bills will make leasing/renting stuff easier, that’s my main motivation and also why I draw a distinction between my personal accrued debt and government loans.
Hang out with my friends.
I won’t see some of my friends for years. Though, I moved around a lot as a kid, as do most Californians, so the feeling of the uncertainty of moving is not new for most of us. What is new is that it’s clear across the country, quite literally, and in the land of actual seasons. I’m comfortable staying at home over the weekend, or reading a book over coffee (dream weekend), but I’ve made more of a concentrated effort to be more social. It’s been great. I’ll miss having access to my friends, but I won’t miss them, because I know we’ll keep in touch. I’ve already reached an age where I’ve shed most of my “extra” friends, and I’m left with exceptional ones. Though, I enjoy bringing my friends with me to Boston, giving them a nexus to the east coast. So, I embrace the complex future.
Read stuff that has nothing to do with medicine — that book over coffee.
It’s my last chance to be able to do this without any guilt about my time. I work at a university, so I have access to a really expansive library, so I’ve used it to catch up on things I wanted to read. I also have been spending a lot of time at the online Gutenberg Library, it’s great for classics, they even have Maxwell’s lectures there. I read the Feynman Lecture Volume I, going over volume II now, with any luck Ill get III done before the summer starts — not that I’ll understand any of it yet. I have a personal goal of being able to look at quantum physics equations and go “Oh Hawking, try again”, as I cross out a formula with a sharpie at Starbucks. One day, one day.
Though, upon reflection all science is tied to medicine, so I’m sort of cheating on the “no medicine reading” thing. =)