Sunday, January 11, 2015

Riding the waves

I have no idea who built the time travel machine or how I managed to get a ticket, but somehow, some way the first week of 5th semester is already over!

Let me tell you, not a minute has been wasted.  In 4 days of class I've somehow managed to complete: 

12 lectures
7 posts to the ethics discussion board
1 quiz
1 ICM standardized patient interview accompanied by a full write up of the encounter including problem list, assessment and plan
All day Basic Life Support CPR certification
1 written assignment

And a partridge in a pear tree.....

The highlight of the week had to be watching my friends and classmates who were inducted into the Honor Society on Friday!!  At the end of 4th semester they had a cumulative GPA of 85 or better and have participated in service projects that benefit the AUC or St. Maarten communities.  It's no easy feat and I'm super proud of them.  The celebration afterward was our opportunity to get a little fun in before the schedules get so tight that we have to pencil in pee breaks.

Talk about hitting the ground running.  The faster things move, the faster I'm outta this place and on to the next stop.  There's a lot to do this semester.  A lot more learning to cram into a short period of time.  My focus will be keeping up with class material and trying to review and integrate what I've already learned by using practice questions in preparation for the Comprehensive Exam and eventually the USMLE STEP1.  There are so many students who started studying 1st or 2nd semester.  I was just trying to keep up with what was going on at the time.  It never felt like there was "extra" time to study for STEP or do additional practice questions.  I'll be finding that time this semester because I don't have a choice.  Along with the classes and shelf exams this semester, the Comp Exam is the final hurdle that has to be overcome before getting a pass off the island.   

Now that classes start at 12noon on some days, I'm trying to figure out a reasonable schedule to sleep, study, and be good to myself-mind, body, and spirit.  The first week was not successful.  My internal clock is all thrown off and there were those unexpected "extras" thrown in.  The good things about having the patient encounter and CPR training early is that it's over with and I can focus on everything else coming down the pike.  I'm claiming that week 2 will be better.  If not, I'll aim for a better week 3.  As long as I do my best in all things, I'm satisfied.

I've been seeing lots of snowy, cold, gray looking pictures on social media lately.  I'll leave you guys with something to help you think warm, pleasant thoughts!  In the meantime, I'll work on riding all these waves instead of letting them drag me under!

Until next time...

Sunday, January 4, 2015

New Year, New Mantra

Happy New Year! This will be my goal every day of 2015! What do you think??

Winter break seemed to pass in the blink of an eye.  I spent time in California and Philly in the last 2 weeks and I'm already back on the island.  The time at home was just what this future doctor needed.  Having a loving family and amazing support system of friends helps me keep going. 
I'm surprised but I actually got a bit sentimental when I flew in to SXM for the final time as an AUC student yesterday.

It's time to start the 5th and final semester here on the island!  Where has the time gone???? Looking back, the months have gone by pretty fast but while in the thick of it, it feels like the days can't pass fast enough.  I'm ready to be finished with school.  It's a challenge but I'm trying to live in the moment.   I realize that my days have already been written and things will happen in God's time, not mine.  You would think, after the winding path I've taken to even get to this point, I would have that part figured out by now--I'm a work in progress and have to constantly remind myself of that. 

Last semester was the most challenging for me since the major shock of 1st semester and what medical school was all about.  I struggled to keep all my juggling pins in the air at the same time.  It was so much going on and the classes were intense.  The combination of everything had me more stressed and anxious than ever before.  I developed unexplained aches and pains, ridiculous weight gain without much change in my diet, and my attitude probably left a lot to be desired at times.  I took some time to re-evaluate a few things before the final round of classes begin because I can not repeat the way things went last semester.  That kind of stress can't be good in the long run.  I'm claiming success in advance!!

With that being said, the next two days will be spent getting mentally prepared to tackle the last leg of this portion of my amazing race.  Preparing my study space.  And refreshing my tan while I have the opportunity :)

Until next time...