Hi everyone! Here’s what happened in March:
- The first years are now technically second years! Microbiology and Immunology (M & I) was the last class that the class of 2015 had before summer break, but with the recent curriculum changes, we finished it during the first full week of March. An abbreviated course schedule meant we had to tackle a quiz and a final in the same week, in addition to everything else we were involved in, but after some long nights of studying and eating junk food (or dancing in place) to stay awake, we made it.
- Spring Break followed. I spent my break at home, spending quality time with family and working on a number of projects. I finished my second arrangement for Radial Grooves, the school’s a cappella group, made some yummy chai pumpkin gingerbread waffles from a recipe I found online, and helped my mom bake a red velvet cake (a first for both of us) as part of my annual early birthday celebration. In addition, I practiced driving (with my dad in the passenger’s seat–poor thing), watched episodes of Heroes on Hulu, contemplated a new Youtube cover, and started to catch up on a web comic I began reading last year.
- The Monday after Spring Break, we began our first “second year” class, “Disease, Diagnosis, and Therapeutics (DD&T).” This class is going to take a lot of work, something like Structure, Function, and Development (SFD) did, but the subject matter is worlds more interesting than basic anatomy and physiology. My only complaint about it so far is that it’s a bit less organized than M&I. I loved that class because it was easy to establish a system for learning the material; I feel DD&T lacks that and will thus be difficult to manage.
- Cadaver Ball was a huge success. The dinner, videos, and live entertainment were spectacular. I participated in a total of 4 acts: I danced in an extremely well-executed VMS1 Harlem Shake video (I did do the actual Harlem Shake for all you purists out there), recorded vocals for a parody song for one of our professors, danced onstage in a Latin fusion number, and somehow managed to sneak into the otherwise all-VMS4 “Gangnam Style” bollywood/bhangra finale. Preparation for all these things was stressful at times, but it was really refreshing to see hard work pay off in such a way. I’ll post a link when the videos go live on Youtube.
- I’ve started going to a new church! I was going to church with my aunts, but the Sunday after Spring Break, I decided to stay on this side of the city and head to a church I’d visited back in September. The worship there is phenomenal, and the people are so nice; it reminds me of the Christian fellowship I was a member of in undergrad. Of course, that’s not the most important thing; it has to be a place that’s doctrinally sound, a place where I can grow. From where I’m standing, I think those two criteria are satisfied, but it remains to be seen.
- The VMS4s have now matched into their residency programs, and there have been a ton of post-match meetings for underclassmen to learn what they need to be doing if they want to go into a particular specialty. I actually didn’t make any of these meetings. This was partly because of transportation issues and general busyness but also because I really don’t know what I want to do yet. The latter was really frustrating to me; it seems that so many of my classmates are sure about what they want to do, are worrying about whether they should shadow physicians, do research to boost their resumes, and other concerns while I’m just trying to stay caught up on my schoolwork. I started to feel like I missed some sort of deadline for being certain about what I want to do with my life, started to feel inadequate. I’m trying to learn how to combat these thoughts, to keep them from defining who I am. Support that transcends the words “stop comparing yourself to other people” has been most useful in this endeavor. Actually, I met an anesthesiologist a couple of days ago who assured me that it’s perfectly fine to be focused on grades in these pre-clinical years. Strangely enough, that’s the simplest, most refreshing advice I’ve been given in a while.
- This past weekend, I went with some other Vanderbilt students to a national conference for the Student National Medical Association, an organization dedicated to advocacy for underserved communities and medical students of color. It was great to be able to bond with people from various schools across the nation, network a bit, and learn more about the organization. I hope to become much more involved in it as time progresses.
I think that’s about it for March–you’re probably tired of reading this by now, anyway. One question, though: would anyone appreciate separate posts with photos? I don’t take many pictures, but I could add some to switch things up a bit.