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Rollercoaster

It’s been a month since I last posted. This time it was not because of business or time, it was because I didn’t want to live and writing about it here would have not helped.

In the month past I have quit drinking (2 months sober, only having 5 drinks along the way). Why? I hated it. It put me in an awful place unless I made myself get absolutely wrecked, so I quit. While quitting, I realised that I was getting worse. For the first time in years, I didn’t want to exist. The alcohol had been a cover, masking the fact my meds weren’t working. Now, i’m getting better. The dose has been increased (although tooth pain side effect is driving me insane) and i’m getting more distractions from medicine.

I have started working part-time, I have joined the university cricket, cycling and triathlon teams. Although this has meant spending less time on my studies, I am not behind.

I was lucky this time to have someone who listened, when a lot of others ignored the problem. There was no instigating factor this time, my mind just suddenly turned.

I’m not going to put a message such as ‘you’re not alone’ in this post because when you feel suicidal, you do feel alone, as if no one can help you, but, there is always someone to contact, to talk to, to save you from yourself.

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November

It’s been a strange month.

Another month has flown by without even a moments consideration. Personally it’s been a tough one. I’ve been in, and then out, of a physical relationship, started CBT and, more recently, torn my meniscus through overuse.

Sure, there have been some good times, but they often get overshadowed by the bad.

All I know is I’m in need of a holiday. Desperately!

Just keep swimming

So I could be doing better with the whole posting. Anyway my life isn’t that interesting to warrant regular updates.

We’re now well and truly into the term now (2 weeks down, 16 to go) and it’s going well. A complete overhaul of my weekly plan has done wonders to both my mental and physical well-being. Since the last post, I have completed a triathlon, completed a 95km cycle and met Mark Cavendish (of cycling fame).

In terms of uni, the reproduction module is flying by (thankfully) and the new GEM freshers started this week. Oh how enthusiastic and cheerful they are. Makes me feel bad for feeling so jaded, yet it will happen to them and every year after them…

Until the next update, adieu.

Results and the Future

So you have your results (GCSE or A-Level) and you’re looking towards the future. What’s next?

A-Level

Some of you will be lucky enough to have gotten the grades you wanted to get into med school. To those people, congratulations. It’s a long and arduous journey but you will enjoy every last minute of it.

To those unfortunate enough to not get the grades. Do not despair. There are so many options for you. You can do a different degree, something which you may fall in love with that you never thought would be possible. You can take a year out, travel and work, gain some life experience before re-applying. There is no right option, nor is there a wrong option.

I was in this scenario 5 years ago, grades not good enough for medicine (before the times of applying through clearing), I went in to Biomedical Science. I loved every moment of that course, but I realised this was not the career I wanted to do. I still wanted to do medicine. I graduated and got in to graduate entry medicine (luckily and thankfully). My route is a common one, however there are some I know who have come from economics, english, history, law, dance, art and politics to name but a few.

Do not be disheartened by your results if they aren’t what you expected. Sometimes the route you didn’t expect can be the best one for you. I know, looking back, I would not want to do anything differently.

GCSE

Ok, so you’ve just finished school. The GCSEs have been made harder with a different grading (which I still can’t get my head around!). Now you’re off to college. If medicine is something you want to do you’ll have to do Biology. They normally want Chemistry or Physics as another. With Maths as the third. Do your research before picking your subjects. They’ll be wanting AAA as a minimum (generally) which is not as easy as it was at GCSE.

Don’t be worried if you’re GCSEs weren’t the best in the school. Get your A-levels and use what spare time strengthening your application. Volunteer work, shadowing, whatever you can get to increase the chances of getting your application considered by universities.

Work hard. A-levels are not like GCSEs. I found the jump between the two greater than between A-levels and Uni.

Be sure this is the career you want. If it is, spend every moment working towards it, it’ll be worth it. If not, really consider if it’s what you want to do.

Enjoy college. While only a couple of years, make use of it. It’ll be the last time you’ll be around your friends from home. Despite saying you’ll meet up over summer’s etc, this will slowly fade away until even meeting once a year will be difficult. So make the most of it while you can.

 

Best of luck in your adventures. If you have any questions, comment or direct message.

Part II

Well here we are again. Second year starts and so does this blog (hopefully).

This time there is no induction week, no settling in period, just straight lectures and theory. Only 5 more months to go until placement starts, it just can’t come quick enough.

How was the summer you may ask?

Pretty meh, too much of the time was spent in my own head, which from previous post you should realise is the worst place to be. The motivation to go back was minimal.

I hope the motivation returns soon otherwise these are going to be 5 long months.

End of Year Review

So here we are, first year of Grad Med is over and results arrive Monday. Now I’ve recharged some of my batteries I thought it would be a good time to reflect on the last year.

First and foremost, it’s been tough. Not just academically but also personally. The stress alone is enough to push anyone to the limit. Condensing a 2 years of work into one in any degree is tough, when it’s the entirety of the theory of medicine, it’s astonishing. Thankfully, my previous degree enabled the academic side to come easily. 

Before Christmas, the excitement and almost disbelief at being medicine helped to keep the stress under wraps. Christmas was a distinguishable turning point. The workload increased, more personal problems started to become apparent and this was when my Grandad’s cancer was diagnosed. 

Between January and April, the workload ever increased and unfortunately my grandad’s condition deteriorated until he passed in March, at a time when even without his loss I’d have burnt out. Easter came and went and suddenly exams were upon us and in a blink of an eye they were over.
While the above recollection of the year seems overly negative, there have been great times. I’ve spent time in theatre watching neurosurgery, time on stroke wards, presented research and conferences, won awards and above all found a group of people who were there during tough times and stay there to celebrate the good times. 

My summer contains no such extravagances, just some rest before the next year and possibly get some part time work. 

I want to thank those of you who read this, it only started as a self-indulgent way to get across how I was feeling. I never thought people would want to read it, so thank you for the interest and hopefully see you again next year/when results arrive. 

Til then ciao