Next week the class of 2021 comes to campus, amidst the trees in rural New Hampshire, many who have never lived in a rural part of the country before. Medical school is such a defining part of someone’s life and having finished the preclinical years, I want to give some reflections on how to embrace the transition.
- Have fun. When I was considering medical school here vs a city, I was told that being in a rural area would mean I would have more time to focus on my studies. Yes, I study, but also I make sure to devote time to participate in self-wellness. You can’t (and shouldn’t) study all day every day.
- Embrace not knowing things. It’s okay, you’re a first year. There are many things I still do not know, and there will be many things I don’t know as a resident or even as an attending. The field of medicine requires us to seek out knowledge, so embrace it. Ask as many questions as you can!
- Sleep. Seriously this is a non-negotiable for me. Don’t buy into the stereotype that med students never sleep or don’t take care of themselves.
- Get involved. If you see something that interests you, get involved, even if you don’t think it can fit on your resume. It probably can (be put on your resume), and will keep you happy.
- Have non-med school friends. I set a goal of at least 5 each year. It sounds silly, but it’s easy to focus only on studying and medicine. Take the time to meet people outside of medicine, and hear about their experiences. You may find some similarities you weren’t expecting.
And finally, ask yourself- how you do want to remember medical school? Choose to live that these next 4 years.