The first year of medical school is overwhelming. It’s a “make-or-break” time in your medical career, where you wonder if you’re on the right path for your life. That’s how it was for me. I constantly debated if this was “really what I wanted for my life.” I think the first year of school was a trial period for lots of my fellow classmates – a few dropped out because of the stress, a few left because they couldn’t handle “island life” and were too homesick, some left for financial/personal reasons…The first year is definitely a trial period.
If you’re considering attending medical school, I highly recommend you think about WHY you want to go to medical school. Are you going for yourself, or are you going for the financial gain? Are you going because your parents want you to? In order to succeed the first year (and all years), you must want it for yourself. You must want to help others and make a difference in patient lives. You must truly want this path in life because it’s not going to be easy. It’s going to be some of the most challenging, stressful, and heartbreaking times of your life. You’re going to feel defeated, depressed, discouraged…but you still know your hard work is going to pay off someday, and that every little sacrifice made now is going to be worth it for your future, and for the future patients you treat.
Understand that you’re going to make a lot of sacrifices. Countless hours of studying, frustrations, and triumphs. You’ll feel like you’re taking a step forward, but then you’ll fall back three. You must never give up and understand that these feelings are normal. But in order to succeed, you must be bigger than those feelings and overcome them in order to reach your dreams of becoming a physician.