The open air was electric with anticipation. My entire med school class had set up camping chairs around a stage erected in the husk of an old drive-in movie theater and each family huddled around their medical student as they frantically refreshed their emails. Up on stage, one of our medical school Deans was extemporizing about how proud she was of all that we had been through in this trying year—trying to fill the anxious void as the seconds ticked on towards 11 o’clock when our Match results would be released.
Finally, the time came, and an email popped into my inbox. “Congratulations…” read a bold text in the center of my screen. I read the message so quickly that I couldn’t comprehend the words, but on the second pass the result finally sunk in.
“I matched at UNMC!” I yelled out. My family cheered and all reached out to hug. I hadn’t expected to be emotional, but as waves of relief washed over me, I began tearing up. The subconscious anxiety of the preceding weeks evaporated and I was left with wide grin that wouldn’t relent.
I had matched at my home institution, the University of Nebraska Medical Center–my number one choice—for psychiatry residency. All those years of stress about my future seemed to reach a conclusion and seemingly for the first time, I felt completely at peace. The future was once again within my control, and there was so much to look forward to.
The rest of the day would bring celebration with my friends and dozens upon dozens of congratulatory messages from mentors, family, and friends. But as the crowd began to erupt with sporadic cheers as each new message came in, I was living completely in the moment and couldn’t stop smiling.