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5 Things Pre-Med Students Need to Hear

So you want to be a doctor?
IMAGE Gabriel | instagram.com/studygabriel

Going into the course that you want, you have high hopes for your chosen course and high expectations of yourself with med school already set in your head. Words like "road to laude" and "acads before lakads" engraved in your heads thinking that it will just be that easy to get high grades. It's easy to think that you'll be a shoo in for your dream med school but please consider these:

  1. "Is this really what I want?"

Going into med school takes years of study—from pre-med, med proper, to specialization, you have to be prepared for what's to come. With having to undergo these years of study, you have to make sure that you really want this for yourself because the truth is...

  1. It doesn't get easier.

People can sugarcoat what it's like to be on the road to becoming a doctor. People might say it's worth it in the end. But trust me when I say it doesn't get easier because it's actually the opposite. It gets harder as the years go by.

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  1. Think of why you want to be in med school real hard.

What made you want to take this course in the first place? What made you want to become a doctor? Are you doing it for yourself or for the people around you? Is this reason worthy enough of the years you're going to put yourself through? Would this reason get you through all those obstacles? Ask yourself these questions because if you think that your answer is worth it, then...

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  1. Don't give up.

If it is worth holding on to, don't forget it. Engrave it in your brain. That will get you through the process. That will get you through all the obstacles that you will have to pass. You've only seen half the battle so don't give up now. You're doing this for a reason. If this reason is good enough for you then all the reasons that I've given you to discourage you from going to med school shouldn't faze you.

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  1. You're only just starting, there's a long way to go.

You still have a lot to learn. You still have a lot to experience. You still haven't experienced the first time you passed the National Medical Admission Test (NMAT). You still haven't felt the giddiness of getting your first stethoscope. You haven't felt the satisfaction of actually getting to help people who are in need. We all know that it's an overwhelming course yet very fulfilling when you succeed.

Now go be a doctor. It's who you are meant to be.

Want to write about your course? Let us know by leaving a comment below!

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About the author
Yana Kalaw
Candymag.com Correspondent
A girl who strives to be the confident and brave woman that she can be who's not afraid to take risks and aspires to be part of the fashion industry one day.
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If you know me, and know me well, I am not the biggest fan of idyllic lifestyles. With a Type A personality, I act immediately upon whatever challenge that needs to be addressed. I actually enjoy keeping my mind preoccupied: doing university work in my favourite cafe then running errands around town, grocery shopping here, updating my accounts there, photocopying documents on the way down the street - all just in time before having a glass of champagne at the bar with my friends come evening.

And so, you could imagine my bewilderment when the next challenge to be faced was an extensive self-quarantine protocol. I didn’t know what to do when my greatest responsibility in this situation was to do nothing at all. My first few attempts to combat my consternation were very much rooted in distraction and imagination. My distractions involved conducting research, writing songs, calling family and friends, filming videos, and eating chocolate! My imaginations and fantasies were centred on travelling, shopping, even clubbing (which I rarely do) for when they find a cure to COVID-19. I did anything and everything that could be considered constructive in order to pass the time, mainly hoping I could just undertake the basic human necessities to survive - that is, eat and sleep the day through - until the next day comes, until the world is closer to becoming a better place, until quarantine ends, until my flight follows through, until I see my family and friends again.

Days in self-isolation and suspended flights turned to weeks and turned to months. By the third extension here in Spain where I study Fashion Business, I had to tell myself this shall be my new normal now, that I was blessed to be healthy, that I was tired of merely existing and missed what it was like to actually live - even if just within four walls. Little by little, I began to find significance in the simple occurrences of the day: the soft glare of the rising sun beaming golden streaks through my bedroom window upon waking up, the fragrance of freshly washed bed sheets that I had painstakingly hung to fit a relatively small clothes rack without crumpling them, the crunch and tanginess of warm toasted bread topped with raspberry marmalade, the buzzing sound of a phone call from home just waiting to be answered, to the caress of a fuzzy sweater to keep warm at night. I realised, “What pleasures to be enjoyed in the pause of slow living!” Through this continued pause, which I loathed at first, I began to appreciate each moment of the day rather than wish it would pass more swiftly, moments I had overlooked so often before the lockdown. I started to find that the challenge of self-isolation was never to pause both the regular routines of life as well as the positive emotions that came with these - as initially, I thought it meant to pause all happiness, so as to withstand a time of endurance in hopes for a better tomorrow, much like a form of delaying gratification. Life is just too fragile these days to delay gratification any further.

Life has paused, but it has not stopped. Believe that like any punctuation mark in a sentence, the pause will provide the right timing of things to take place. Till then, let us not waste our time waiting. Instead, we could be in the moment, seek substance in simplicity (that is, in what we already have), And enjoy the pleasure in pause. “Practice the Pause. When in doubt, pause. When angry, pause. When tired, pause. When stressed, pause. And when you pause, pray.”

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