The much needed pre-M1 vacation

Having done mostly academia and academia-related activities for the past 15 or so years of my life, it seems that a much needed vacation is in order. As I mentioned in a previous post, I am planning to road trip out to California with Mike right before orientation begins. While there isn’t much to say about the first part of the trip [we are aiming for the approach of getting out west as quickly as possible then relaxing once we get there], I am getting super excited about the last part, since we recently booked our lodging in Palm Springs at the Colony Palms Hotel.

I’ll definitely blog about the experience while I’m there [woohoo Wifi and endless hours of free time! Now I just need the iPhone to hop over to Sprint so I can blog while we’re driving through the heart of the Midwest…].

On the note of my pre-M1 summer, one thread topic that tends to appear quite often on the SDN forums is whether or not to study during the pre-M1 summer. While I cannot say I subscribe to any one school of thought on the matter, I can say that I haven’t been studying at all. Instead, my days are filled with work, working out, eating and sleeping — which in a way is actually pretty draining. Honestly, I have never worked a steady full-time job prior to this one and while there are definitely perks [set hours, consistency in scheduling, free-time, a paycheck], I find a constant reminder of why I am pursuing medicine instead of a full-time engineering position.

But more on the whole engineering intern and medicine thing at a later time.

Here’s my take on pre-studying while you’re a pre-M1 looking forward to being a pre-resident then possibly a pre-fellow and finally being able to almost touch the $ as a pre-attending: take a moment to stop looking forward and just look around. Then breathe in, breathe out, and enjoy where you’re at in life.

There are a lot of good reasons to continue looking ahead and working for something, but if your life revolves around “what’s next?!” then you will never be satisfied. That’s the reality of it. While I agree that it can be hard to put a pause on the instinct to plan your whole future [you’re reading the words of someone who has every moment of her day blocked off on Google Calendar and is already planning on getting engaged after medical school, married during residency or right after, and then hopefully popping out 2 or 4 babies before the age of 35 — yes, I have to have it all], I noticed that taking the time to actively enjoy my current place in life has slowly unloaded weight from my shoulders.

[If you didn’t get it yet, I won’t tell you what the best way to spend your pre-M1 summer is because we all need different things. Maybe pre-studying will help you clam your nerves. Maybe it won’t. But, I do believe that the rest of our lives will be heavily intertwined with medicine and this is the last opportunity to experience life without the weight of Netter’s Anatomy Atlas or patients upon our chests.]

In the end, taking time to reflect on the present has been a positive thing. Regardless of my stressing over the future, I don’t know what life has around the corner for me and accept that the perfectly laid plans of mice and women will often go awry.