Day 242: Feeling overwhelmed

Today’s inane image of the day:

This salad was a wonderful surprise — adding fruit seems to make everything look and taste so much better!

Similar to the end of the Fall semester, the end of this semester is jam-packed with exams, assessments and assignments. I wish I could say that my many years of experience with this end-of-the-term-phenomenon prepared me to tackle this last month and a half with poise — but the reality of medicine is that you cannot really predict how things will be until they are. Being someone who likes to feel in control of any and all situations… this is a terrifying position to be in.

Alas, I have adapted over the course of the year. Medical school seems to send you into a perpetual state of feeling overwhelmed — it feels like you increase your threshold for stress and studying exponentially as you spend more time in medicine. Even though I’m used to this, school is still challenging. At times, it feels like being dropped off at Mt. Everest and told that you have to make it to the top; although we’re inexperienced amateur, we were selected because a committee decided that we are capable of scaling this challenge called medical education.

Being conditioned to handle stress doesn’t mean that I don’t have moments of doubt. Often, the following questions creep up in my mind: How will I memorize all of this material? How will I have enough time for all of my extracurricular commitments? Will I have the strength to get through this all? And then I reflect upon the trials and tribulations of the last academic year, and I feel accomplished. Our class has made it this far — we will make it through the last month and a half!

In the meantime, the only way to really address feeling overwhelmed is to actually do stuff [nothing compares to the satisfaction and relief of seeing the checkmarks next to a bunch of completed tasks!]. At this point, we have PMH and Capstone assignments due in the coming weeks in addition to keeping up with Respiratory lecture material. Then there’s that whole trying not to gain 20 lbs from eating junk food [Sweet Onion Kettle chips for the win], coffee beverages [if that warm weather would just come back for a visit I could start drinking Frappuccinos again…mmm], consuming inordinate amounts of energy drinks [I’ll be honest — Red Bull is my drink of choice; 5 hour energy = flushing, Monster = too much liquid] and Lunch and Learn food [yeah, uhh cheesy pizza and oily mac and cheese are not conducive to maintaining a healthy weight]. Additionally, I seem to have taken on a number of extracurricular commitments that require some serious time management on my part to maintain [e.g. AMWA elections are around the corner — eek!].

Anyway, look forward to future entries on trying to stay healthy, commuting, stress relief and anything else that pops into my mind!

4 thoughts on “Day 242: Feeling overwhelmed

  • April 11, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    That salad looks amazing! Did you make it? I’m praying that it’s from a restaurant so I can go get one… ha 🙂

  • April 12, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    @ahyesplans: I didn’t make it — but I plan on making my own rendition of it this summer when there’s more time! Sadly, it’s from a restaurant out near LA — if you’re ever out there it’s this small place called Mama Claire’s.

  • April 14, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    I think that everyone in medicine struggles with self doubt and that feeling of being perpetually overwhelmed. Know that you aren’t alone.

  • April 20, 2012 at 5:57 pm

    @Solitary Diner: Definitely think that all of us face similar struggles and am glad to know that I’m not the only one feeling this way — I just hope that even after medical school, there will be a group of individuals that I can maintain an open line of communication with about these issues.

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