Day 216: Breaking the cycle

Today’s inane image of the day:

I always tell myself that I’m going to cut back on the Starbucks… and what better time than Spring Break? Well… then the problem of productivity arises and I end up sipping my favorite coffee beverage over my lecture notes. 

By the winter of each academic year, I find myself losing my motivation to be in school. When November rolls around, I just want to make it to break so I can replace academia with [fun] reading, catching up with old friends and quiet time to myself. Yet, midway through winter break, I am antsy to get back into the grind of school; I start to feel the excitement of starting a new semester of material, places and faces. Once classes start up, the feeling quickly wears off along with the treads of my shoes as I trudge through the snow to class. Novelty morphs into mundane and by February, the cycle starts all over again.

Throughout college, I was under the impression that medical school would break this cycle. I thought that by making it to this point, I would love learning about everything and thus the motivation to study would never be an issue. Surely, medical school would be different!

Well, I wasn’t entirely wrong — instead of breaking the cycle, I seem to be settling into a new one. I didn’t lose my motivation last November, despite my difficulty with exams [sort of]. My drive to keep studying even stuck around through most of January. But somewhere between then and now… it dissipated. I suspect that the stress of Neuroscience never had a chance to resolve because we took our final then dived right into our Cardiovascular block. Either way, ruminating over why I feel this way doesn’t really help me with the issue at hand now: I am tired and unmotivated.

My spring break has been filled with a lot of sleep and minimal studying, yet the thought of returning to school on Monday for the home stretch really frightens me. I am well-aware of the fact that the rest of my life will be filled with work — this is medicine! But everything following M1/M2 is a different kind of work. Instead of reading about the cases, I’ll see them. Instead of spending endless hours at Starbucks, I’ll be at the hospital [heh, except there’s a Starbucks in the hospital so I may still spend endless hours at Starbucks]. I am excited for clerkships… but a lot of books, lecture notes, exams and the Boards stand in the way [with good reason, of course].

Regardless, I know I’ll conjure up the motivation to get through this, but I think it’s important to document these moments to look back upon someday.

Do you have a cycle? Have you found a way to break free from it?

[Happy Match Day!]