Haven't blogged in a little while - sorry about that. Last week I found out that a few of my friends who had applied for med this year had been unsuccessful in obtaining interviews. I was quite shocked at this outcome for two people in particular - I was *so* sure that both would not only get interviews, but also be offered places straight away. I guess it's difficult to expect that the faith you have in someone else's potential will be transferred to a grueling selection committee. Still, I was *so* sure...
In light of these events, "gratitude" has been the order of my day recently. Anyone who's been through the medical school application process will attest to the ruthlessness of the high-stakes-all-or-none nature of the process. The more it means to you, the more stressful it is. We all jump into the pool, all too aware that we may be spat out again, just like that. Difficult thing to realise though is the implications and actual reality of being rejected; if you're lucky enough to be invited to stay in the water from your first application. I'm trying really hard to convey a sense of empathy and understanding to these friends who weren't accepted this time 'round - but I feel like I'm failing miserably. Standing on the greener grass makes every word I say sound less and less genuine or convincing. Not sure what else I can do?
I reflect back on this time, two years ago - when under the same moons of this Holy Month (it's currently Ramadan in the Islamic calendar) - I prayed and prayed that I would be accepted into the program if God in His wisdom knew that it was the right path for me to take; and for strength to accept a rejection if it was not. On being accepted into the program of course, all the prayers were by and large forgotten - it was I who achieved this, not some Divine Being. As the months went on, I started to take for granted how fortunate I was to be accepted first time 'round. But now I feel like I'm starting to regain some of that initial gratitude that I felt and paying due recognition to the Help that I received. At the same time, two years in, I've also come to realise that first-time acceptance isn't necessarily a great thing to have happpen, particularly if you've come straight out of high-school --> undergrad --> med school. I'm envious beyong words at those students with PhDs; 10 years nursing experience in a humanitarian aid-work setting; 15 years experience as parents; 5 years experience as teachers; the list is endless. I get pretty defensive when it's assumed that I have no "life experience" - because that's not entirely true either - but really, nothing is official or noteworthy. So yeah, all in all, I've come to remember how lucky I am that I was accepted first time 'round; but also realise the value of having an extra year or two or ten, while you are accepted, to do something amazing with your life... until you're finally asked to jump into the pool and stay :-)
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