I worked very hard to get into medical school. But after I started I got behind in my work. I ended up failing an important exam. I had to work extra hard to catch up. I now have a new goal. I want to learn more about the impact of stress on people's lives. I want to teach people that we cannot reach our goals if work makes us sick.
Posted by: Ghadir Omran, on 01/09/10
I was physically exhausted
I was living my dream. It had been a real struggle to get into medical school. But I had worked hard and reached my goal.
Of course, the hard work was just beginning. Medical school is certainly not easy. I was aware of the intensity of the course from the beginning. And along with the challenges of living on campus came the extra-curricular activities and social gatherings. Most involved large amounts of alcohol.
I had justified to myself the initial "getting to know one another" gatherings. But I then realised that while enjoying myself I had forgotten how demanding my course was. I found myself organising my study schedule around my social timetable. I ended up failing an exam that was an essential part of completing my course. Although there was another chance to pass, I felt as if I had failed myself.
Working for my dream
It dawned on me that I had to start working for my dream. I could not let this new environment dictate my accomplishments. I began revisiting lectures and tutorials of past weeks, which I hardly remembered occurring. Looking at the incredible array of lecture and learning materials scattered high on my desk I began to panic. There was so much to absorb. I felt that I had let myself get left behind.
Slowly and steadily, and with just a few deep breaths, I worked through the tasks I had set myself. I refused to think about the upcoming exam. Instead, I concentrated on catching up to my classmates. Nights were the only time I had to myself. I spent them studying alone in the common room without the usual distractions of daytime traffic. Walking home in the early hours of the morning I was physically exhausted. Yet I was also energised from being one step closer to the goals I had set.
Many shapes and forms
Stressors in our modern society, both mental and physical, come in many shapes and forms. Stress has implications on our body which cause disease. I want to encourage research into the impact of stressors on our life. I want to make sure the public is aware of complications connected to stress.
We cannot change the human nature of perfectionism. But we can shift the act of perfectionism towards the care of our health rather than our responsibilities. I want to teach people that we can’t carry out our responsibilities if they end up making us sick.
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