Updated: May 24, 2021
Prior to my acceptance into medical school, I was a nervous wreck! All I could think about was getting that acceptance letter. The “Dear Raquel, we are pleased to inform you…” I thought life would be sunshine and roses after reading the well sought-after phrase; it would be a magic potion that could erase every ounce of anxiety bottled up inside me.
Boy, how naïve of me! Ok yes, it did take a lot off my shoulders and made life a little simpler. My stressors did diminish, and my vision was a lot clearer, however, I never thought about life after my acceptance letter. Before the breakthrough, my every thought revolved around getting accepted, so much so that I completely disregarded how much my life would change thereafter.
Even though I have successfully completed two degrees, I am still somehow concerned about how I am going to get through an entire six years of MBChB. Don’t get me wrong, I know I am more than capable of what is to come, but the human inside me does reveal its weakness at times.
Despite the apprehension of finishing the degree, I am literally going to be 28 by the time I get to be called, “Doctor”. 28! Yes, I know, age is just a number, but it does concern me. It means that up until 28, I am going to have to rely on my parents. I will not have a salary, and savings would be minimal. Fortunately, my parents are incredibly supportive, but I still feel bad about “leeching” off them for another six years.
Another major concern is dealing with the emotional aspect of my degree and future career. How am I going to cope with a death of a patient? How will I ever bring myself to inform family members of bad news? Am I going to be a good enough doctor? Will patients like me? The list goes on and on…
I think all these concerns stem from my burning passion for medicine as some of these anxieties are attributed to the high expectations, I have set for myself - which does lead to a type of mental paralysis. However, I should not completely dismiss the anxieties as they are informative to an extent. Fears and anxieties act like a compass – North being what you fear the most. I aim to always move towards the north so that I can embrace the fears and grow through my passion, basically using my anxieties as a catalyst to reach my full potential.
Once I have achieved it, I know that I have overcome something that I once feared.