It has taken me quite a while to write this post; kept writing and erasing and rewriting it all over again, abandoning countless drafts – just because I did not want to sound corny.
Five years back, at the very start of med school, I had decided to chronicle my days of undergraduate life on this blog – I had recently read Erich Segal’s Doctors – and I was very motivated. Consistent with my personality (and sheer laziness), this motivation did not last beyond two days (can be found here and here.)
As it happens, I wrote the prologue back then, lived the subsequent chapters and now I am writing an epilogue of sorts; just to tie up some loose ends for once in my life. Downton Abbey, Naruto, everything seems to be ending. It is a season of closure and I believe it is high time I offered the same courtesy to my resolutions, even if this particular one was made five years back.
What is so surreal about graduation is how vividly I remember some days; as if some iota of my being is still reliving them all simultaneously. I remember bunking classes and going to the BDS cafeteria just for their fries. I remember the never-ending surprise birthday parties. I remember the Reading Hall shenanigans, the Dissection Hall study sessions. I remember the Voice of LUMHS’ brainstorming meetings, the frantic art assembling for the Top Ten Ceremony. I remember the sneaky nails of the lecture hall benches that always managed to get snagged in my jeans. I remember the impromptu hangouts, the 1000-comment posts. I remember the petty fights, the long-held grudges. I remember witnessing the fights transforming into lasting friendships, the grudges slowly fading with time. I remember the happy moments, the missed opportunities, the crests and troughs of friendships.
Even as I reminisce, I realize how different I am from the person of five years ago. My patience, my fortitude has slowly chipped away along with all pretense of diplomacy in the incessant drama of med school – I have learnt what battles to fight, what battles to retreat from and what battles to just … let go. It has not been an easy process and I am not sure I have got it down perfectly as well. But, hey, if there is anything I have learnt in these five years, is how to be comfortable with my own opinion and to stand by it.
Back then, I had talked about the fear of applying knowledge we acquire in med school on actual patients – now I realize that fear never really goes. You instead take it up as a companion, always there to remind you to do the best for your patients.
So, yes, I have no idea how cynical or conscientious or different I would be in the next few years, but I do know this: I will always try to remember these moments of five years as vividly as I do today.