4:25 AM

Author | Shaza Al-Holou

Hello hello!

Did you hear? I finished M2 year! It's honestly crazy that the pre-clinical part of med school is over. We've learned so many words! --words that people don't understand, that connect pathophysiology to diseases to clinical pictures, words that will take us to the next part of our med school education. It's mind-blowing what a difference two years can make. The pre-clinical years were good for some things, but I'm not too sad to see it go. I know I might change my mind later, but I can't wait to use another part of my brain! I'll see people in the hospital, try to remember how to interact with them, see if they'll laugh at my jokes, etc.

I'm talking a lot- did I mention yet that I'm studying for boards?

At UMMS we get ~6.5 weeks to study and take arguably the biggest exam of our career. First there were ACTs (I'm a Michigan girl), then the MCAT, and now 4 years later another big one- the USMLE Step 1.

Studying for this exam has been a flurry of emotions. Feeling stressed out, then feeling calm, then feeling guilty for feeling calm, then worried that the calm is a sign that I'm not taking this seriously enough, then reassurance that I'm sure I'm doing great. Much like during MCAT studying, at some points I tried to convince myself that I'm some sort of genius that will know everything right off the bat. This surprisingly has not been the case. I've instead become a mnemonic-making machine so I can try to remember everything.

It's weird: we're told 4-6 weeks is enough to study and take the boards, so we all are pretty sure we'll be ready in that time: we've scheduled out exams from anywhere between late April and early May, and... that's it. We just have to trust and hope that everyone was telling us the truth and that we're not some aberration from the rest of the class.

Can you tell I'm stressed? I did take an awesome half-day break last week though- I went to a beautiful wedding of my friends Fadwa and Ali. Fadwa is my very close friend's sister (though by extension I consider them all family). It was an absolutely gorgeous wedding with delicious food and great Arabic music to dance to (with more than 1000 guests!!!). Here's a pic with my friends and me (I'm on the left):

the bride's brother Abbas and his contribution to the 1000-guest wedding

Alright, back to studying! Jk I'm gonna sleep now.


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