A Weekend in Medical School

I had a shelf exam Saturday morning, which afforded me the rare opportunity to take a guilt free weekend off from studying, before I had to start worrying about my next shelf. April marks a critical turning point in the year; more away rotation applications are due, and it’s time to officially get serious about studying for Step 2, which is basically 70% internal medicine and 30% surgery, OB/Gyn, pediatrics, and psych combined.

While I did take the weekend off, it was not entirely guilt free. In addition to working on away applications, I am also working on a couple of research projects and a couple of case reports. Initially, the plan was to take the weekend off from studying and work to finish off as much research work as possible. However, insofar as I was unable to celebrate my birthday this year because I was studying for a shelf exam, I decided to take the entire weekend off from anything even remotely related to medical school, including away applications, research, and case reports.


This was my first weekend off since rotations started again after winter break. In other words, this was my first weekend off in the past three months. Needless to say, it was glorious. Saturday was a rainy day; I lounged about, ordered Chinese takeout, and caught up on the third season of How to Get Away With Murder. It could not have been available on Netflix at a time more apropos.


I slept in Sunday morning for the first time in ages, did a kickboxing workout, ate leftovers for lunch and watched another episode of HTGAWM. In the afternoon, I hit up the mall. It is likely that I haven’t been shopping for anything other than groceries and study supplies since 2016. Unless you include online shopping, in which case, it’s been about a week. I stopped by Macy’s to return a suit I was auditioning for residency interviews, and then hit up Forever 21, Charlotte Russe, Old Navy, Marshall’s, and TJ Maxx. I ended up spending around $150, which wasn’t too bad especially considering that net I spent even less, owing to the suit I returned. I did a candy/junk food run at Target, went home and watched some more HTGAWM.

As you may have noticed, I was fairly solitary this weekend. Unfortunately, there was no one to hang out with, owing to the fact that everyone I know was studying for shelf exams they are taking today or later this week. That’s the thing that sucks about third year; in first and second year we can all decompress from exams together because we take them at the same time. In third year, we are all taking different exams at different times, which has its advantages nevertheless. The benefit is that we can share which resources to use and which to avoid; the cost is that we don’t often get to have guilt-free weekends together. Which is not to say that we don’t take days off; we just end up taking unintentional days off, which we invariably end up regretting.


But alas, the weekend is over and now reality has set in. Time to get back to seemingly endless days of rotations, studying, and the various other things that punctuate life in the third year of medical school. To be honest, after a day and a half, I started to miss doing practice questions, and got tired of watching TV. Fuck me, I guess I am a medical student after all.



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