The first day of the rest of my life started today at 7:00am. I had been up till 4am working. I had every intention, of course, of getting up to speed with the unit, but unfortunately, the need to earn income is a priority, so of course, I am up until 4am.
Of course, staying up until 4am for a 7am rise is not sustainable, and definitely not something a Doctor would advise – although by now I am already aware of the irony of the superhuman efforts it takes to train as a Doctor and the advice we are told to give others when THEY do it. So, on the first day, I figure I have learned that it is day one of doing as I say, not as I do.
So, I’m tired and have a full day of Uni. Of course, a lot of this could have been avoided if I had told myself at 21 that I was going to want to be a Doctor and that I had better make sure my T’s are crossed and my I’s dotted. But, you know, instead I have an Undergraduate Degree that has 2 failed Semesters, dragging my GPA to down to 4.
I have a degree in Politics and a minor in Legal Studies, so what I have done is enrol in a degree that will credit me with another Arts degree, but because I have to do at least 24 points at the University, it is structured with 3 minors. So, I have covered 2 of the minors and am doing a third minor in Biomedical Science. Which, if all goes well, I graduate with a GPA of 6 and make myself more competitive.
It’s certainly not the easiest road. I am the main income earner for my family because my husband is injured, so basically I have committed to full days at University, cutting up animals, learning the Chemistry and Physics I need for GAMSAT, and then doing a full days work in the evenings.
So anyone who looks at me sideways about being a Doctor, saying the hours are shit? Well… I am used to it.The first year I get paid will be a sweet relief and ironically, it feels as though an internship at a tertiary hospital will be a walk in the park! And I could not even think about doing this if my husband worked full time. So as much as I complain about being tired, I also know that I am one of the lucky ones that has flexible enough work to go to University.
But, it’s hard. I joked on Twitter that I was thinking of getting corporate sponsorship, finding some sick, rich old guy that wants me to cure him… I am very stressed about the financial aspects of supporting the family and running a business, and frankly, sometimes it seems impossible.
But this week, I officially started formal preparation for GAMSAT. It’s both exciting and terrifying and I get to cut up my very first mammal today. I am the proud owner of a $25 dissection kit and I am thrilled about it, but there is a part of me that worries I may not have what it takes.
For the younger folks thinking of going for Medicine, do it now. Because sometimes it feels really hard, with all the grownupness and commitments alongside everything else. It’s only my first day of BioMed and it’s not the material that phases — it’s all the other stuff I have to do JUST TO BE ABLE TO ATTEND LECTURES. I’m tired. It’s only 11am and I am exhausted and I will have to work till midnight tonight to support my family.
But, it’s worth every second because despite the insecurities, the heavy books, the sitting-in-a-room-with-kids and the neglecting of my family, (and the ever haunting voice in my ear that tells me I am doing this all to not get in anyway!), I feel like, for the first time in my life, I am home and feeling lucky that I have the opportunity and privilege to do this.