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For Real.

As of yesterday, I’m back to the real life: books, powerpoint slides without an end, and marker packs in so many colours the rainbow would be jealous.

But if all goes well, this year won’t be the same as last year. I mean, not that last year was bad or anything, it is just that I want this year to be even better. (Who doesn’t? … You don’t have to answer that.) Anyway, part of this whole New Year’s Resolutions thing is to actually follow through with good intentions.

It’s day three. How many of you have already broken your resolutions? Be honest with yourself, because I know the vast majority of you have. Well, okay, maybe only a few of you have since it is only day three. I’ll give you a couple of weeks.

I actually did make resolutions this year. I intend on keeping all of them, despite some of them nearing the verge of insanity (in my already crazy mind). Why? Because if I don’t make the changes for a healthy life now, when will I? Life will only get harder and habits will only set firmer. When I see myself in the future, I don’t see someone who would rather grab a bag of potato chips over an apple. …Okay, I do but only one time out of ten or so.

Cheers to a new year, and a slightly modified Kristin.

First, I am cutting out sweets from my diet. In case you were wondering, my sweet tooth takes up most of my face. Sorry, Pinterest. Your dessert folder is going to have to be ignored until a friend needs a cake baked for them. No sugar in my oatmeal. Black coffee when possible. No birthday cake at birthday celebrations (unless it is my own, of course). Crazy, huh?! Here’s the remaining sanity in it: I will allow myself all the gum I can chew, breath mints when needed, honey (in HEALTHY things like my homemade granola, which is way to fantastic to give up), a rare energy drink if needed prior to an exam, and ONE serving of sweets on holidays. Yes, my birthday is a holiday. No, Ground Hog’s day is not a holiday, nor is Presidents Day.

Second, I am going to work out SIX hours per week. This one is going to be the hardest for me to keep, because I can’t guarantee that I have six hours to spend in a gym EVERY.SINGLE.WEEK. The point of this resolution is to find the time. And if you think about it, that is less than an hour if I decide to go everyday. That’s not bad at all.

Related to the last one, I am shooting for a goal of running 300 miles this year. That is completely doable at less than 1 mile per day, even when taking holidays off. The thing is that I really am not a fan of running unless they have happy colour powder to throw at me every kilometer I run. (Side note: I’m already registered for the Colour Run this year! If there is one in a city near you, DO IT!)

Thirdly, I want to do as many random acts of kindness as I can afford. Which, on a med student budget, probably is like three. Sadly, the thing that I realized, though, is that someday I will be able to pay it off. The person I help doesn’t likely have that same luxury. It can be overwhelmingly blinding to look at my bank account and see nothing for several years in the near future. Take those blinders off, miss. There will be money there. Those loans will disappear, no matter how ginormous of a number they get to be.

And lastly, do more artistic ventures. I probably (most likely) have said that I love to do various art projects, crafts, writing, poetry, things and stuff. Med school shouldn’t prevent me from doing things like that. I’ve accumulated hoarded nearly everything I need for any project in my supposed-to-be-a-studying-office-that-has-become-more-of-an-art room.

The best part? Now that I have told you, I have just made you all accountable for my goals, too.

Even better? If you tell me your resolutions, I will remind you like none other that you should probably be sticking with whatever your resolutions are. For real, you made them for a reason.

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Posted by on January 3, 2013 in My Inspiration and Motivation

 

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Be Yourself, Love

 

If you aren’t the person I dreamt you would be, you can still be you, and I will love you just the same.

 
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Posted by on July 25, 2012 in Snippets of Life

 

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Stop Playing Pretend

I can’t honestly say that my hopes and dreams have always been to be a doctor. What I can say is that I have put my heart and soul into the dream that I will someday be a doctor, once I had decided this was were I wanted my life to go. I won’t even try count the overnighters I have pulled,  or the gallons of coffee drank, because right now, my dreams are becoming a reality.

I found out just over a month ago I was accepted to medical school. Let me rephrase. One month ago, I was accepted to my top pick medical school. I can honestly say that it didn’t register as fact until I went to the pre-orientation session the college offered in order to get to know my fellow classmates. I fully expected to show up and my name not be on the list or there not be a name tag for me to wear. When I saw my name tag, my picture on the class listing, it finally registered. I, Kristin, am going to be a doctor, just like I had planned. Down to the school and everything.

For those of you that aren’t familiar with the process, let me summarize. 1. Excel in high school and get accepted to an upstanding undergraduate college. 2. Obtain primarily As, with an acceptable occasional B, on the undergraduate transcript with a majority of classes being upper level science classes. Volunteer weekly. Work, preferably tutoring sciences or in a hospital, throughout college. Participate in extracurriculars. Do undergraduate research, preferably in a top research institution (which I will add takes an application process all in itself), in unlikely hopes that a published paper including your name will result. Maintain sanity.  Shadow physicians, as many as are willing and as frequently as the schedule allows. 3. Study for the MCAT, the test that practically determines a person’s medical school acceptance. Studying should be about eight hours per day for the three months leading up to the test. Pay for the $235 test that would rather not be taken. Spend five hours in a testing center with limited, scheduled breaks. Score as high as possible on the test, wait 90 days, say a prayer, and look at the  score. 4. Sort through the list of all medical schools, finding the ones that coincide with interests and statistics being sought out. Start filling out primary applications to all the colleges that are on the potential list. Take out a personal loan, as this is not a cheap process. This initial process easily takes up $1000 or more if applying to more than a few schools. Write a personal statement regarding choosing to be a doctor. Revise statement, and proofread. Revise again. Proofread at least four more times, just in case. Ask at least three people (doctors, lab mentors, or professors) to write strong letters of recommendation. Remind them constantly of deadlines without seeming rude. Pay for transcripts to be sent. 5. Cross fingers, as many as possible, that e-mails stating the all of colleges would like a secondary application. Fill out all these supplemental applications as soon as possible, because time is critical. The earlier the application is done, the higher the chance of acceptance. Pay a second fee to submit these applications. 6. Wait as patiently as possible to hear that the colleges you completed supplemental applications for are offering an interview. Either that, or rejection letters start arriving. 7. Buy formal business attire for the interview. Buy plane tickets to the city the interview is in. Buy a hotel room. Buy a portfolio folder, so a resume, published scientific papers, poster presentations, and business cards are accessible and professional appearing. 8. Rock the socks of the interviewers with wit and charm, all while maintaining professionalism and compassion. (This includes not letting nerves overwhelm the situation.) Expect hard, random questions. 9. Once again, wait to hear if you are rejected, accepted, or placed on a wait list. 10a. Assuming acceptance to more than one school, start deciding which school best suits what medical school being sought after. This likely means more plane tickets, hotel rooms, business attire, school tours, and meet the faculty opportunities. 10b. Assuming all rejection letters, start back at numbers 2.5-4, depending on the particular application weakness, and start all over next year. Don’t feel bad. (Most people I know don’t get in on the first try.) Repeat until: 11. Ta Da! Acceptance into the medical school of your choice. Or any medical school at all, for that matter.

Now you may see why it took me a while to realize the accomplishment this was, acceptance on the first round despite average statistics. When you have been striving towards a goal for so long, then you finally meet it, it just seems like the reasonable question is, “Now what?” So, now what? It is now that I have to stop playing pretend. I have to become the big girl that I have been putting off for so long. I have to incorporate professionalism into my daily life; I have to represent being a doctor at all times. I have to up my game and study all day, every day for the next eight years or so. More or less. I have to learn to become a teacher at the same time I am being taught. I have to maintain my empathy, compassion, and enthusiasm to help others. I have to do all of this, just to follow my dreams. What does it take to follow your dream?

 
 

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