Five Things

Five Things: March 20th 2021

It felt like an incredibly short week, perhaps because of Daylight Savings Time beginning and perhaps because it was March Break and time off always goes too fast, but here we are on another Saturday, talking about my week. All in all it was a fairly good one, and now it’s the first day of spring! Spring and its symbolism are really my favourites, so I’m feeling very happy.

(Side note: it’s actually not a very cheerful post. I think I’m struggling a little right now. Sorry for the bad vibes, but I’m just being honest.)

1. Comparison is the thief of joy

It’s tricky to know if you’re doing well on things that aren’t school. I’m very practiced in the art of comparing myself academically, and I know what to look for when I measure my success–my grades, my relationships with my teachers, percentiles, etc. But you graduate school eventually, and then everyone’s paths branches off into a million different possibilities, and comparing apples to oranges is not logical.

I’m still in school, but because the grading system of medical school means all you need is to pass, it becomes less important compared to other more subjective areas such as extracurricular involvement or research. Comparing my CVs to other people’s really makes me feel like garbage, quite frankly, and it’s why I’m adamantly against using LinkedIn. Who’s stalked people on LinkedIn people before and felt awful about themselves? Yeah. I don’t know what the answer is, but it’s a thing that’s been happening.

2. Writing a research paper

I’ve been given the opportunity to write a research paper–not entirely by myself, but I’ve never written a research paper before, so it’s a very new and frightening experience for me. It’s had a steep learning curve and involved some panic moments for sure, where I feel very much like a deer in the headlights. It’s also mildly embarrassing because I enjoy writing but academic writing is a very different style than the one I’m used to, which means I’m not very good at it.

Regardless, I feel like I’ve learned a lot of things and I’ll be able to carry those skills forward. I’m grateful for the opportunity and I know that just means I’ll be able to do it better next time. I’m a first year med student, which in my eyes is basically a baby med student, so I’m being graceful with myself.

3. Studied for my midterm

I don’t know when my study habits got so bad… maybe they were always this bad… maybe it’s because it always works. Which is not the best for mental health, because it doesn’t feel like it’s going to work, and then it does.

But still! We’re making some progress! I’m always pleasantly surprised by how much I don’t actually mind studying once I start, it’s just that getting myself to start can be difficult sometimes. My next midterm is mainly on respirology and I’m not entirely sure how I feel about it. I definitely think I enjoy it less than our last block which was cardiology (which I also didn’t expect; I went into cardiology thinking I’d hate it). Still, learning is pretty cool, and you can always find some fun facts.

4. Moving my body

I mentioned a while back that I’m trying to make a habit out of doing some kind of exercise every day and I’ve succeeded with that so far, which feels really good. I try to either do a quick ab workout or go for a walk–I never said I was doing anything strenuous–but I’ve been doing the ab workout every day, and a walk on some days. However, I’ve definitely been slacking this week on the ab workouts, which started when I took a day off because I wasn’t feeling too well.

I’m very much a person who likes streaks, and once that streak is broken, it’s very difficult for me to get back on track. I would do well with the X effect method of keeping yourself motivated, I think, though I’ve never tried. Gretchen Rubin has a good quote on this in her book Better than Before: “To form good habits, we want to stumble as rarely as possible. A stumble may prevent a fall, true, but all falls begin with a single stumble. So it’s very, very important not to stumble. That’s the paradox: a stumble is no big deal, and yet a stumble is a very big deal.”

5. Next quarantine project

I’m numb to whatever the government is doing because it’s not like it affects the way I’m living my life anyway. I do work at home, I go out to the grocery store or school or volunteering, and I go for walks with my family. I’m not out shopping or hanging out with my friends. But cases seem to be going up again, which probably means more lockdowns and whatever, so I’m trying to think of ways to keep myself occupied, and I’ve found one!

I was personally very inspired by my own post about writing and realised that I want to put more energy into that after my midterm. Last year when quarantine first started I compiled a collection of poetry and prose into a little pdf and it was a lot of fun and very satisfying. I want to do something similar this year, and I have an idea and I’m very excited about it. It was also very inspired by Taylor Swift, which seems right.

I’m sorry it was a bit of a down post, though I hope I ended it on a bit of a good note. Here’s to a happy spring, y’all, with warmer weather and vaccines. There’s a phrase I didn’t know I’d ever say, ha!

x B

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