Fish out of water

During the HAL interview today, I fessed up a couple of the issues that have been on my mind pretty much ever since I got into medical school.

1. Everyone seems to have wanted this since they were embryos, and I remained fully undecided until May 15. Not just that, but everyone takes so much damn pride in this fact, while I’m sitting here thinking… if you’ve never thought about pursuing any other career, how do you know for certain you want this one? Doesn’t that apply to everything? You don’t know you’re a theist until you’ve considered the alternative. You don’t know you love your parents until you’ve lived without them. You don’t know anything you believe in until you’ve questioned it to the point of uncertainty. Maybe that’s just me, but this is seriously the philosophy I apply to pretty much everything in life.

2. Everyone seems to love this profession so much that it’s a struggle to maintain a balanced lifestyle… while I’m sitting in lecture thinking about all the non-medicine stuff I’ll do as soon as class is over. All my non-med friends, my Islam-related activities, my hobbies, my volunteering… everything except medicine, pretty much. Meanwhile we have all these old timer docs come in telling us how much they understand the compulsion to just throw yourself in work and completely forget about family and friends… uhm, I pretty much can’t wait to be around my family and friends for every second during those 9-5 hours.

3. Everyone seems to think I don’t want to make friends and don’t want to socialise and I’m just sticking to myself. If you read any of the above I’m sure you’re thinking the same thing. This is not true, and I hate that I’ve contributed to this idea that I just want to stick to my one friend all day every day. And I know this is fully my fault, and I’m already scared it’s too late to change that impression. People seem to have made their friend circles by now, and while everyone is always welcoming for small talk or sitting next to someone new, the real friendships that extend outside the classroom seem to have been formed already. And I’m sure I give the vibe that I’m unfriendly and not personable and don’t want to be friends with non-Muslims and don’t talk to boys and all these impressions that I wish I could take back. But having that one friend contributes to a sense of not having the need to reach out to anyone else. I need to do something to rectify this, and simply joining clubs and intramurals isn’t enough, because those too seem to be superficial friendships that don’t last as soon as you’re done the sport/activity/volunteering. I need to be really open, and really assertive, and just plomp myself down next to people and talk like we’ve been friends forever and that’s really the only way to do it.


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