Winter break was wonderful, and greatly needed! After final exams were over, I did something new. Instead of rushing home to Maryland, I relaxed for a couple days in Illinois. I caught up on my sleep, which I’m sad to admit had been greatly lacking the weeks leading up to exams. I went on a hike with a couple classmates and our puppies; and we just hung out thinking about the year we just had. We survived the first year!
It doesn’t matter what type of flex schedule you are on, surviving the first year is still a huge accomplishment. The downside to the first year being complete is that some of the people I started with that were full track are officially ahead of us now, and not in any of the same classes. It all works out though, because we have picked up some incredible people who are on different schedules along the way. That has to be my absolute favorite part about this school, every course in the program is offered every trimester! So, if you need to slow things down, you can, without worrying about having to wait an entire year for that course to be offered again.
I will likely do a separate blog post about the way the flex schedules work out. I am on what we call a flex-5 schedule. So instead of doing all of the basic sciences in 4 trimesters, I am spreading it out over 5 trimesters. This helped a lot those first few trimesters, and is a very popular schedule. Now we are easing back up to the full track schedule, and I have a total of 24.5 credits this trimester. I also TA for a couple classes a total of 3 hours a week, so life is definitely an adventure--an exciting adventure where all I do in my free time is sleep and study!
I have learned a lot this year. Over the course of this first year, it sometimes feels like the more I learn, the more it feels like I know absolutely nothing! There is a lot of information to learn, and it feels really good looking back at all the information I retained from the first year. However, it is also very humbling, as I can only imagine the amount of information, I need to learn over the next three years!
Here is a picture from our White Coat Ceremony a year ago. So much has changed since then! Friends in school have changed, classmates have changed, my boyfriend has changed (as in I had one at the time, and now I don’t have time to have a boyfriend), and the way I study has changed. For someone who is often very resistant to change, that is a lot of change!
Overcoming such drastic life changes has made me a stronger and better person. I know I say this in just about every blog post, but I am so thankful for this opportunity, and for the experiences I am fortunate enough to have while attending this school.