The Lancet Student

The Last First Day of School.

This blog was submitted by Stephanie on 3rd October 2011.
Tagged with summer, final year

‘I’m back’, as the proverbial Terminator would say. Yesterday was my last day of summer holidays. And not just any holidays, but the last I’ll ever have as a student. Yesterday marked the end of a nineteen-year pattern, where a year started in September, not January, and all of the work and aspirations were aimed towards one reward...the last week of June. Gone is the dream of long, lazy summer months ahead, filled with nothing but my expectations. Not that this summer has been an idle one, far from it. But the knowledge that it could be, the pleasure of knowing that should I wish, I could lie around and watch movies and read books and go swimming and nothing else, for weeks on end, is gone.

Instead, I am facing my (hopefully) last year as a medical student. Summer won’t bring with it a lessening of my responsabilities, but increase them as never before. Next summer I should, could, would be a new doctor. The thought terrifies me a little. I also can’t wait.

But I am getting ahead of myself. That time is still months away. More importantly, I still have a lot to learn. My theoretical knowledge is by no means as comprehensive and solid as I would wish; my practical skills are rusty. I still have to study Psychiatry, amongst other things, from scratch (I am looking forward to that actually, but since my attachment starts tomorrow, I guess I will leave my first impressions to another blog).

I am sure this year will be short in hindsight, just like this summer, which seemed to stretch eternally on, now seems like a mere heart-beat away from my fourth-year finals. I will definitely have a lot more to blog about, now that I am properly back in my sphere.

For one last moment though, I want to remember. I want to close my eyes and think of the feeling of waking up slowly from a long sleep, sand from the beach still lingering somewhere in my hair, a good (non-medical) book on my bedside table, and a lazy day ahead. The feeling of indulging in my favourite hobbies, of calling up my friends and going out at short notice, without worrying over whether I can afford the time, whether I need to wake up early on the morrow. I want to remember the child-like delight of exiting my last exam, the slown realisation that finally, I am free again.

I am not ashamed of these feelings. As C.S. Lewis said: When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.

Just for this moment, I want to forget that I am growing up. When I open my eyes,  I will be a medical student again. I will be sitting in the library with my book in front of me. I will try to study. Right now however, I am saying goodbye. 

1 comment

Adam on 3rd October 2011 9:25pm

You've made me go through my own similar goodbye all over again. My last free summer ended in 2010, and I had a similar thought process. This is wonderful.