This is me eating a snowball on a hot, hot St. Patty’s Saturday afternoon. (Btw, I love my new cateye sunglasses I bought from Target a few days ago …. after having broken two pairs of shades already.)
So I have finally matched for residency and will soon officially be a doctor! I still can’t believe all that has happened in the past couple of days …. on Friday, I found out where I’d be going for residency and I pretty much spent Saturday celebrating and Sunday running errands while still not thinking of anything of the future to come.
But anyway, it’s been a weird emotional roller coaster ride for me. No doubt, Match Day for any medical student is the most stressful/exhilarating day of our lives. You see a crazy range of emotion from complete utter excitement and happiness to absolute disappointment to the point of people crying as well. I mean, when you’re involved in a system where you have to rank where you want to commit the next couple of years of your life, it’s only normal for someone to not be as excited if they match to somewhere other than their #1 (especially if there is some level of devotion they’d placed into their first ranked spot which is my case).
And though, I’m absolutely elated about matching within my top 3 choices, I definitely am not at the emotional level as I would’ve been if I’d won my #1 spot. It’s just like in sports; winning the silver medal obviously doesn’t feel the same as getting the gold. One thing I was determined not to do though was to cry. I knew that I’d accomplished so much and that the fact I’d matched in itself was a tremendous achievement, I had absolutely no reason to cry on Match Day. I was going to hold my head high because I am still going to be a doctor nonetheless.
My only beef is … why can’t I just be as excited sometimes? I feel like at moments I put so many expectations on myself that I also will get disappointed as well. Even my parents are more excited than I am about my matching. So why can’t I feel like I’m on top of the world? I really wish I felt more exhilarated, I really do …. but unfortunately, because I didn’t get my top choice, it’s hard to feel the same rush of excitement. Sometimes I wish I were more easily satisfied.
And yet, I feel like I’m still a more laid back personality than some others … but who knows. We’re all so diversely different and have various ways of acting “laid back” that it’s hard to really pinpoint if one person is more laid back than the other.
So on Match Day, I knew even if it wasn’t my top choice (but still within my top 3), it was still a great match. And I was going to express it as though I’d just won the lottery. Because I really did!!!!!!
On another note, I’ve come to terms with myself to be more honest with my feelings. Not everyone may agree with what I think but that doesn’t mean I’m wrong. If something doesn’t feel right or it feels uncomfortable, I’ve decided to be more honest about it with myself. It doesn’t mean that I need the whole world to agree with me, I just need to stop putting myself in denial. I think once I admit to myself how I truly feel about something, then I will fear less what I’m experiencing. Even if I’m the only one.
For instance, medical school is an insane competition of dealing with a hierarchy of grades and finding out who’s better than you and whatnot. A friend of mine last night had a little shpeal on how he was glad medical school was over with for him, that unlike medical school, in residency there is less of the competition amongst the grades you have to deal with. Honestly, I was a little surprised that he was confiding in me about this (though I’m sure I’m not the first person to hear about it) because this is someone who matched into ophthalmology, an extremely competitive field. Then I guess the more competitive of a specialty you pursue, the more stressed out you get in snagging a better residency …. despite the fact that you matched such a competitive field, to you yourself personally, if you don’t get your top choice, you’ll always feel a little … lacking somewhere.
It is for these reasons why I had trouble convincing myself that it’s ok that I’m not pursuing such a crazy competitive specialty. I did it because I wanted to …. and I don’t need to prove why to anyone.
It’s just that, why is it so hard to admit that to ourselves? Is this when competition really gets in the way of our happiness? Maybe that’s why more developed cities/countries are not necessarily the happiest ….
But like I said before, I’m extremely happy. I’m not willing to let things damper my mood down, I’m so determined to move forward with my achievement as much as I can.