Thoughts on my 2-year journey to medical school

Differential Diagnosis of a Blank Schedule

"Hold your head high, soldier, it ain't over yet. That's why we call it a struggle: you're supposed to sweat." --Blue Scholars, <i>No Rest For the Weary</i>

“Hold your head high, soldier, it ain’t over yet.

That’s why we call it a struggle: you’re supposed to sweat.”

– Blue Scholars, No Rest for the Weary

This new chapter I have begun is not one full of free time and merrymaking. Yes, I have freed up 30 hours a week, previously spent spinning my wheels in the mud and not making any progress toward my long-term goals, which will be allocated toward a more structured set of activities. I fear that leaving my schedule wide open will result in increased procrastination, reduced success in academics, and a slower-than-expected rate of progress toward my goals.

I can break my focuses down into a few explicit, immediate groups:

  • Dedicated, routine study time
  • Volunteer experience for med school resume
  • Exploration of personal interests (music, graphic novels, bicycle maintenance, Dungeons and Dragons, seeing more of what Portland has to offer)
  • More quality time with friends and loved ones (sorely lacking in this area lately)

Dedicated focus on these will help me develop a more organized lifestyle (“Zen and the Art of Stress-Free Productivity”), lately a losing battle. This will also help me work toward long-term goals, including:

  • Become more organized
  • Move to Chicago this August
  • Prepare for the MCAT
  • Bolster med school application
  • Regain sanity
  • Find self

This is a grand opportunity. A strategic maneuver to take greater control over my life and how I want to live it with tenacious discipline, not a totally rad vacation. There will be no less work for me, just a drastic reduction in tasks that are getting me nowhere. This spring break will be a chance for me to dust off all the GTD/productivity techniques I’ve collected and fetishized the past several terms and actually implement them. I know I can become the streamlined, organized and efficient machine I’ve idolized and wanted to be. The exciting part will be amplifying the behaviors that work, weeding out those that do not, and all without the headache inducing variables I’ve been beleaguered with for the longest time.

I intend for this blog to be a dedicated repository for my progress in this area as well as others: what I’ve learned in school, what I’ve learned about myself, new music I have discovered and wish to share with others, etc. Doing so will help me remain cogniscent of my goals and efforts as well as provide a time capsule for me to look at in the future.

Let’s go.


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