Looking Backward in Order to Go Forward

To whoever decided that we should have extra days to collect ourselves while many faculty attended National's Homecoming celebration in Lombard, I offer my undying gratitude and appreciation. I apprehensively took the opportunity to reconnect with friends and family in North Carolina. 

I don't generally have a whole lot of free time--it's true. I spend the vast majority of my time in class and then studying for exams. Especially during midterms, there just isn't usually any spare time to speak of. Having these extra days off for Homecoming was a huge boon. With projects to complete, papers to write, notes to compile, and exams to prep for, I threw caution to the wind and decided to actually take the time off. I didn't do much to promote my studies--other than take care of my Self. 

As I sit here writing, I'm happily exhausted and looking forward to a long night's sleep and a long day of driving. My heart is full of reminders of my past--of my friends and experiences both before coming to National and since. My adventures over the last several days have taken me through decisions to pursue medicine and healing, memories of experience and support from those that encourage(d) me to be where I am today, and hopes--from others and myself. 

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I visited NC State, where I'd spent many hours toiling over books, exams, applications, and things that I really wasn't sure would ever be important to my education or my life. I sat with a new friend and discussed wonderful things--lessons, hopes, dreams and ambitions. I've always been enamored by the parabolic reflectors in front of the library--where one can sit and whisper from many feet away and the other can hear every single syllable said in the subtlest of sounds, as if it was whispered directly into their ear. This has to be a metaphor for my decision to pursue medicine as my life's calling--how just one thought has been amplified and now comes back to me much, much clearer from far away into the future. I've been so encouraged, by family, by classmates, by friends. The end of my formal studies are coming closer to an end and soon I'll be choosing not only what to practice, but where. 

Many of my classmates have already chosen where they want to be after graduation. Some will stay in Florida; some will go back to their hometowns. I am thinking about many locations--from the most progressive of environments and widest scope of practice, to where I find my Heart. This will be a tough decision, undoubtedly. 

My weekend has had some interesting twists and turns. Unexpected information and happenings have reminded me how important support from our friends and loved ones truly is, and how we carry that with us throughout our lives. 

I ask that as everyone continues to prepare and work on midterms, that we all remember why we're here. Remember how you got here and who helped you, encouraged you, and lifted you up throughout the process. Think about where you are going from here and keep it present in your mind. The end of school will be here before we know it.