Happy summer to all the teachers out there – what a lovely time to rest, relax, recharge, and prepare for the next school year! I’ve just returned home couple of weeks ago from my first year in medical school. Since, which I have been enjoying a true summer holiday full of sleep, movies, and lots of family time.
My reflection on education begins with Philippians 3:13-14. These verses help me to understand where I am in my walk with God and my calling. For all the times that pre-med students hear that choosing medicine will be a long, arduous journey, medical school certainly is a blur! And it’s one that I’ve found requires increasing levels of self-directed motivation. I’ve always had an incredible sense of independent motivation from my early school days, but it becomes more difficult when dealing with the intensity of med school. Learning in medical school is truly an art in the triage of information: with the amount of information one must know for exams, it is essential to study the most important concepts, and then add on extras from there.
But for every interesting concept we learn in medical school, I can almost guarantee that during the basic sciences years, there will be just as many concepts that students will not find interesting in any way, and those are the ones that will require phenomenal doses of self-motivation. It’s quite easy for me to study subjects that I find fascinating; this past year though, there were times when it was a challenge for me to take time to sit and diligently study certain subjects. This mirrors life in general.
I got through the challenging phase by drawing upon principles I’d learned from years past: namely, the principle of looking at the big picture, and looking toward what I hope to accomplish with my life in the future. Back during tough, seemingly unrelated college classes at Rice University (or really, even back during high school, International Baccalaureate classes), this was one of the ways I was able to push through, study hard, and come out successful. I would remind myself that in order to become a pediatric oncologist, to become an expert in global health; I’d have to endure certain things that quite frankly, wouldn’t always be interesting to me. But in the end, recognizing that those classes wouldn’t last forever – and that in the future I’d encounter more and more classes that were expressly focused on my interests – was enough to recharge my motivation and keep me on the road to success. I think coming through the difficult phases in one’s journey to success, one can appreciate the experiences along the way and this is what gives a person indescribable fulfillment.