I can’t believe 2016 has come and gone. It was by far my favorite year full of traveling, excitement, and memories! From turning 21 and finally being able to drink a margarita to traveling all around Italy WITHOUT parents for the first time, and then graduating from the best university after 3.5 years. I’ve been so blessed that sometimes I think I forget to step back and give thanks. With 2017 coming and having no big plans, I hope to take more time to reflect on who I want to be and what is my true purpose in life. I don’t think there’s a better way to accomplish that than making a plan on the first day of this new year, and keeping myself accountable by sharing it with all of you!
1) More self-love
More often than not, I used to neglect self-love to prioritize academics or extracurricular activities. Sometimes I forget to sit down and spend time doing things I enjoy such as painting or reading a book because I was so obsessed with using every minute of my day to get ahead in my studies, catch up on lectures, or brainstorm for a paper. I used to think that if I spent my time doing anything but studying, that there is someone out there who is studying twice as hard as I am. Looking back, I now think that was a straight path to burn out which is definitely not good for someone seeking to pursue a career in medicine. This year, I want to nurture other passions I have and actually enjoy doing them rather than feeling guilty about not studying. As someone with eczema, I’m determined to finally go out there and try new products that will actually help my dry and red skin! I’ll try face masks, new face creams, and even new make up! I want to paint a picture for all of my friends! I want to read a really good book! I want to share more on this blog and encourage my creative outlet! So in a nutshell, I want to break out of this cocoon I’ve been living in during undergrad, and spread my wings to new interests that will help me grow mentally and physically as a confident and happy individual.
2) Study smart
One plan I have for 2017 is to retake the MCAT a second time. I am currently signed up for May 13th which gives me a good 5 months to study — 2 extra months than what I had for my first round at the MCAT. Because I am self-studying this time around (because prep courses are pricey!), I am going to try my best to study smarter rather than harder. I will be trying to practice the material more than read and absorb information. I hope to get into a routine and set study schedule that works around my job while allowing me time to enjoy life, and find study habits that will help me be more focused and energized. **Will make a blog post about MCAT studying in a few weeks**
3) Spend more time with family
Knowing that I am trying to get into medical school, I know that if accepted, I will be moving away from home. During undergrad I was also busy studying all the time, I took spending time with my parents for granted. Even though I lived at home, I was always in my room and rarely spent time just hanging out with my parents on the weekend. I am thankful for graduating early and getting this free semester (perhaps even a gap year) to turn that around and try to take them places and just talk to them more. Even with my MCAT studying, I hope to leave my evenings free to enjoy time at home before I have to give that up for medical school. Family is very important to me so I want to soak up every minute of it I have left while I’m at home!
4) Work hard
Working during undergrad was challenging because I had to balance it with classes and clubs. I didn’t really need the money because I lived at home and had very few expenses, so I would work the bare minimum to get home and focus on my studies. Since I’ve been doing that for the past 2 years or so, it has kind of become a habit that I’m not proud of! Now as a college grad, I am hoping to work harder by staying longer at my job even though I could leave before my shift ends. I want to begin helping my parents with expenses, starting with paying off my car, and building up a good savings for when I have to move out for school. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I really need to start this whole “adulting” thing and take it seriously!
5) Be spontaneous
Now that I am free from undergrad, with the exception of MCAT studying, I hope to be more spontaneous and outgoing. I feel like since I have earned my degree, obtained a good job, and am dedicated towards a goal, I can finally breathe and relax a little. I’m always so hard on myself (as many premeds can understand), and I feel that now is the perfect time to let loose and live a little. With 2016 planned by the minute, I hope to adopt a more casual and relaxed attitude in 2017. So far the only plans I am aware of are going to Disney World and taking the MCAT while the rest is unpredictable, but I’m going to be okay with that. I’m starting to learn that life is unpredictable and when lemons are thrown at you, you just have to make some super delicious lemonade! Although I am most likely not going to start medical school in fall 2017 as I expected, I’m definitely going to make sure to make good of my time from now til when I am accepted!
I hope you all have goals you will be working to achieve in the year of 2017. A new year brings 365 opportunities to change and grow! I’m so thankful for each of my followers and I hope you’ll continue to follow me in this tumultuous pre-med journey!