I have arrived. Medical school marks a new chapter of life for me, one filled with far more opportunities, freedom, and…oh yeah…responsibilities than I could have ever anticipated. Coming from Midland, Michigan, a town of about 40,000, and having gone to tiny Alma College for undergrad, Ann Arbor and the University of Michigan represent a huge culture shock. For me, it feels like that switch kids make from diapers to Pull-Ups…it’s a big deal. I can’t believe when my classmates call this place a “small town.” If you want small try a college of 1,500 students in a town not much bigger and surrounded by the smell of fertilizer (read: manure).
I do have to say that this place does already feel like home though. After only about a month here, it’s hard to believe that only six months ago I had no idea where I’d be heading after college. Ann Arbor (which I affectionately call A2) is the perfect size; it’s big enough to have nearly everything you could want, but also small enough to feel manageable for someone like me. I’ve made so many good friends already and have been given so many opportunities to do interesting things and join cool groups it’s unbelievable. From grill-outs at my place with some close friends to playing on the med student IM softball team (we won 14-1 tonight against a bunch of freshmen, haha) everything has been a blast so far.
On the subject of the people themselves, I don’t have enough good things to say about everyone. Everyone I have met, students…staff…faculty, have not only been nice, intelligent, and helpful, they have also been incredibly interesting. Everybody here has such a fascinating life story to tell and has taken a unique path to med school. If I said the best thing about med school so far is the people, it would be a gross understatement.
So how am I able to have so much fun? Isn’t med school supposed to be spent studying, suffering, caffeinating, and then studying some more? Good question insightful reader. The answer I have for you is flextime quizzes. Don’t worry, you’re not hallucinating, I did indeed say that quizzes allow me to have fun. The ability to take our weekly quiz any time between 5:00 Friday evening and 10:00 Sunday night lets me study when I need to and have fun when I want to. If I work hard during the week, I can have entire weekends to read Shakespeare backwards, bang two coconuts together, and anything else my little heart desires. On the other hand, if I relax all week or simply have other things to take care of, I can study through the weekend and quiz at the end of it. Only this guy beats that kind of flexibility, and I challenge you to find a student here that doesn’t like it.
My plan is to use this blog toto tell my story as a med student here at the University of Michigan with raw honesty and a pinch of humor to spice it up. I’m big into photography, so I plan to share some shots of my life in A2 when relevant. Unfortunately my good lens is out of commission as of right now, so you’re stuck with some photos of my previous travels this time around. I’ll try to update it as often as possible, but there’s no way I could possibly share everything, especially the many intoxicatingly funny vignettes that occur daily. If you like what you’ve read, follow my Twitter account, @A2inA2, which is full of daily commentary on med school, general hilarity, and also some interesting medically-relevant online articles. A few other med students have put together another Twitter account, @UMDailyDose, which talks about some of their daily happenings…you should follow them as well. Look for a new post soon about all of the things I couldn’t fit in here, perhaps even one about my graduation from Pull-Ups to potty training. Until then, you should check this out.