The courageous venture into the unknown; the persevering conquer it

June 13, 2015 § 3 Comments

Last I wrote, I was preparing to tackle the monster that is the microbiology final. How did it go? To my surprise, really well! Afterwards, I was in a bit of a state of euphoria and while in that state, decided that I could handle moving my psychology exam to that upcoming Monday (so a week earlier than originally scheduled). That meant micro on Friday, psychology on Monday and internal medicine on Tuesday. I will write more about the exams themselves in another post when I have more time and energy.

I didn’t expect to be as burned out as I was after micro. I went to the library on the Saturday following my micro exam, but my brain was as good as useless. I wasn’t really able to get any studying done until Sunday night – and that’s when I started really feeling the effects of being so burnt out. But still, I pushed through as hard as I could. On Monday night at around 20:30 I sank into a deep panic and almost made the decision to not even go to my internal exam. I’ve never done that before and honestly never would – you never, ever know what is going to happen – but that is the closest I’ve ever been. After some motivating words from my friends Jannie and Amir, I made a plan to get me through the next 12 hours. I forced myself to read through the topics once and then mark the things I needed to memorize the following morning. I ended up “sleeping” from around midnight until 3:00 am and then got up to do whatever last minute cramming I could manage. The hours after 3:00 am were probably the worst I’ve had to endure this exam period. I felt like I’d pushed my body to the absolute brink and knew I would have to pay for it later. At least the sunrise that morning was beautiful.


The exam ended up going really well – yet another surprise! – and with that I was on my way home to collapse in bed. From Tuesday afternoon until Thursday night, I wasn’t able to get out of bed. I suffered what was probably the worst headache I’ve ever had in my life and felt like I was going to faint every time I stood up. My brain had held my body hostage for weeks and now it was time for my body to hold my brain hostage.

I’m more or less recovered now, which is great because there is still one more exam before I can fully check out! I’ve been sleeping almost 10 hours a night, plus naps during the day, and even made it to the gym for an hour of cardio this morning. My head is still quite foggy, which makes studying a little difficult. Hopefully I can push through these last few days!

As for Skjalg, he conquered patho and internal this week and has micro, genetics, surgery and psychology ahead. I still can’t believe how crazy this exam period has been! It will be so nice when it is over and we can enjoy ourselves again ūüėõ

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Blog post title: quote by Matshona Dhliwayo

Yet again, into the fray…

June 4, 2015 § 1 Comment

Three weeks into exam period now and I’m having a hard time remembering what day it is and honestly sometimes even which month. I no longer think in proper days of the week or hours of the day. Instead, it is number of days until my exam or number of hours until one less day until my exam. Exam period is so utterly, unbelievably consuming. It’s like running a sprint for the length of a marathon.

Tomorrow afternoon I have my microbiology final. I originally had it at 8:00 am, but since I’ve been staying up quite late, I thought it would be best to push it to the afternoon. Might help to have a least a few hours of sleep. My days are monotonous and heavy. I wake up around 8, have breakfast and coffee while watching an episode of Modern Family and then I sit down to study. There are some breaks during the day, usually a 5 minute pep-talk with Skjalg or grabbing something to eat or drink. I usually hit a rough patch between 17-21, where it feels like I am running on fumes. If there is any underlying panic, this is usually when it gets fed. After, I hit a bit of a power streak that can last until somewhere between midnight and 2:00 am.

My pathophysiology final last week went surprisingly well and I promise to write more about it either tomorrow or Saturday morning. I also have probably 20 emails to respond to from some of you – I haven’t forgotten! It just takes time to read them all and write my reply and I don’t want to do it in haste.

For tomorrow’s exam, I will draw a card listing 5 topics from a total of 165 topics, divided up into 5 separate sections: (1) General Microbiology and General Bacteriology, (2) Systemic Bacteriology, (3) General and Systemic Virology, (4) General and Systemic Mycology and Parasitology and finally (5) Summary: Clinical Microbiology and Microbiological Diagnostics. If you’re curious about the topics, you can look at them here:¬†FGM_FINALEX. By the end of tonight, I will (hopefully) have been through each topic at least once (two times for most). As always, that doesn’t feel like enough. The topics I covered last week are hardly in my memory anymore and everything feels like it is getting all jumbled together.

My positivity is starting to wane…back to the books I go. Hopefully I will have good news to report tomorrow!

I have my favorite¬†Comptine D’un Autre √©t√© L’apr√®s-midi¬†by Yann Tiersen¬†on repeat to keep me company (and sane) through the night:

From Liam Nesson's movie, The Grey

From Liam Nesson’s movie, The Grey

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