It’s taken a week to recover but things are finally feeling like normal again. I always find summers between semesters of school a bit of a strange thing. There is a lot of pressure to do something but very little time to do it in. This is especially true in medical school where the already short summer is eaten up with classes and exams which bleed into the month of June. By the time everything is finished, summer is in full swing.
Last year, I did nothing. That’s right – I had no job, made no plans, and did very little overall. In fact I dubbed it: “the summer of no pants”. Apparently local authorities and neighbors alike respect pants more than personal expression, so the “summer of no pants” was true in title only. Last summer was great for a number of different reasons, but the foremost being that I learned how to relax again. This is more difficult that it sounds, as I had to find a way to enjoy myself without becoming completely bored. Furthermore, I had to find a way to silence the inner voice that was pushing me to go out and find a job, volunteer, or jump around. Needless to say by the end I remember feeling quite content and ready for the next semester.
This year is different. As much as I would love to take it off, the pressures of a future career are beginning to rear their ugly head. During the last year of study students in Canada undergo a matching to a specialty in which they’ll eventually practice. I am little unsure of what to expect, but what I see is that a number of people have already started to hone their applications in order to be matched to the specialty of their choice. That is to say that they are already beginning to compete for a specialty in a process that won’t occur for another 2 years. This drive (anxiety?) is infectious, almost viral in nature, and it’s hard not to be swept up in the hype. This means that, despite my want to do something different, I found a respectable job, one that can eventually go onto the CV. Having said this, there is still hope for the summer of 2007.
My summer job consists of some simple research – no lab work, a little time in the Emergency department and a few observational studies. I can primarily work from home, which means the deck will be my office. I really can’t complain, I’m in a very low stress situation, and the following months promise to be (dare I say it?) fun. This leads me to believe that perhaps the lessons from last summer weren’t all lost.