I am on call again this weekend.
As I walked in to the hospital where I did my undergrad early-ish on this foggy Saturday morning, I was brought back to an earlier time.
Generally only music seems to bring me back like this, but Saturday morning hospital had a similar effect today.
When I was doing my undergrad, I was also studying for the MCAT (big giant (redundancy is necessary there) exam needed to apply for medical school). I wrote twice… Once at the end of the summer between 2nd and 3rd year and once in January of 3rd year. Both times involved much studying over holidays and weekends when the hospital is less busy (less is the necessary word because hospitals never really sleep).
Today, the hospital looked almost just like it did when I was in the middle of that fun. And I had to run to the library to try to research something and the library was creepy empty, just like it was when I was studying. The table arrangement changed. There are computers where my favourite table by the one window that didn’t leak (probably because it is still the one window that doesn’t leak).
Studying for the MCAT was a form of torture. For one, it was above and beyond everything else I was doing. And, as I alluded to previously, I spent a great deal of round two feeling extremely self-defeated. There was stuff on there that my non-traditional degree program never covered. I spent weeks with an organic chemistry textbook trying to learn enough to pass. I memorized amino acids.
The studying invaded my life. I helped with a youth group camping trip and wound up with my book on the beach for part of the day just to meet my self-imposed quota. I would go to the hospital to be at the library for the afternoon before going out with Patrick (please note, we had just started dating and I am pretty sure he thought I was bat crazy… Not far from the truth).
I am a bit odd. I actually love to study and learn. LMCC studying wasn’t too bad for the first while (it got old once the pressure was on, but still…). The MCAT was never that fun. It was either stuff I consider impossible to study, stuff I had never heard before and then the stuff I already knew. Very minimal in between. I still embraced the MCAT studying for the most part.
Sitting in that library brought me back to the beginning. How wide eyed and ambitious I was. How awful that studying was compared to the things I am learning now. How much less naïve and somehow more knowledgeable I have become.
The whole thing made me crave McDonalds and pop slushies (the study food of champions) and miss my MCAT study buddy, J, who is now in theatre school halfway across the country (a bit of the opposite end of the spectrum school wise too).
It is strange how something that seemed fairly terrible at the time with little hints of fun can, in retrospect, bring back almost fond memories. I look back at that time and feel glad that I am where I am, but I kind of miss the job I had at that time and some of the people I spent time with and that library (though, I am here for two months, so I am sure I will see more of that).
Love the flashbacks.
Now, to end with a music flashback circa my MCAT season playlist.