Picking Up and Starting Off

               What’s the first thing you notice on your first day back to school after break? I’d say it’s the pure calm, happiness, and restfulness in everyone’s face. What do you notice on day 2? Sleep deprivation already beginning to take its toll and stress kicking in. And trust me, there’s no exaggeration here – it really is that drastic. The library is already packed and the study marathons have started, with maybe less enthusiasm than usual. It takes a lot of work to get your brain back into study mode, and you can definitely see everyone struggling a little bit. However, we’re pushing on, and hopefully our bodies will readjust to the lack of sleep, high stress levels, and off the charts coffee intake sooner rather than later.

                What’s the first thing you notice at the gym after the start of the new year? A whole bunch of people you’ve never seen before. And honestly, I think that’s great. Even if people only last a few months, at least they started. What I’ve realized is that hardest part to anything is simply the starting. This applies to everything. Starting to study, starting a paper, starting to workout, starting a relationship, starting to run, starting a job. We always dread these things, but it’s not the actual process as much as starting. Once you actually get started, it seems that it’s much easier sailing after that.

                So, start! Lace up your running shoes, pull out those books, and pour the coffee. I’m determined to make the most of every moment in every day this year, and that starts simply by starting! So it’s day 2, and for the first time in quite a while I am completely caught up on studying. That means I get to go train without feeling guilty that I should be studying, and that I get to sleep a decent amount. Yes, it’s only been 2 days. But if you start right from the beginning, it’s easier to stick with it. And with your newfound free time from getting things done earlier you can do all those things on your list that you never thought you’d be able to get around to.

                How am I doing on my new year resolution? I think I’m doing really well. For every decision I have to make I ask what’s better for me in the long run and it’s actually changing me. I’m eating healthier, I’m training more often, I’m studying more efficiently, and I genuinely am a happier person. I am choosing to go to the library instead of napping, and I’m choosing to train instead of napping! And for those of you who enjoy naps as much as we med students do, you know that’s a big deal. No more excuses – only results. I haven’t quite mastered the whole “not hitting the snooze button” just yet, but nobody’s perfect.

                So whatever it is that you’re dreading, do yourself the favor and simply start working on it. I think you’ll find it wasn’t as bad as you had thought once you actually start. No need to take a giant leap, just start by taking that first step!


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