The last ten weeks have been some of the hardest of my life; Mentally, physically and socially. But I’ve come out of the stronger and ultimately happier… though maybe worse of financially!
For those of you who don’t know I failed my end of year exams. It sucked massively. I put my head down and kept going and worked hard for my resits, despite the family chaos that was going on at the same time. Ultimately, I missed the grade by two marks… and was asked to leave my course. Hearing this answer shattered my heart to smithereens. Not only had my entire life plan gone out the window, but I was left there with no idea of where to go and what to do with myself.
After wondering what to do with myself, having that moment of crisis and reaching that question;
What do I do now?
I took a deep breath, and fought back.
Appealing the university’s decision has been the hardest journey of my life. Worse than the medical school interview process and tougher emotionally than first year. Feeling like you have to fight for your life, whilst having to give up some personal information. It was an incredibly hard thing to have to let someone you had never met into your personal life. Telling them information I don’t tell half my closest friends.
The best way to describe the experience is like feeling that the whole world is against you. Not matter what I was attempting to do I felt like I was falling short. I felt like people were disappointed in me, even if I hadn’t told them what a failure I was… and I felt like one. The hardest thing was that I felt like I couldn’t tell anyone what was going on, what I was feeling. I told three people and my parents what was going on, people that I’ve know for years and years, and knew in my heart wouldn’t judge me. I was too scared to tell anyone else.
Waiting is the worst. You spend weeks and weeks with no information. But you can’t commit to anything. Not a job, or a holiday or anything long term. You have absolutely no clue where you are going to be one week to the next. This was really hard for me mentally, my mental health took a huge turn for the worst. I withdrew a lot, and cut off a lot of relationships. Whilst some of this was defiantly not positive, it did give me an amazing opportunity to reflect on who I had grown into in the last nine months. It was the chance to change the things I didn’t like about myself and look into the experience of medical school with a new light.
After months of jumping through hoops I finally got my appeal panel day. On two days notice.
In order to get my appeal seen to quicker and the chance to get back in to the course repeating the year that had already started, I had waived my right to notice. So I dropped everything and this time last week, drove the round trip for 40 minutes to plead my case. That was Monday… Tuesday morning I got the answer that they were reconsidering the decision. Wednesday I found out I was going back. Wednesday afternoon, I found out it was Thursday… the very next day. That I had to be back to meet the enrolment deadline. So I packed myself up, booked an airbnb and drove there at 5am… I am now a medical student. In my first year, again!
Having been so close to loosing out on my dream of becoming a doctor, of spending weeks questioning if I was good enough I learnt that everything is a life lesson. I am more motivated than ever to succeed and am taking the positives out of the situation. It’s an amazing opportunity to take a look at what I struggled with last year and make improvements. I’ve gotten away from a situation I was finding incredibly toxic and stressful and into a much calmer environment.
This lesson has been a reminder to myself that you need to fight hard for what you want and never back down. Jump over every hurdle in your fight to become a doctor and never stop thinking you are capable. Every little hurdle in the journey to get there is a life lesson and just a test to see if you are committed to the cause. Any time someones says no, learn from it. Don’t be bitter or negative, be positive. If you’re meant to be somewhere you’ll get there, no matter the path. But constant effort, constant positivity and constant hard work.