2018 definitely flew by, but I think it’s important to reflect on what went well and what could be improved. Initially, it felt like not much had changed this year, but after writing this article, I feel pretty accomplished!
In terms of blogging/IG, I feel like I came a long way in 2018. I got to work with amazing brands like Brita, Talbots, and Sarah Alexandra, which I wasn’t expecting this year! I’m so grateful that social media has democratized the fashion industry and that I’m able to pursue two very different career paths (medicine & fashion) simultaneously. Medicine will always be the primary (and more demanding) career, but I love that I can dabble in the fashion industry as well.
My goal this year was just to survive the 1.5 years of pre-clinical coursework, and I’m so glad to say that I passed all of my exams (Yale is Pass/Fail). That said, I definitely feel like I have forgotten a lot of material from earlier in the year. I don’t know what I could have done differently to avoid this, but I’ll definitely have to review all the material from the last year and a half before my board exams. I was also lucky enough to find an amazing research mentor who I will continue to work with in 2019.
I tried out a few different diets (Whole 30, Intermittent Fasting, etc.) this year, and I think I found what works for me. Intermittent fasting (IF) worked really well for me because I am a late night snacker, and IF is something I think that I can sustain going forward.
I also started lifting weights for real this year, and that was one of the best decisions I’ve made! Like many other women, I was concerned that I’d end up looking like a man if I lifted weights. I realized this year that nothing could be farther from the truth. First off, I learned that I don’t put on muscle very easily; I am lifting heavier weights than I ever thought I could, but I still don’t look that strong. Second, beyond being important for health reasons, I think that getting toned looks way better than just being skinny fat, and I wish I’d started lifting weights years ago.
I read 10 books for pleasure this year, which I’m so proud of. Reading expands your horizons in such a unique way, and I’m glad I took the time out to do it. I also practiced my Persian language skills a good deal (through reading, writing, and occasionally speaking with people) and am glad I haven’t totally forgotten the language even though it’s been almost two years since I stopped studying it formally. Last year, I tried to enroll in a Persian language course, but felt that my schedule was too busy. In retrospect, I wish I had taken the course and made it work, since I won’t ever be able to take language classes formally again now that I’m starting in the hospital full time.
Finally, I got to travel more than expected this year, visiting Portugal and Spain, and also traveling domestically. I’ll miss having long breaks going forward, so I’m grateful that I got to visit some new places this year.
2019 will likely be the hardest year of med school for me, and I’m trying to be realistic about what I can expect to achieve. Whenever I use IG/my blog to keep me accountable, though, I end up hitting my targets, so I’m sharing a few of my goals for 2019.
I’m starting my rotations through the hospital in January and will be working longer hours than I ever have before. The clinical year (i.e. rotations) is considered the hardest year of medical school, so everything besides academics will have to take a back seat this year. I want to be a great student during rotations and impress the attending physicians who will be evaluating me. I also need to study for my board exams in the evenings after completing my work in the hospital. My goal for 2019 is to commit all flashcards for Pathoma, USMLE-Rx, and Sketchy Micro and Pharm to memory. I also want to get through the U-World questions, but I’m not sure it’ll happen before the end of the year.
In terms of blogging and IG, I hope to continue to grow my blog and put out useful content. My goal is to write two articles per week, and to collaborate with other bloggers more. I wanted to start a YouTube channel also, but realistically, that’s not as important as studying for board exams, so it’ll have to wait.
Despite the hectic schedule coming up, I’m not willing to compromise on fitness. My work outs will probably get shorter (30 minutes rather than an hour), but I intend to stay active. My goal is to continue working out 5-6 times per week.
It’s sad to say, but I don’t expect to read for pleasure this year very much. Maybe a book or two if I’m lucky, but I don’t think my schedule will allow for more than that, unfortunately. I do need to stop using filler words like ‘um’ and ‘like’, though, so that is my big personal enrichment goal for 2019. I think being in the hospital and speaking with patients and physicians all day will force me to kick the habit, but I intend to consciously work on this habit as well.
All views expressed are solely mine, and are not endorsed by my academic institution. This post is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, and this site should not be relied upon as health advice. I am a student, and share my opinions and experiences through this platform, but am not qualified to give medical advice, nor am I seeking to do so.