Monday, September 17, 2012

Marathon not a sprint

First test is over.

2012-09-14 20.23.33 (2)

After unwinding a bit Friday night (dressed as a cow), I spent a relaxing Saturday afternoon in bed reading (ahem) and watching Covert Affairs. I even got a low-pH soda and twizzlers for my exciting Saturday night in. I needed this.

2012-09-15 13.55.24 (2)

I just about had a panic attack grading my exam. I missed questions I had been sure about. Breathing in and out. Just in time Bruce from DC emailed me with congratulations on finishing my first exam. He ended his email with this advice: “Remember, marathon.” Right. It’s still early in the game.

But it’s difficult to not doubt myself... I calculate what I need to make on the next exam to make up for this mess, stress about this highly improbable score, then doubt my career choice altogether. What am I doing here? Maybe my strength isn’t academics- but what else am I good at?

This is the difficult part of dental school. I know this is going to happen after every test, every week, every wrong mark on the exam. Avalanche of self-doubt. How did I get by dental school admissions? Did they really think I could do this? How do I keep going when I feel unworthy to be here? How do I stay motivated? How do you muster up the energy to keep going?

Graduate school is a marathon. It’s not a sprint.

I’m at mile 0.4 (first of 54 exams). Just keep running. And so begins Exam Week #2.