I’ve decided to start a blog series on my university experience. As I’m studying medicine, which as a degree requires a minimum of 6 years of study, this might be quite a long one and as always is dependent on my (wavering) commitment schedule. However, I thought it would be a nice thing to do every once in a while to document and reflect on things and create a resource that could be useful (even enjoyable) to my friends and family or future applicants.
Today, Wednesday 23rd September 2020, is 7 days before I’m due to leave home for the first time to live in college. I’ve been set a wad of work, so far I’ve waded through the obligatory tasks, now I’m just reassessing my borderline abysmal maths recall. However, I took a break to write this post because I’m sure I, like many freshers, have a shed load of emotions coursing through my body that I want to get out on paper.
Honestly, I am excited. There is no better word to explain it, worn out as it may be. New place, new people, new new new. I like the idea of starting on a fresh slate, another chance to redefine myself. And, this is going to sound extremely cheesy, but I am absolutely in love with my course. I had a conversation with my dad today and he joked I’m getting married to my university- that’s why I’m leaving home. Disturbing metaphor… but we can go with it. Seriously though, the I do feel a connection with my college- irrational and premature though it may be. It felt like…home. Sentimental. yes. However, on a course level, quarantine has allowed me to precipitate the reasoning behind why I’ve chosen to study what I have. Don’t get me wrong I had my reasons whilst embarking on the arduous application process but when you are in the heat of the moment I don’t think you can come to a conclusive answer. Previously I used to view my interests in the Arts and literature as mutually exclusive with Medicine. However, the research I’ve been doing has shown me that I’ve been on the right track this whole time. Medical humanities, applied humanities, has been the catchphrase I’ve need to describe why I wrote that essay on Kafka and Schizophrenia, or why that documentary on the artistic gaze resonated so deeply with me. It brings it back to my choice of uni, whose third-year intercalation options are so wide, and essay-based rigorous term work is completely down my alley. Sometimes you make gut decisions that are irrational and backfire, but other times things fall into place rather mysteriously. I’m looking forward to developing my thought and fusing my two biggest passions and am glad to have found my niche and grounded myself before being thrown into the world of Cambridge’s Medical School. It’s given me a sense of comfort in my decision that I think I was most definitely lacking just a few months back.
I’m also looking forward to joining a sports club. I am not one of those people who can sit at a desk all day, and exercising is an important way for me to stay mentally stable honestly. So at the moment triathlon and women’s football appeal to me- let’s see what future Aatqa has to say about that.
Coronavirus is also bound to spice things up a bit- so we’ll see how that fares. So far the guidelines aren’t all that debilitating, although a lot of our teaching is expected to be online and with the second wave coming who knows how long we’ll be in college for?
However with regards to societies, for once in my life I’m going to limit myself. In first year I just want to enjoy it, take it all in, meet and spend time with people, give myself room to breathe. That means a maximum of 1 or 2 societies for me. I love my parents and sister to the moon and back, but now it’s time for me to expand a little. Staying in touch is much more feasible these days, and a big goal of mine is to factor in check-ins with my family daily. For what much more to life is there than love? Academics can bring you so much but interpersonal relationships are the bread and butter of life in my opinion.
Anyway philosophical ruminations aside, truly it feels like a new frontier and as with any endeavour of that sort, there is always bound to be a mix of apprehension and sheer adrenaline.