I have been asked to describe myself a lot of times in my (fairly short (so far)) life. Like, a lot. I don’t know whether people are actually interested in how I perceive myself or whether they’re just trying to figure out how best to handle me. Okay, I’ve just made myself sound like some small rodent in a pet shop that needs to be ‘handled with care’. But you know what I mean, right? Like, if I say I’m feminist, that gives people the green light to:
A) Shriek, jump, and remove their ‘feminist’ badge on their bag with alarming dexterity before waving it in my face.
B) Start a debate about why men are actually the more oppressed half of society.*
*It’s an opinion, I respect it, but it’s also very wrong.
C) Scuttle slowly backwards without breaking eye contact until they drop and roll far away from me.
So, clearly, how you describe yourself matters. One of the things I would describe myself as (but might not always list in my Top Three Things That Make Me, Me) is indecisive. I’m an overthinker. This does not bode well for making rational decisions based on the facts I’m presented with. However, what I have learnt recently is that I am a different kind of indecisive person.*
*There really should be a word for that.
I do not struggle with making decisions. I struggle with the aftermath of making a decision. If I decide to take certain route home, I will spend that entire journey on Google Maps (yes, whilst walking) trying to figure out whether a different route would have been faster/less hilly/more avoiding-y of roads which I know have shops on selling stationery.*
*I HAVE NO WILLPOWER.
Making the decision is only 10% of the process. This always made those ‘Create your own adventure’ books slightly traumatic.You know, the ones that are written in the 2nd person (check my GCSE English skills) and always seem intent on killing the character eventually.
So to get to the point of this entirely too long introduction, deciding to study medicine was an easy decision but deciding to stay studying medicine is a decision I battle with every day.
I’m not saying I don’t enjoy it, because I do, or that it’s not worthwhile, because I still believe it’s the most worthwhile degree I could have undertaken. I’m saying that I’m not sure I’m the right person to be a doctor. And I know I moaned on about this when I was still in the application process but I thought actually studying this degree would shed some light on my dilemma and it really hasn’t. Learning a tonne of over-complicated science is valuable but difficult. Learning clinical skills is fun but the idea of putting it into practice is terrifying. Learning what a doctor’s day-to-day job entails is interesting but daunting.
And throughout all this learning, there’s this voice in my head that’s screaming “There are people who live and breathe for this science, for the opportunity to shine a light at the back of someone’s eye, and for the chance to wake up at un-holy hours to do a ward round and you’re not one of them”. Don’t get me wrong, I think doctors are among the most dedicated, hard-working and talented people in the world, but they sometimes feel superhuman. Superhuman in a way I’ll never be.
I’m not going to leave. I owe it to myself to give it the biggest shot I can. Everything I learn in this degree is valuable, even if I don’t end up as a famous neurosurgeon. Even if i end up doing something completely different and not obviously relevant to a medical degree, I’ll know that I’ll be using skills I learnt here.