I’m sure many of you have been asked this question before. I was recently prompted with this question while completing a survey for an organization at OSU. In all my other times that I have answered this question, I always thought about school and career. But I realize there is more to life than just those two aspects – much more important.
Here was my response to the question on the survey that I saved on a computer sticky note:
About to finish medical school and hopefully receive a spot in a residency program in order to finally start a career as a physician. In terms of personal goals, I hope to have established a close and supportive friend/network group as well as developed a meaningful relationship with someone whom I would like to marry. I hope to be happy.
To me, the most important part of life is the relationships you build with other people – not how much you earn at your job or material wealth.
In my current journey to becoming a doctor, I am always faced with this dilemma. I have always been an introvert, so it’s really easy for me to shut myself off from the world and bury my head in books or within my own thoughts. This is good for studying I must say! But I would like to find that happy balance of alone productive time and time spent for developing relationships with others. It is also so easy to get caught up in the competition of getting accepted to medical school. I must not let this competition seep into my brain. We shouldn’t be competing against each other. We should be working together – for a common good. We should all want to be doctors to help those in need and this requires teamwork. I think this is something all premeds should keep reminding themselves of. I have been and still partly am a victim of this especially with application season quickly approaching. Don’t let the MCAT, grades and activities you need to do to look good for admissions get in the way of the real reason why you chose the career path.
I have recently tried this developing relationships mentality. I went to a premed conference and ran into two girls whom I had first met in my first two years in college. I spoke up first about exchanging phone numbers and keeping in touch! I think it will be great for all of us to lean on each other during this strenuous time of our lives.
It will be very interesting to see in five years what life will be like, and I can look back on this post to see what has changed.
I encourage you to do this exercise and write it down (or blog it out). But most importantly, try to think of more than your job and material success.