I apologize for not sharing a story last week. I’d lie about how I was so busy I couldn’t write anything, but I’ll just come clean and do the mature thing: blame laziness.
Last week was a wild ride, and one thing that was reaffirmed was: having the best support system is crucial in medical school. My friends showed up for me in so many ways these past few days that I’m dedicating this story to each and every one of them. I don’t even know how to write this without sounding cliché, but I am very grateful for the people medical school placed in my life.
In exciting news, I turned twenty last week, and my friends went all out for my birthday celebrations. For one day, we forgot about [we didn’t forget sha] the muscles of the pectoral region, generation of membrane potential, and amino acids. They surprised me with a cake. There was a mini party with all my closest friends, and we had some insightful discussions. Turning twenty has always been one of my biggest fears, but that day I forgot all about that because I know that I have a group of people who – odd as it may seem – want me to succeed.
In less exciting news, I have a test this week and Excitable Tissues has proven to be a pain in my neck. I don’t want to start test season on a bad note, so acing this test is all I hope for.
I also got to see a cadaver last week and it was humbling. And stinky. I was reminded about the fragility of life: of how we are just cases carrying an essence we all try to understand, how at death nothing matters anymore as excited medical students crowd your body, cutting and identifying muscles.
I didn’t get to dissect or touch anything – not that I wanted to – because a class of more than a hundred and fifty where given only two bodies to study in a poorly ventilated lab. I felt for the excited students who had waited for this all their lives but couldn’t even experience it fully because the combination of heat and choking formalin was too much for them to handle. The Nigerian education system will drain every ounce of passion you have, and that day was more than enough proof.
SUG election season is in full swing over here and a medical student is in the race for president. I want him to win, not because he’s a medical student, but because I believe – with a certain naivety that is odd for a Nigerian – that he might actually be a different leader. These cycles of leadership change have always had little or no effect on the student body, but this guy seems different, and I hope he is because, by God, if he messes up like the others I will drag him on this same platform I sang his praises.
I have a renewed energy for this week and I blame it on the fact that my friends and I came up with a bucket list of things we have to do in medical school before this year is over. We’re all really pumped and I hope you all find something that gives you this much excitement this week.
Random medical fact: In earlier times, Romans used urine to clean and whiten their teeth.