"But Chantal," you ask in bewilderment, "where the heck are you going to medical school? You never told us?!?!" You bring up a good point and I'm definitely guilty for saying I was going to tell you and then not writing a blog post before (although to be fair I did tweet about it). I'm at UVM! I decided to attend the University of Vermont College of Medicine for a variety of reasons, including but not limited to: location in the Northeast, proximity to family, curriculum, technology, Ben & Jerry's access...the list goes on. It was a really tough decision but I'm so glad I was able to take my time and consider my options before finally choosing UVM.
Now, on to the actual interesting bit - orientation week. It was absolutely amazing. I could tell at interview day that students at UVM really seemed to love the school and the administration obviously cared so much about their students and this truly came out through orientation week. Everyone I interacted with from the faculty and staff to the upperclassmen was absolutely wonderful. They were caring, they were informative, they were thoughtful. They worked very hard to put our minds at ease and make sure we were having a wonderful orientation experience.
I want to actually write a few posts about the individual activities we did because they were pretty fun and kind of deserve to be spoken about in their own little article so I'm reserving that for later but I do want to say that I'm starting "real school" on Monday and I've decided that a big way I want to try to keep my sanity this semester is by writing about what I encounter as I navigate M1 year. I hope you guys still want to follow along on my journey from medical student to physician and would love to hear any feedback from you on particular things you'd like to hear about!
I'll finish off with this (I think) encouraging anecdote about the power of our words: throughout orientation week I was happy to meet many of my classmates but the best interaction I had was with a student in my year that I met on Wednesday. P and I were matched up for a teambuilding type exercise that was part of our wilderness medicine/ropes course day (more on this later). It was one of those big circle type things where you have an inner circle and an outer circle and you pair up and then have to tie one persons shoe using one hand each (you know how these ridiculous activities go). Anyway, after we got paired up and I was about to introduce myself P informed me that she actually already knew who I was because she read my blog. She told me that it was really nice to have a voice that wasn't constantly discouraging or down about the changes of getting into medical school and that it was so helpful to be able to use my website and some of my posts about the process of applying as a resource for her own application cycle. I was so incredibly touched that she said something and really thankful because it reminded me how important it is to share one's experiences with others. It inspired me to keep up with the blog because people really are taking notice. I hope you guys read this and realize that whatever little projects you work on and share with others are so worth it - you never know whose life you will affect in a positive way with your words or thoughts!
That's all for now - I'll post again as soon as I can!