The last time I posted, I had just finished my away rotation, went on a quick weekend trip for my friend’s bachelorette weekend, and was getting ready to start my neurology rotation. Well, let’s just say that my mental health took a turn for the worst because I had so much to do and was trying to juggle what felt like a million things at once.

Let me give you guys a little back story before we get into it. When I took my research year at the end of my third year, I actually had one more third-year rotation to complete- Neurology. I was told I could do it at the start of fourth year and then continue on with the rest of 4th year. We use a lottery system so I of course put that I wanted to do neurology in May before life got real. Unfortunately, the lottery wasn’t in my favor and I was assigned to complete the rotation in November. You might be thinking “Okay Alice, what’s the big deal?” Well as you probably know, I am currently interviewing for residency and the bulk of OB/GYN interviews take place in November and December. I have been blessed that I accepted a good number of interviews and with things being virtual again this year I could schedule them almost back to back. Now, the priority for me during this time is to have enough energy for my interviews. The whole point of medical school is to learn as much as you can so you can have a good foundation of medicine to go on to residency. Well, because of that- it was really hard for me to give my rotation the energy and attention that I would have as a third year. I was also grouped in with the third-year students obviously in terms of expectations which is fine but mentally I just couldn’t deal. Studying was difficult- I tried to do Anki cards during downtime and gave myself a goal number of questions to do each day. I didn’t want to spend money on UWORLD, so i actually just paid for 1 month of ABMOSS and that was a great decision. I actually had to study most of Thanksgiving weekend because the shelf exam was the following week. I was kind of sad about that because I feel like the anxiety of knowing I had an upcoming exam took away from me being fully present with my family. I also knew that this was potentially my last Thanksgiving with them before residency. At the same time, I wasn’t trying to fail this exam and have to take it again when i could finally be chilling like a lot of y peers. Also if I didn’t have this rotation I would have been on a 4th-year vacation block! Ugh, I just had a lot of emotions going on at once. I was also trying to balance my health and wellness. To be able to do that, I had to wake up pretty early to squeeze in a workout and made sure to meal prep so I didn’t fall into a trap of eating fast food for convenience. It was only the week of the exam that I didn’t do my full week of planned weight training sessions. Overall, I’m proud of myself in that aspect because old me would’ve stress ate junk food and skipped all of her workouts!

I took the exam and my boyfriend and I went on a trip to New Orleans the next day! We originally had it planned for the end of August but unfortunately, we had to cancel it because of Hurricane Ida. Although I was sad about it at the time it was the safest decision and luckily the city was able to recover. I’m actually happy we had it now because it was the perfect treat to celebrate being done with a rotation and traveling is one of my favorite things to do to feel like myself again. We had such a great time -exploring Bourbon St., enjoying (very strong) drinks, and of course Cajun cuisine! I tried alligator guys!

Here are pictures of some of the places we went and the food we ate:

I still have half of my interviews to go this month. My schedule is kind of jammed packed with pre-interview Zoom socials and interviews, but I’m also trying to use this time off from studying to work on things outside of school that I have been putting off such as creating content for the blog/social media, organizing my clothes, working out, reading books, and of course binge-watching TV!

This past month taught me that the challenging/hard times are temporary. Oh and I passed the exam! I can do challenging tasks and succeed! If you are going through a particularly rough time right now I hope this can be an example to you that you can succeed as well. As always, thank you for reading.

The beautiful pieces of work featured here are just a glimpse of the amazing work at we saw at the museum. Check out Studio Be if you are visiting NOLA! Support Black artists!

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