The conversation with yourself
I remember the early days of first year when the work was hard and the labs were long and we had our hands in cadavers and our heads in biochemistry and we felt like some of the smartest people in the world. Everything is great, you're dating new people and forming strong friendships and then BAM. The work is too much that week, that night that day. And the pesonnext to you is getting it. And they're excited the way you used to be excited and life still feels easy to them the way you miss it. That feeling will hang around your neck as long as it needs to. It'll keep hanging there until you have a conversation with yourself.
Why am I doing this? My friends back home are starting their jobs and making money and buying new things to make their apartments look nice so the people will want to sleep with them and I'm missing all of it. This is first year. It only gets harder. Why am I doing this? I could quit. I could quit right now and I'd only have $40,000 in debt to pay for my mistake. It might just be worth it. Maybe I should quit. Maybe this was a bad move.
And of course maybe it was a bad move for you. Maybe you shouldn't be here and the smartest decision of your life would be leaving right now and cutting your losses. People stay though. They stay because they know a moron the year ahead of them, so figure it can't be that bad if THAT GUY made it. Some people stay because they don't know what else they'd do with themselves. Some people stay because as much as it sucks, they can't do anything else. The point is that the doubting doesn't have to stop because you want it to.
I'm almost half way through 2nd year and I'm having a bad week. I don't feel like I'm learning any of this Pathology and I've ignored Micro for three weeks now. It's all going to catch up with me whether or not I catch up with it. And if I don't suck it up and pull through then it's going to sting real bad when I see my test. Feeling beat up and stupid is no fun, and it's frequent enough that you often feel like quitting. But I remember exactly where I was standing on campus in first year where I had that important conversation with myself. And I remember my answer.
So I'm waiting for it to get better, plugging away while it isn't and telling my problems to a stranger. All of it helps.