Boards are over, Back to Living


A Me At Computer Cartoon

What does it feel like to complete the USMLE Step 1’s (Medical Boards) you ask? Well, as I exited the exam and saw fellow classmates crawl out of the 8 hour gauntlet, I heard comments like, ‘This feels amazing, it is like taking a huge dump after being constipated for 6 weeks.’ (disgusting yes, but true). That soul crushing computer test, my friends, was the hardest thing I have ever studied for/taken. In the nights approaching the big day, I actually had nightmares… IStressed+out_918_18162621_0_0_9206_300woke up sweating and hyperventilating the week before having dreamt that I missed the exam. Then the day before, I had a nightmare about finding my parakeets frozen in their cage? WHY?!? I have no idea… But of course somehow, in my dream at least, the frozen parakeets meant I failed the boards.  Last night, I tried to sleep at ten oclock: didn’t happen.  Instead, I tossed and turned until about 3 AM at which point I found myself sleeping so that my head was at the foot of the bed with the blanket on the floor and my pillow without a pillowcase. I woke up to pray fajr a little more than an hour later completely disoriented and did not get a wink of sleep from there on out.

Now, I normally am very laid back… Calm, cool and collected… I can honestly say that for the first time in my life, I was extremely nervous and couldn’t hide it. I actually could not control my breathing and got light headed a couple of times as I drove to the test center. For one moment, I actualy considered calling in and delaying the test to another day exam_196253dBUT I quickly realized I could not handle another day of studying so I decided to man up and do this darn thing. With my heart in in my throat, beating at the speed of sound, and my sweaty palms I sat down and began the test that would essentailly decide my future. It was just a scary thought… Mess up on this, and my life can really change for the worst OR succeed and continue down this road I had started on years ago. After chugging 4 cold starbucks coffees (btw, they do not give their money to israel, thank God!), and eating a 3 Muskateers bar (nougat is amazing), I took a couple of moments to renew intentions and contemplate this turning point in my short existence. 

And that is when it happened… The understanding of Who I was doing this for erased the stress I was feeling. “I am doing this for He Who has the power to decide my fate.  It doesnt matter… I tried, I studied, I made dua and now I rely on Allah.”  Simple. I know, this is just another Tawakul post but seriously, sometimes it is just so easy to forget. My heart rate slowed, my respiratory rate depressed to normal and my focus centered on what I was there to do. 8 hours later, I walked out exhausted and completely oblivious as to how I performed (grades come back in four weeks) but the best part was, I didnt’t care anymore.  Well it is not that I didn’t care but I realized it did not matter anymore. I did what I had to do, regardless of the results.  

Hopped another hurdle and ready for the next one life is going to throw at me. 🙂  whatever that means!

DIAGANA_S_19950807_GH_L

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~ by Yousaf on May 17, 2009.

5 Responses to “Boards are over, Back to Living”

  1. I get my Yousaf back 🙂 No more lonely lunches.

    Inshallah you did great.

  2. worst. bfast. ever.

  3. Ammar: im back baby!

    Hend: lol… probably explains the six week ‘constipation’

  4. ASA,
    Glad your stress-free… for now. iA you did well. Just keep in mind that w/e happens, happens for a reason. That and thought you’d like to read http://diaryofthesilenthijabi.wordpress.com/category/lessons-randomness/

    because your mentioned. Salaam and TC!

  5. Hello there, You’ve done a fantastic job. I’ll certainly digg it and personally suggest to my
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