“It’s the last free summer of your med school career!” I’ve been hearing that since August when I started school. All year I was on edge wondering what I was going to do. I knew I wanted to enjoy it and travel and hang out with my friends, but I also knew that I wanted an impressive CV come time for my residency application to go out. The balancing act continued. Research was a widespread opportunity at my school, Medical College of Georgia, and it’s recommended especially for students who are pursuing more competitive specialties. I knew myself very well and knew that research wasn’t going to fulfill me. I participated in research in undergrad and believed that I left that life behind me.
While my friends were securing research positions, I was applying for a spot in the Primary Care Leadership Program, which is a great opportunity for students interested in pursuing a career in primary care. I was hoping I’d be accepted and placed in Atlanta, so that I could make a great impact and not be too far from the turn up. As God would have it, I was selected–for Mississippi. By this time, I had already put in an application to be a program assistant in the Summer Educational Enrichment Program (SEEP): a pipeline program that my school runs to help high school and college students get into medical school. It was my “back up” if you will, but after I settled that moving to MS for 6 weeks wasn’t best for me, it became my first option.
It didn’t take long for me to realized that I was meant for this program from the very beginning. I’ve always loved mentoring and pouring into the next generation of professionals. This job gives me that opportunity with 19 students who are recent college grads and rising college seniors. I get to befriend then, advise them, and mentor them over 7 weeks here in Augusta. I’m near my friends here, and am able to travel home on weekends to see my family and friends there. I’m also already planning a few domestic trips. High impact, low stress, no research. That’s all I really wanted from the very beginning! It’s crazy how you look back over time and realize that God had it under control from the very beginning. Psalm 46:10 “Be still, and know that I am God.”
So, when it comes to that “last” summer, it’s really important that you do something that will keep you happy, motivated, and ultimately fulfilled. You don’t want it to end and feel like you wasted your time when you could have been furthering your career or bettering yourself in another way. Make goals and strive for them. Find the balance between your career pursuits and your personal needs/wants. Make time for yourself, don’t neglect your health, and of course make time to Netflix and chill.