I haven't been feeling too good lately. This is surprisingly not due to my medicine application (though of course that has its role to play); the medicine application is a symptom of the broader underlying problem which I've been dealing with for quite a while now. Put simply, my masters degree is the problem. My bachelors degree was the problem. Being a Grumpy Biomed is the ongoing problem I'm dealing with.
These thoughts have been going through my head for a while now, but yesterday they finally crystallised. As part of my course, we have to complete a project. The projects are 12 weeks long and start in May after Term 2 exams. Once you finish the project you get the MSc. Yesterday the list of MSc projects was released. Five minutes after looking through the list I had a moment when I saw things in total clarity.
Five minutes before, I was looking through that list of available titles, supervised by some of the most brilliant minds in medical science at a world renowned medical school, and I was actively seeking the least boring one to put as my first choice.
I'll repeat that: I was looking for the least boring project to put as my first choice. Not the most interesting. The least boring. This is what my life feels like at the moment...one big quest to try and be as unbored as possible. The use of Newspeak is entirely appropriate here as I've never really been interested in what I've been doing during the past 4 years. Sure, there's the odd module which is really interesting, the occasional coursework which I can manipulate to become palatable, and of course, through my own hard work eventually everything becomes slightly interesting...but its no longer enough. I'm reaching my saturation point of completing tasks I have very little interest in. Getting good marks isn't even enough anymore...the satisfaction it brings is just not long term or deep enough. It is no longer enough for me to simply be unbored: I want to be interested.
But I can't be. From now until the end of term (three weeks or so), I have nine assignments to do. Each more boring, long-winded and pointless as the last. I had 11 to begin with, but I completed two last week. I felt utterly spent and exhausted. And then I remember I still have 9 more to go, and it's all I can do to stop myself screaming with frustration at how much I hate working towards something I couldn't care less about. Always during these past 4 years I am left with the feeling that this not what uni is supposed to be like. In an odd way, the only thing I can compare it to is the feeling you get when you're exhausted and yet you're still running and functioning on caffeine. You're getting things done and going through the motions, but you constantly feel that this is just not genuine. Lately, I find myself fantasising about dropping out on a near daily basis, sometimes even several times a day. To just cut ties abruptly, leave it forever, forget about it all, never go into a lab again, or hear about PCR or Western blotting or mass spectrometry...frankly it sounds amazing. But simply leaving something doesn't solve anything, there needs to be a more fundamental change to how things are done.
So I find myself fantasising about a time in the future when I don't skip most of my lectures because I just end up falling asleep in them out of boredom. When I'm not up at 4AM writing on a blog, but I'm sound asleep, having been totally satisfied during the day. When I can turn up for all my classes, be enthusiastic, maybe even ask the odd question or two. Get to know my lecturers and what they teach rather than seeing them as taskmasters inflicting boredom on me.
Of course, no one held a gun to my head and forced me to do an MSc. I chose to do it of my own volition BUT, only because the alternative i.e. being unemployed in my parents' town, checking Track fifty times a day seemed even worse. In short, I'm screwed whatever I do, it seems. I do the MSc and I'm constantly under pressure with work I don't care for, and if I didn't do it I'd be posting here daily about how bored I am with nothing to keep me busy and how I wish Track would just update already.
The solution is obvious: I need to get into medical school and start studying what I like and am interested in. Though this is not something which is within my control, at least not anymore. I've done everything I can: prepared for the UKCAT, tried to write a good personal statement, tried my best in all my interviews but my "fate" is now in someone else's hands and I'll be finding out if I've got in within the next week or so. It's not just about being good, it's about being a lot better than the competition...which is what makes it so hard and I just don't know if I am that good. But all I do know is that I can't keep up the Grumpy Biomed gig for much longer without a glimmer of hope, a sign that possibly things might be improve soon.
If you couldn't be bothered with reading all of the above, this is all I wanted to say: I want to stop being The Grumpy Biomed and start being The Contented Medic.