Match Day

Yesterday was match day. If you’ve never had any affiliation with a medical student or school, than this won’t have a whole lot of meaning for you, but if you do you know what I’m talking about. Match day is that day when all the 4th year medical students find out where they are going to be doing their residencies. At the medical school where I work, they gather all the 4th years, their friend and family and anyone else who wants to be there, into the auditorium. The deans give little speeches, the class presidents give their thanks to the administration, and then the envelopes are handed out. The letters in these envelopes reveal the fruits of the students’ labor for their years of medical school. When the envelopes are opened, there are tears and laughter, shouts and cries and every exclamation in between. It’s a pretty incredible thing to witness, seeing 240 fates revealed all at the same moment.
The first time I was present at match day ceremony, it made me sad. I left feeling deflated, because I wanted my envelope too. I wanted someone to say that they wanted me, that they thought my brain was valuable, and I wanted all those affirmations to come, neatly wrapped in a little while envelope, just like the medical students. I wanted to feel the sense of security that comes from knowing where and how you are going to spend the next three or four years of life.
But that’s just not how it works in the rest of the world. The rest of us “normal” people don’t get this sort of assignment or direction. We are left to figure it out on our own.
Working at the medical school has been good for me, because at the very least, I know that I don’t want to be a doctor (not that it was really ever on the table for me, come on, I was a politics major). It was hard at first, because there I was, surrounded by my chronologic peers, who were directed, who know what they wanted to do with their lives and were pursuing it. I, on the other hand, was (and still am) floating through my life, without direction or passion. And some days it is still hard. I still look at these peers of mine, and envy their direction and ambition for success in the medical field. But it has gotten better.
I still want to receive an envelope with my instructions in it. But I think that these days I’m a little bit better with the idea of getting the instructions word by word, as opposed to all at once.

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