Error 404: Me; I do not exist

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Hi everyone! I hope you guys had a great weekend. I’m currently in Melbourne enjoying my last week of holidays before school starts next week. I’m nervous and excited at the same time because I’m entering my third year in medical school and will be starting my clinicals (which means I’m full-time attached to the hospital). The past two years in medical school has been the toughest but most memorable season of my life thus far and today’s post is really just me reflecting about the different phases I went through, which includes the highs and lows and how I want to move on forward to the next chapter of my studies. I paired this post with a photo collection of my current favourite t-shirt from ALT-F4 because I really relate to the concept behind this piece (and many others actually). This post is just a snippet of my personal life and I hope you guys won’t get bored reading this post!

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  1. Surreal

Everyone goes through this when they first enter medical school. Everyone fought and worked really hard to be here and when you finally made it, you are SO excited to be called a medical student/doctor-to-be. I know of many people who have always dreamt to be a doctor for many years. But I didn’t – I only decided on applying for medicine after my attachment post-A levels. I didn’t have the best grades, my BMAT scores were ridiculously low, I didn’t have an inspiring speech or essay on how much I wanted to be a doctor my whole life. So when I received the offer from LKC and throughout the first few months in med school, the entire experience felt so surreal. I knew that I wasn’t going to be the smartest around and I promised to just do my best and be the best individual I can be. And things were very exciting for me – opportunities for both overseas and local Community Involvement Projects, representing the school in talks, photoshoots for publicity, hospital/polyclinic attachments – and everyone looks at you differently (and you know it). It’s almost as if you’re now a different person just because you’re in med school.

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2. Identity and Desensitisation

It’s true that as a medical student your identity changes – because medicine is a calling, a responsibility entrusted to you by society and individuals who chose to place their faith in you that you will grow to become a competent, serving, empathetic, loving and compassionate healer. You have to keep in mind that everything you do from now on has a certain set of consequences and impact on others’ lives.

But sometimes, people get desensitised. We subconsciously think we know things better than others. We think we know about health and science in general better than you do, we become judgemental about other careers or fields of study, we unknowingly judge or assume the worst about individuals with certain diseases. Don’t get me wrong – being knowledgable is a part of our job but there’s a thin line of difference between knowing your things and pride. It is our job to see and treat the ill – to the point that things become almost boring if people are well, and things are exciting if people are really sick. Sometimes even I get caught up in it and I forget what it means to put myself in the shoes of others and to not dismiss their discomfort, feelings, worries and duties they have in their lives.

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3. Self-worth

On top of everything, what I struggled with the most was self-worth. Even though I knew that me being in med school meant that I had certain qualities, I also knew that I was academically weaker than many others. There were countless moments when I questioned myself the reason for being here, if I was going to make it out of med school, if I was going to be a competent doctor even if I do manage to graduate, if I was able to carry the responsibility entrusted to me and the faith in me better than some other person who was rejected by the school etc. I also danced a lot less ever since I started university and I became more and more uncertain of myself as a dancer. I’ve been through valleys and depths deeper than what I could ever imagined, walked so close to the boundaries of insanity and depression, and thoughts away from giving up – and when I was in the depths I always, always questioned if someone like me should be healing another individual when I am just as messed up in so many ways that I can’t even comprehend.

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But I also met angels – friends, tutors, brothers and mentors who pulled me out of my darkness and shared with me the light in their lives, walked the valleys with me, lovingly corrected my mistakes and encouraged me when I couldn’t find courage, reasons nor strength to encourage myself. They saw something in me when I couldn’t even bear to look at myself. I am so thankful that I will have them for many years to come.

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I don’t think I’ve ever changed so much within the past 2 years – my perspectives, personality, principles, working and learning methods, interactions with people, love language and the list is endless. But I’m glad that I went through it, and I’m thankful for people who are still staying by my side even after all the changes I’ve gone through. 

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I don’t think I’m someone who’s good at coming up with inspirational quotes or advice posts and this is just me being as real and vulnerable as I am – but these are a few reminders I would keep close to my heart moving forward.

Embrace and love yourself as a human – who would experience changes and failures as much as successes.

It’s okay not to have the answers to everything, and what matters is to have the humility to admit and work on what you don’t know.

You are uniquely placed in every situation and environment for a reason bigger than what you can imagine now.

Feelings of inadequacy and insecurity are not excuses for you to shy away from opportunities to grow and create. I am so thankful for opportunities to create this blog/my style ig account, to be in positions of leadership in OCIP and dance – and I am glad that I took them up despite being so unsure of my capabilities.

Medicine is a huge part of your life, and it helps to shape who you are, but it is not your entire life.

Surround yourself with people who edify you, with love and courage.

Not everyone stays in your life forever, but be intentional and put in the effort if you want them to be.

Be genuine and honest to yourself, and don’t always look at yourself through the narrowest lens.

You don’t have to always be strong and independent – your weaknesses, humility and willingness to learn and accept help is also part of your beauty.

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I am almost afraid to post this because I am sharing about something personal for the first time on this blog, and I don’t know how people are going to receive it, but I hope it helps someone out there who might be going through a part of what I went through. I used to think that this blog should be limited to just style and fashion alone, but recently I realised that I’ve made friends through this and people are actually reading what I put up here. I hope this didn’t bore you and if you are still reading this, I am incredibly humbled and thankful. I am excited for M3 to start even though I know it’s going to be tough as hell and I am going to get whacked hahaha (lol and when I was M1 I thought it was tough until I went through M2). Nonetheless, I know for sure that I am growing as a person and I just hope that I will have the wisdom to discern what is good and what I should allow into my heart and head. Thank you for reading this post and I hope you guys enjoy the photos!! (there’s more below – it was so difficult to choose a bunch to post because I have a huge load of them)

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On a side note, here’s a close-up of the dope details and sewing of this top. I am so in love with it. Do go check them out! 


What I’m Wearing:

I Do Not Exist Drop Shoulder Oversized T-Shirt – ALT-F4 (here)

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