11:43 PM Pia San Felipe 0 Comments

It's been a month since I graduated from college, 4 weeks since I received my diploma. The high that I felt as I stood on the stage with my parents has already worn off. I am now hit with the realization that, this is it. I am now in that phase of my life where everyone never fails to ask me this one question, "are you working already?" to which I always have this answer ready, "I'm going to study again. For medicine," and then comes another stream of questions like where I'm going to study and when I'm going to start. To set things straight, I am not going to go to med school straight away. I'm still going to take up extra units at another university and at the college I graduated from, as well as take the NMAT to get the score I need to get in my dream med school. It seems like I have it all figured out but I don't. I consider this as my gap year, and I feel lost.

I wish there was a handbook for aspiring doctors about what they should and should not do, about the steps they should take and what the next move should be. But there isn't and I have never felt so tiny because I feel so clueless. Sure, it seems to my family and friends that I totally know what I'm doing with my life but half of the time, I really don't. I'm shaking inside, wavering. I haven't inquired yet about the extra units and what they would require of me for me to be able to take it, and I still don't know what strategy I should use to get my goal NMAT score. It's all still blurry. Last night I saw a picture of New Zealand and thought that it looked like a great place to live in. So I looked up medical schools in the area and saw that there were only two. I researched about the University of Auckland and found that they have a pretty strong medical curriculum. I suddenly found myself looking for how to apply to the university and to my surprise, I can actually apply online. So I did. I still did even though I knew that the chances of me getting in is one in a million; without my parents knowing what I just did; and without having any idea what I was trying to get myself into. I did because I realized then that I wanted to get away.

I wanted to get away not because I am miserable here. No, my life right now is pretty great -- there's nothing about it that I would change or would like to run from. I'm recently hit with a serious case of wanderlust, I kept looking up plane tickets and accommodations and figuring out travel dates. But just like with graduating, the high I get after traveling eventually wears off. So I thought maybe what I really wanted was to live on my own, somewhere far, somewhere I've never been before. I wanted to study abroad. Not because it seems glamorous or that it would make me appear sophisticated, I wanted to do it because I want to experience how to really be an adult. I want to immerse myself in a different culture, get to socialize with different people, maybe change my study habits, and I don't know. All I know now is that I want to go.

I may not get accepted but I did try. Once in my life, I was spontaneous about my future and that I wanted it to be different. I did. I still don't know if I really want to get in or not, but I [somehow] hope I do.