One Test To Rule Them All

It’s been a long time–about 2 months since my last blog post. There were so many times that I wanted to write, to inspire and encourage myself and others during my Step 1 preparation, but fatigue and shifted priorities got the best of me. I started a post in April entitled: “One Test to Rule Them All” what I wrote is below:

The title of this blog post of course refers to Step 1 and also is an homage to the amazing video made by one of my peers at Case Western called, The Lord of the USMLE. It’s hilarious and is a very accurate representation of how this test makes every medical student feel. LOTR fans and/or medical people alike will love it.

I just started studying for Step 1 a few days ago, and things are getting real. Hours upon hours in the library. Timing out breaks to eat and pee and exercise make me feel like I’m my own prison warden in Shawshank. The preparation for this exam seems to take over my life. Be in charge. Rule me.

As someone who really hates standardized test taking, I know that everyday, I will have to remind myself that…

It’s odd for me to return to the fragmented post and remember what I was thinking and feeling at the time. In the beginning of the study block, I strove to exercise, take breaks and not be ruled by that pesky exam, but as time wore on, it truly started to be in charge. Less working out, more studying through lunch, later bedtimes, less cooking of my own meals…the works.

Now, the test is behind me, God-willing, and upon reflection,  perhaps the best decision I made was going home towards the end of the study block. Home for me, reminds you of who you are and what is important. Forced study breaks aka trips to Bamboo Spoon Frozen Yogurt with my mom and sisters, playing with my nephews, and brief indulgences of Audrey Hepburn films helped me remember that there is more to life beyond this test.

Now, I am in a period of waiting on the score in my new home of Boston, Massachusetts. My research year has begun, and I am now trying to find a place here. Starting over…again!

What are my goals for this year?

  1. To be refreshed and to draw closer to God. I’ve been preparing for medical school since high school, and in a way, it feels like jumping on a train that just won’t stop. Taking the right AP classes, then being a premed, summer research, MCAT, applying, interviews, choosing schools, year 1, year 2, STEP 1…AHH! What I have been given in this research year is truly something precious. It is an opportunity to get off the train for a bit and be refreshed. It is an opportunity to PAUSE. And believe me, this was not a passive choice. It was an active one. Stopping can be hard.
  2. To learn as much as I can. About induced pluripotent cells, hematology, science, life. I just want to soak it all in but be happy about it. I keep telling people that my healthiest relationship with learning (besides kindergarden) has been medical school. No grades, just the desire to learn as much as possible. Step 1…kind of killed that in a way, but here is to getting my groove back!
  3.  “To get a man and an Instagram.” Heba, I almost made this the title of blog post, but just couldn’t do it! In all seriousness, I just want to have fun and open my heart to new experiences and opportunities. The temptation, being here for a year (minimum…could be 2) is to not form deep relationships of any kind. But, why do that when there is so much life to be experienced? We need to just live and love. Deeply. Apparently, Instagram is a thing now? Everyone is on it? I am very behind here. That will be fixed this year.

Here are some pictures from my recent move to Boston! Stay tuned as I document my year of scientific adventure in my new home!

My new room! Hallelujah I do not sleep on a twin bed anymore! #NeverAgain
What a charming fake fire place! 🙂 
Boston on the Fourth of July 
Beautiful sun set. 
Best fireworks I thinK I’ve ever seen!
Becoming Official! 



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