So, it's December 3rd. What does that mean? Exchange ranks! Results: I'M GOING TO FIIINLAAAND next summer. And how does that make all of you right?
Well, if I'm reeeeeaaaaally good and hardworking and lucky and an excellent organiser, I get 3 months summer vacation every year. And yes, so far, I've always managed. Last June, I spent 12 hours a day, every day, for 23 days, studying pathology. I covered on average 120 pages of text per day. By covered, I mean read, taken detailed notes and memorised them. And memorised them well, because I knew revision time was an illusion. And they were big pages with tiny print. And you know why I did it? So I could get my well deserved vacation, of course. There's no way I'm studying for September exams, that'd spoil my entire summer.
So, now we've established that I actually appreciate summer vacation to the point where I got myself a borderline-nervous-breakdown just to get that vacation. Wanna know what I'll be doing next summer?
Well, there's a month of neurology rotation. Completely voluntary, has no effect on my grade, nobody will care whether I was there or not. Eight hours a day, of course. On the other hand, there's that internal medicine rotation where all the same conditions apply. Then there's the fact that I have to get a job for the summer. I can't work during school but I need to get some extra money and summers are perfect for it. So, a summer job at least for three weeks. Which means I'll work my butt of again to get three months vacation, only to spend it doing all of the above. By my calculations, this leaves me with exactly one week (or maybe not) of well-deserved rest. Oh wait.... nope... I missed scout camp last year, because I actually went on vacation, and there's no way I'm missing it again. So, two weeks camp, 5 days setting up camp, 2 days taking it apart. Makes for three weeks. Uhmmm.... which means I'm at least two weeks short now. Well, I guess I'll just have to work while on rotation, I'm sure I can get on afternoon shift in either of them.
"crowd complains And how are we right? And where does Suomi fit in?"
Well, you're right about that general perception of a med student who has no life. All of the above suggests it, but here's the ultimate proof.
I applied for that exchange of my own free, if somewhat idiotic, will. I worked for a month last summer to improve my chances of getting it. I really really want it. I'm extatic about getting it. But the whole thing means I'll spend a month in, hopefully, Helsinki, doing God knows what, but hopefully working my butt off in transplant surgery, while at the same time studying for exams back home in September, because there's absolutely no possibility of me passing all my exams in June AND doing all that during the summer. Impossible. Logistics sucks.
So, here's how normal people (like my scout friends) will spend their summer: study and pass some exams in June, go to camp in July, some vacation and some work in August and a couple more exams in September.
Here's me, the over-enthusiastic med-student: study really hard while on a mandatory psychiatry rotation and pass two exams the week after it ends in May; a month of Finland exchange and serious infectious disease studying in June (and I'm holding my fingers crossed for the busiest exchange possible, I want to see and do everything I can); infectious disease exam and a three week scout camp in July (hey, an easy month); a month of neuro rotation and neuro studying in August and finally, a month of internal medicine rotation, neuro exam and at least three weeks of work in September.
Yes, I'm actually really looking forward to all of this. And yes, I still appreciate a good three-month summer vacation and would do anything to get it. Except give up any of the above.