Second Year

It’s been a week since the new academic year started! I didn’t want to talk about this initially because I was still waiting for my result for my first year exams. I hadn’t been worried about my result throughout the duration of the exams and the breaks, but I always find myself anxious a week before exams (where I feel as though I did not study enough to pass) and the week of the result (where I suddenly remember all the stupid things I did throughout the year and on the exam that could disqualify me from passing).

This entire week was spent in a sort of frozen agony- people were pranking their friends with “The result is out!” and other heart-attack inducing phrases of the like. It didn’t help that we had the new first years at the college too- we were so used to being first years that it was hard to adjust being called second years.

I go to college with two of my classmates and friends so we’re all usually in one boat on several situations. For this Friday, one of my friends was debating on going home herself, leaving only two travelling companions, including myself, so it wasn’t a surprise that, when it was announced that the result would be out that day, we both immediately conspired to wait in campus until we knew we had passed.

The lobby was absolutely full with the constant ruckus of conversations and discussions. People flitted from group to group to talk about the result, whether they intended to induce panic or to calm their fellows. I, for one, did my best to calm my friend by talking about an interesting nursery rhyme type of story that my mother had shared with my siblings and I- it was about a bird who had it’s mate taken by an evil Raja and so set out to rescue her, gathering many companions on the way who would travel in the bird’s ear.

I had run out of other stories to tell so I decided to tell her about how my brother was a simulated patient for an examination that took place at the conference my father arranged. Basically, he had to act as a patient while all the doctors took turns to role play and examine him. Examination etiquette require you to ask for the patient’s name and this was where his mischief would begin. He would name himself the oddest of names that no one would be able to pronounce, let alone remember. The cause of his make-believe injury would change from a knife fight to a hippogriff slash. It was all very entertaining, but I can’t imagine how the doctors examining him must have felt.

I had now effectively run out of anything that would keep my friend’s mind away from impending doom. Fortunately, I was saved by one of the many people who were literally floating around the place, inserting their opinions on whatever conversation they chanced upon. Our new companion was a kind soul who tried to smooth out worry lines by explaining the math of the situation. It was told that there were 10 people who failed, so she explained how these people would obviously be of the lower percentile group and that neither of us were below 20, effectively reducing our chance of being one of the class failures. Her conclusion was appealing and certainly put my anxiety to rest for the time being. I can’t exactly say the same for everyone else.

We’d been sitting for at least an hour, despite rumors saying only half would be needed. The thing about worrying and anxiety is that once you reach your limit, it just falls apart and you start getting either very angry or just really tired. I was really tired and we decided to just forget about and go home- the result wouldn’t change, whether we were there or not. Nevertheless, the whole way home, my friend was busy texting the people who were still on campus- many had left earlier that day and returned only for the result. Her phone rings suddenly and she picks it up, listening intently before exclaiming “I’ve passed!”

“Check mine!” I said eagerly to her, wanting to get this wait over and done with.

Within two minutes, I got the crude picture of the verdict: QUALIFIED. By how much? I didn’t care- not for now anyway. Passing was enough for me and I found this ridiculous grin on my face as I sauntered home and announced that I was now truly a second year med student


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