Don’t Put All Your Eggs In The College Basket.

Brought to you by a college student.

Take it from me, college isn’t everything. I also do not subscribe to the fallacy of the laptop lifestyle because it’s way more difficult than that. I am the girl who believed in school as a source of security.  I still believe in college, just not as much.

My curiosity began when I realized that many people could not afford college. I grew up in a low-grade environment. Most kids prayed to finish high school. I was lucky enough to come from a family that could support my education. That didn’t mean it was easy, there were days I was sent home for not paying fees and sometimes I missed classes. However, I was grateful that it was an option in the first place. I remember asking the girl next door what the plan was, since college was out of the question. She said she’d start a business. In my mind, I shook my head thinking that she would probably end up like the people in my street. Boy was I wrong. I don’t know where she is today but I wish I could go back to tell her that she’d be just fine.

For me, education meant extra work. I couldn’t afford to put in average effort as my chances of getting the best education would come only from a scholarship. I had to work extra hard. I was always at the top of my class but my school was also one of the lesser quality schools. This meant that my ‘best in class’ could mean bottom of the class somewhere else. Extra work.

Growing up, I was so playful. I love playing. I couldn’t sit still in class for any reason. I had to focus and no, I don’t have ADHD. I was just excited about life. School was never stressful for me but I always wondered how the other kids who thought different would cope. Fast forward at least 17 years later, I know they should be doing fine, if they want to. School is not the only answer.

jaz-king-221365

Now, I’m in college and it’s not as easy as I thought it would be. I’m not as ‘bright’ as I used to be. I broke down at least thrice in the last two years. I feel like I’m in a race and everyone is leaving me behind. I still believe in not giving up. I like finishing whatever I start. So, no I won’t give up on college. Call me stubborn but that’s just me.

Lately I’ve been feeling out-of-place and scared of everything ahead because I’m so unsure. Most people call me crazy and unfocused for trying anything else other than just Medicine but this is me. I may finish this journey and become a doctor. I may also finish and never use my certificate. I was never forced to do this so I believe I get the choice to change it even though I’m too scared to.

I don’t know. I really don’t. I guess I’m just too chicken. I’m writing this to tell anyone out there who feels like they won’t go far because they can’t afford college that they’ll make it. IF you work hard enough and find something you’re passionate about, you’ll find a way to make money out of it. If you’re in college, whether or not you’re doing well, please do not think it will solve your problems. It’s a tough world out there. If you don’t love what you do, it will drive you crazy.

Treat college for what it is, a place to learn about yourself, not as the answer to your problems.

College is one basket. Don’t put all your EGGS in it.

 

Advertisements

‘Grown Up’ In Your Twenties

There’s a trend that seems to be very popular among this generation. It’s where ‘grown up’ is synonymous to ‘boring’. I’m not even sure how this came to be but it is what it is. Similarly, being cool is defined as going out to parties at night, drinking, smoking and generally lots of promiscuity and irresponsibility. The worst part is there is no in-between. After noticing these default settings, I became a blogger and found a lot of people especially ladies in their twenties, mostly early twenties, married. This confused me even more. Weren’t they all supposed to be drinking or something? How do they have two kids and have a better beach body than I do?

The worst part is there is no in-between. After noticing these default settings, I became a blogger and found a lot of people especially ladies in their twenties, mostly early twenties, married. This confused me even more. Weren’t they all supposed to be drinking or something? How do they have two kids and have a better beach body than I do? It was then I realized that the only news that travels fast is bad news.

First of all, being grown up when you’re young is not boring. Secondly, irresponsibility is not cool, it’s just being irresponsible.

I don’t like pointing fingers, but a lot of online magazines and ‘advice columns’ have done everything but help the situation. When you have bucket lists filled with ‘get drunk once’, have a one-night stand with a stranger’ and the like. I get that adrenaline is important for youths but if they already have a tendency to misbehave why not encourage them to do different and get the same results rather than fueling a roaring open flame. Maybe it’s just my Christian and moral side speaking but you know what I mean.

beach-beverage-caribbean-cocktail-68672

So, what does it mean to be to be ‘grown up’?

  • First, it means you’re more careful with decisions you make and you don’t just act based on your feelings. Sometimes you splurge, sometimes you do things drastically but it doesn’t mean it is the usual but it should be normal. Being careful doesn’t have to mean doing nothing at all.
  • It means caring about people a lot and not just yourself. You always find ways to be of help and other people’s feelings where due, are carefully considered. It’s not an ‘I don’t care situation’ all the time.
  • It also means being open to positive and constructive criticism. Being willing to grow out of your comfort zone at any given time to become a better person you were five minutes ago and not letting your feelings or ego get in the way of your progress.
  • It means being ready to be your own cheerleader when no-one else seems to appreciate your efforts or thank you for the wonderful things you do and you’ve accomplished.
  • It means standing up for yourself and for others when you can and should. It’s knowing your worth and not letting anyone treat you any different.
  • It means knowing and understanding the meaning of compromise and sacrifice. That nothing good comes easy and you can’t always get what you want but you know when you deserve it and then you demand it.
  • Finally, it’s having fun and meeting new people, who may become a permanent part of your life and knowing when to let go of those that won’t be.

 

Adulting, as it is popularly called, doesn’t have to be difficult. You don’t have to fail at it. You can only fail a standardized test because there is a fixed expectation. Everyone grows at different paces. Just because someone has their life together does not mean it’s easy. They probably spent a lot of time making it that way. Couching and reading a lot of ‘failing at life’ memes doesn’t make you that person. At least not when you do it  ALL the time.

Be your own competition and make it a point to be better every day.

When you look back, you’ll realize how far you’ve grown, however fast or slow it may be.

Observership diaries: Day One

I started my observership on the 27th of February. It’s an arrangement in my school where the students in MD5 are assigned to two departments in the hospital to observe their proceedings for two weeks, one department for each week. You don’t get to do much, you literally observe while your preceptors (the doctors you’re assigned to) teach and explain to you the proceedings of that hospital department. The aim being to give you an idea of the hospital life before you  begin your rotations or residency. That being said, here’s my experience on the first day.

I woke up that beautiful morning frantic, now I had slept early the night before, meaning I slept before 12a.m and I accidentally woke up by 4a.m to pee and entered into the dilemma of whether or not I should go back to sleep. I can’t remember what my final decision was but five minutes later I was snoring my way round the dream world. You see, I was sleeping even in my dream. Then, I started dreaming of how I’d overslept and got to the hospital late and my preceptor was screaming at me which jolted me out of my bed. I checked the time, It was 6:30am. I heaved a sigh of relief and then it hit me. I was still behind schedule. First I was on a morning shift, so 8 am was my resuming time. Secondly, my  friend had asked me to pick her up so we could go together as she did not know the hospital’s location and finally I had not picked out what to wear, neither had I ironed my white coat. I guess you could say I was having a very adventurous day.

I dashed into the bathroom, took what my mom calls a magical shower and brushed my teeth as fast as my hand could go in circular motion. When I got out, I took one quick glance at my wardrobe and remembered, My leopard print gown, that’ll do. A smile flashed across my face because it didn’t need ironing. God bless the genius who designed wash and wear materials. With that thought, I struggled to iron my white coat which right now, it’s worthy of mention that I neither know how to iron like a 60s lady nor does my iron know how to heat up more than a candle. Frustrated, I shoved it into a plastic bag and stuck my stethoscope in too, a bottle of water because no to hospital water. Next, hair and make-up.

Okay, if you don’t have 4c natural hair, you wont understand this. It’s a struggle. I combed the living daylight out of my hair. It was so tangled that I almost gave up and tied a scarf like I was embracing my heritage. I finally got through and just pulled it up as far as it could go into whatever the style I came up with that morning was. I’m not one for dramatic make up, besides who am I kidding,  I have three items I call make up: My foundation, loose powder and mascara, two of which were already empty and needless to say that mascara is older than the house I live in right now. I finally heard my friend knock and we dashed out of the house. Luckily there was no traffic  and we got there just in time.

Using the arrows on the wall of the hospitals, I found my way to the Medical Director’s office and found some of my classmates waiting, after standing for almost 30 mins, we were shown to our various departments so I said goodbye to my friend and ended up in the operating theatre with scrubs and a face mask on and no clue as to why the entire place smelt funny. My preceptor was a sweet woman, she showed me where to change and eased me into the subject for the day. Oh yea… I was assigned to Anesthesiology.

There were about five surgeries to be done that day. I can’t remember what the first one was because I didn’t even see the patient well. The rotating students had surrounded the table as well as the nurses and the other surgeon. The second and third surgeries however were not the easiest to watch. There was a colonostomy which was to be re-anastomosed and the second was an old lady that had developed a fistula, I think tracheosophageal, after a tracheostomy. She also had some kind of abscess that they needed to drain. Lord Jesus! I don’t get icked by things but I was not prepared for all the smells, and so many organs, the suction sounds and the way people fall asleep under anesthesia. I just looked away and stared at the machine most of the time, watching the numbers fluctuate and when I got tired, I watched the CO2 graph as it went up down and up and down and up and down. You get the point

It was an awesome experience for the first day. The only thing I wasn’t prepared for was the standing for 5 hours straight. I hadn’t eaten that morning and neither did I bring lunch. Thank God my preceptor was nice enough to offer me an apple, I would have slumped like snow-white. I got home by 2:30 pm that day, tired and drenched in the rain. I have so much more respect for surgeons, not that the other doctors aren’t doing a great job because the colonostomy surgery took more than four hours. My day 2 would be an afternoon shift. I was so grateful for my health because I feel like the people in there are strong. They fight through the pain of surgery and all the recovery in the ICU. I’m not strong enough. I hope they all get better.

IF you liked this, check back tomorrow for Day Two. Like,Share and follow me across social media. Have a beautiful day

 

Things Every Student Should Make Time For

I know the title reads “Student” but it really should read “Everyone”. Once again, these things are quite obvious but with the stress that this era brings, we might as well remind ourselves that we need to breathe every once in a while. With college comes a lot of responsibility, so it is only right to keep our priorities in check. Here they are:

1 SLEEP

Can I stress this enough? NO. Most students get less than 4 hours of sleep per day, which is unhealthy. It is not enough. Wait let me capitalize that NOT ENOUGH! Please learn to take care of your body, and sleep is extremely important. Maybe during exam periods, you could get a little sleep deprived, otherwise you should be sleeping normally. If possible, have a sleep cycle/schedule.

2 EXERCISE

Okay, maybe this one might require more than the usual amount of effort but once you can do it for 21 days without quitting, you’re good to go. A 30 minute cardio, run, even if it’s in your house. Squat for those buns, Sit ups and some push ups, your 50-year-old body will thank you later.

3 EATING ACTUAL FOOD

Students are the kings and queens of unhealthy. The usual @I don’t have time to cook”. Please make sure you have time to cook. IF you have time for YouTube videos, you have time o cook and Ramen doesn’t count. Junk, junk, junk will have you dying before you finish school. Shout-out to Medical students everywhere. Cut down on the alcohol too. I know you think you’re invincible but like my Pathology teacher says, you’ll just fall down and die one day, of HOCM (look that up), just kidding… it has nothing to do with this

4 PLANNING

You probably hate that word by now, but it is true. Don’t become that person that plans too much and can’t fit anyone or anything impromptu into their “schedule”, but planning helps especially with school work and staying on top of your health. Probably on the weekends, you could check to see how your school work is going, how much you’ve done and what’s left. Maybe if you’re feeling adventurous, you could meal prep for the week.

5 TIME WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS

In college, mostly friends, but family because many of us school far away from home and require WhatsApp calls and Skype videos to keep in touch. Don’t call only when you’ve run out of funds. As for friends, plan get-togethers, I personally hang out with my friends at lunch in school, mostly because we’re not financially buoyant enough for a lot of outings. It’s always fun to laugh, play games and tease each other. Plus it takes away from the school stress.

6 ALONE TIME

Alone time is so important. It’s very easy to get drained from everything that takes away your energy, even things you love. So it’s important to just have time to yourself to enable you relax and unwind without the outside disturbance. Sit, meditate, pray and enjoy things you like in your own company

7 SCHOOL WORK

You didn’t think I’d leave this out, did you? Well, the sole purpose of being in school is school work and probably getting out. I know I’d love to get out soon. So while making time for everything listed above, do not forget school work. Time flies when you’re having fun and you have more fun especially the guilt-free kind when you’re done with all you responsibilities. Always stay on top of school work even if it seems impossible. Your grades will be more bearable to look at.

If there’s anything I missed, please feel free to leave them in the comment section. Have a good one lovelies!

How To Stop Relying on your parents for money

Being in college right now, you’re probably in your late teens or early twenties. Feels awesome! You’ve got the world in your hand and the earth under your feet. Daddy sends you money for rent, utilities and upkeep. That’s cool, after all it is their responsibility. Reality, however, still exists and your reality is that 4 years will fly by and suddenly everyone will expect you to have it all figured out. One of those things will be your finances. So here are some ways you could cut a few strings;

1      List all the things you receive money for. Write them down, how much is allocated for what and for a specified period of time, say weekly or monthly. e.g Food $50, Rent $250 etc

2      Now, budget for all utilities.

Most times, the rent is fixed, but you could always look for a cheaper apartment or share a room if you’re comfortable with it. The calculate how much you already spend on utilities and decide how much you want to spend from now.

3.     Cut down on utilities – You could do that by reducing how often you do laundry.If you’re not alone in your apartment, wash your clothes together, increasing the load and reducing the number of cycles. You could also reduce the number of times you microwave food (it’s not exactly healthy anyway)numbers-money-calculating-calculation

4.     Start managing your money, don’t spend unnecessarily but don’t be stingy either. Junk food, excess outings should be cut down. If you want to, split the bill with your friends.

5.      Track and save whatever is left.

6.      Set goals, so adult hood doesn’t catch you by surprise. Whatever your plans for life are, begin to do things each day that brings you closer to your goal.

7       Invest the cash you have in hand. You could start a business doing something you love on the side that would return income. Or you could even donate. Depends how you plan to spend your money.

A little side tip is to eat before going shopping to prevent spending money on junk food. Also, don’t carry more money than you need, this would require you to write a list and stick to it. Cut down on impulsive spending, it’ll save you a lot.

7 Apartments You’ll find as a student

If you’ve looked for a house before, especially as a student, you’ve probably stumbled on one of these:

1    The Dream Housepexels-photo-189296.jpg – As a student, you probably need just bed space, a kitchen, a bathroom and a laundry. However, this house comes with a swimming pool, a maid, a cook, a cleaner, a masseuse and probably a driver but the rent is enough to buy you new identity. It’s a dream you can’t afford and should probably wake up now.

2.   The Cheap sham shackpexels-photo-87307 – This is the complete opposite of your dream house. It’s usually situated in the middle of nowhere and is neither near the city nor the major road. It has four bedrooms, each the size of a dog’s kennel and expects everyone to share one bathroom. The price is ridiculously cheap but the fear of death makes you run away asap.

3.    The DIfficult Choicepexels-photo-164466.jpg – These houses check off more than half of your must-have list but the one or two unchecked ones are usually important and there’s always an uncertainty as to what you can give up. For example it could be far from your school but the price is within your range. Or the rooms might be slightly smaller, or you’d have to sare a bathroom or even a room. However they’re very beautiful and difficult to give up.

4.   The Compromisepexels-photo-66404 – These are the apartments you find when you’re absolutely desperate. You’d have to give up something you feel is necessary but you endure because of your desperation. The house is usually dilapidated with a funny structure. I once found a house that it’s toilet was inside the kitchen. The rent is usually cheap but it’s not worth it. You feel like you sold your soul. Eventually, you move out as soon as you can to where you prefer.

5.   Almost There pexels-photo-127611– This apartment is, like it’s name, almost there. It has all the necessities but one. However, since the laws of demand and supply states that for certain goods, with a small change in price, causes a drastic change in demand, you decline. To you, though the price is reasonable, the compromise is not worth it. Sometimes, these houses have everything, but their price is slightly above budget.

6.  The Unreasonable Onepexels-photo-172194.jpg – The landlord of this house usually sounds like he’s high on something. The house is as  basic as basic comes. No extras or upgrades, just the usual space. However, he expects you to pay your tuition and your first child. After seeing the house, you might be excited but on hearing the price you just begin to see faults that may not even be there just to get out and once you get home, you and your friends talk about the guy for the next three years. The house is always a good laugh. Eventually, he reduces the price because the house stays vacant for a really long time.

7   The Optimum pexels-photo-77931– This is the best choice given the time and the budget. It ticks off everything on your list and at first you think the price would be high but to your surprise, the rent is just right. You smile, thank the landlord and you’re just all too excited to move in. Many students don’t find this optimum but if you did, congrats to you.

 

7 Tips on Dealing With Stress

I’m writing this post way early into the year and semester so when the stress ensues, there’ll be a quick fix for it. It’s a double bonus as these tips also work for preventing stress. Without further ado, here you go:

1.  Eat Wellpexels-photo-218844.jpg – The rule is quite simple . Eat breakfast like a king, Lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper. This way you not only eat well, but eat healthy. Your body is a temple, treat it as such.  When you get stressed, you often forget to eat, as your brain tends to deal with any overwhelming problem first to enable you relax.

2.  Limit Your Stimulant Intakelove-beans-caffeine-coffee – Shout out to all the coffee addicts out there. I don’t know how you get past that strong smell. From coffee to even alcohol, which tends to be the go to when stressed, you should avoid them as much as possible. Coffee blocks the adenosine receptors in your body and tricks your body into thinking you’re not tired. However, when it wears off, you crash. It’s basically a mini drug. Water does your body more good than they will. Stressed or not,taking stimulants is not a habit to be messed with.

3.   Sleeppexels-photo-271897.jpg – For at least five hours. Please, I’m pleading with you. No matter how hard you work, if you’re dead, you can’t gain from it. Okay, that was scary but you get the point. Please sleep well. It’s really important. The world can stand still for five hours.

4.   Exercisepexels-photo-176782 – No. Don’t say you don’t have time. 30 minutes is not too much to ask. You don’t have to get abs or rippling muscles. Just enough to get your heart pumping. It could also be an outlet for anger like boxing plus it releases endorphins that make you happy. At first, you might feel like you’re dying but when you see progress, for example 10s plank to 20s plank, you’ll feel accomplished. Also, if it’s emotional stress, it could be your revenge body.

5.Declutterpexels-photo-218413 – Clear up your schedule. You’re probably doing more than you should at a time. Give yourself a break. List all the things you should be doing (feel like you should be doing). Try to break it down into smaller portions and handle one at a time. You’ll get more done in a shorter time. If, however, you feel like you should be doing all of the things in your list, then, see how much you’re actually doing to fix it. You’re probably spending most of your time worrying about things you can’t fix. If you can’t help it, leave it alone.

6.   Take time offpexels-photo-134630 – Sometimes abandoning everything and forcing things to an abrupt halt is the best decision. Even a computer has a “force stop” option. Truth is, in your absence, life goes on and that thing that seems like it would not be done without you, will eventually get done. If you’re tired and stressed out and you can’t take it anymore, drop it, even if it’s just for a short while. Rest. If you’re hitting a wall while trying to fix things, you’ve probably overworked yourself. That’s your body’s defense system to prevent overload. Just let things be, later, you can always come back.

7. Do something you love pexels-photo-67818– Which you probably haven’t had time for recently. Walk your dog, go to the beach, eat ice-cream. Or even something a little childish, run around in the rain, sit outside at night and talk with a close friend. Talk to someone. Just do something that genuinely makes you happy. Once you’re smiling again, you’ll be in better shape to finish what you started.

I hope these tips were useful. Let me know in the comments. Happy stress relief!

Disclaimer: All tips written here are suggestions based on my opinion. Stress could be a sign of serious medical attention. Please seek professional advice.