I know you missed me, seeing as I posted last in July I believe! It’s great to be back writing, despite the loads of writing I did for my primary and secondary med school applications. I will spare you all the details, seeing as it was mostly
- Write an essay
- Pay for the essay
- Write another essay
- Pay for that essay
- Repeat steps 1-4 at least 15 times
I have a better list now, one that will allow me to do the fun activities I have always wanted to do but never got around to due to schools and extracurriculars. This list is called a “To Do List for When Things Settle Down” (TDLWTSD). I would recommend everyone to have a TDLWTSD, to keep your spirits and motivation up during the hardest times of the semester, especially during exams and for pre-meds, the interviews, as well as that time when you’re waiting for a response from any of the schools. Most importantly, a TDLWTSD will allow you to remember what you said you would do once the exams are over, or once Thanksgiving or Winter Break hits. If you were like me, during those times, you just wanted to sleep and forgot many of the things you promised yourself you would get around to doing. This disappointed me when I was in my room studying at 3 AM thinking “Wow, I just let that opportunity slip by and now I want to do those activities I suddenly remember”. Thus, the TDLWTSD was born.
Keep in mind that this is different from a traditional bucket list, which simply describes the activities you want to do before you die. But why does everything have to focus on before you die? Just focus on the short run for now. We’re all young. The TDLWTSD will get smaller and smaller as we get older, but will still allow us to push forward, even if there is only one thing on the list. A TDLWTSD should be constantly updated, rather than a bucket list, which one simply makes and then forgets about. I may still make a bucket list eventually, but starting out as a college senior, I believe it’s a bit early, so here is my first TDLWTSD, which I probably should have started during my hectic organic chemistry classes of my sophomore year. Hopefully this should inspire some of you to begin thinking about the (fun) things you want to do in between the times you are working hard during winter or summer break. Because I don’t want to bore you guys with unnecessary details (congrats on even getting this far in my post), I will only list 4 of the things I really want to do on my TDLWTSD.
1. Catch up on Game of Thrones
This one I am sure relates with many. I am only on Season 5, and I try to close my ears off to any spoilers, but unfortunately, I do know of some unexpected deaths that occur later on, which will ruin the experience when I am watching it for the first time. How I wish my ears had a mute button…
2. Go on a road trip with friends
Having missed my Costa Rica trip with my closest friends this past summer because of my applications, I have sought vengeance against this goal, as it has become personal. There is nothing like the horrible feeling that you missed out on a fun experience that your friends had. Ever since, I have clung onto the desire to go on a fun trip out of the country the next time break rolled around. If I let the stresses of my previous semester tire me out to the point where I would miss the opportunity to embark on such an incredible journey, I would not forgive myself. It does not even have to be a road trip, it just has to be somewhere else other than New Jersey. The best part about being busy is that when things settle down, I will make any effort to have fun in whatever I experience, with no expectations or inhibitions.
3. Read Sherlock Holmes books
As a huge fan of mysteries, I had heard so much about the Netflix series about London’s greatest detective (which I should also add on this list) and am interested in the original character’s adventures created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and how the cultural and historical roots of Victorian-era England contributed to the establishment of such a profound and inquisitive fellow. Taking me back to that time period will be an interesting experience to see how crimes were solved and what logical deductions Sir Doyle had in mind for Mr. Holmes beneath that detached and stoic exterior, and how this never ceases to amaze his partner in crime, Dr. John Watson. The best way to go about it: crack open A Study in Scarlet, which marks the debut of the great detective that remains popular worldwide to this very day. Here is a fun fact: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was also a doctor before he became a writer. I’m starting to get ideas here.
4. Play games on Steam
Haha! Pre-meds who play video games! Such babies! Shouldn’t you be studying!?
I had long thought I outgrew video games, which I stopped playing regularly after middle school. Everyone plays Fortnite, Heartstone, PokemonGo, the ones you find on your phone or console, but for me, the gaming journey was a bit different. This past summer, I was curious to know of the online platformer, Steam, that would allow me to download many PC games, including the ones I always wanted to play back when I was a regular gamer. After I finished my primary med school application, I downloaded the platform, which had no subscription fee, and bought the first game I had on my mind: Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords.
I originally had this game for XBox, but the game kept freezing at one point and so I never got around to finishing it. But that was 6 years ago, so I’m ready to start the game over and hopefully get past it this time. This RPG is so relaxing, where you get to play a Jedi (or Sith) and go around completing fun mini-quests while simultaneously building up your skill set to defeat the Dark Lords of the Sith, or the Jedi. It’s similar to other games like Fable and Witcher. With many plot twists, unexpected allies, and unforeseen betrayals, this game I am saving for the end of the semester, with all my willpower, because once I start, I know I won’t be able to stop. For those of you wondering how I could possibly get hooked onto a Star Wars game, if you’re not a fan, think about what you really like, and how it is difficult to get off once you get hooked on. By the power unleashed in my four years here at Rutgers, I have resurrected my interest in video games! After I knock this one down, more will follow. Don’t worry, this will die down again, possibly permanently, once I enter med school…
The best part about platformer games is that the game won’t stop working if the CD has a scratch on it, or if I accidentally press the home button on my computer. For Steam games to stop, the internet has to stop.
That is all for my TDLWTSD, and stay tuned for more as the semester progresses. Life is short, and many things you wish you did will go past you if you don’t actively take the opportunity. So get on and make that list. Start off small, of course. The last thing you want is another checklist you can just cross off once you get one thing done and move onto the next like you would do with academics, exams, or applications.