I can’t believe we are here. The year that I officially graduate medical school. 2019.

I remember back starting the MERP program in December 2014 in North York, Ontario thinking of 2019 and how this year will be the best year ever. I knew I had a lot of work to do and a lot of exams to finish before then, but this year was always in the back of my mind. Fast forward to present day, and I am one week away from obtaining my M.D degree. WHAT.

These past couple months have truly been amazing. I have been traveling across the U.S for residency interviews, and although exhausting, the feeling of a program wanting you for residency is such a great feeling. I have interviewed here in Atlanta, all the way to Wisconsin, New Hampshire, Alabama, etc. It has been such a neat experience learning about the various programs and how they differ according to their mission statement, location, and direction of the program. Every time I finished an interview, I would make a list of things that I really liked about the program and made a final list last week of the programs that will go on my rank list.

I officially submitted my rank list last week which is a big moment for all medical students. Now the worst part is waiting until March 11th to see IF I matched into a program and then March 15th is the email detailing WHERE I matched. Let the waiting begin! (SO hard)

Overall, this medical school experience is such a journey. I really can’t explain it. You honestly have to live it to really get an idea how taxing it is, how draining it is, and the sacrifices that us medical students have to go through. It is tough, no doubt about that, but now being on the other side and being SO close to being done…I can look back now and see that it is all worth it. I get numerous emails a week asking for my advice, my study tips, being a confidence booster, and how I managed to do well throughout my four years. But the most common theme that I get asked is: “is it doable? Will I fail?” I always try and comfort those who email me about this topic, as I try to be a voice of reason for those needing comfort. I can’t make decisions for the people who email me asking for my advice, but what I can do is let them know that it is in fact doable, but it does take an incredible amount of work.

These last five days as a medical student, I am taking it all in. The experience at Atlanta Medical Center has been amazing and I tried to gain as much knowledge as possible for my future patients these past two years. In only a few short months (okay…like five months) I will be a resident physician that is putting in orders by myself, managing my own patients, and consulting with other physicians. I seriously can’t wait!

Even though this chapter of my life is closing, the next BIG chapter is just beginning. Thank you all for being on this journey with me!

Bye for now,

-E xo

The scariest moment is always just before you start.
— Stephen King

Two. More. Electives.

Hey everyone!

I am starting a brand new elective this month-pathology! I already have a lot of down time (waiting for gross preparation in an hour or so), so I thought I would do a blog post. Fourth year is pretty awesome once your board exams are over and your interviews for residency are going well. (Thankfully!)

Life has been good. I have less than two months of medical school left. I still can’t believe it. It has been a long journey, but one that I wouldn’t change. Every time that I get tired, I think how lucky am I to be studying medicine? How fortunate am I to continue my learning at a higher level? I know there are girls around the world that are denied an education. I remember that and keep pushing harder to make a difference.

I remember exactly four years go starting the MERP program, in which I had no idea what to expect. Questioning if I made the right decision to enter medical school at the of age 27. Living in the smallest basement apartment ever in North York, ON, that Stephen and I had to duck under some piping to get to the restroom. Yup. It was close quarters and I am so happy that we stuck it out, finished MERP, moved to Dominica for two years, now finishing my two years of clinical sciences in Atlanta-I can say that it was all worth it. Not every second in medical school is happy or exciting, a lot of the work is delayed gratification, no affirmation that you are doing a good job. You have to show up each day, learn as much as you can, go home, sleep, eat, workout, and repeat. It is tough, but now being on the other side of the bridge, with entering the 2019 MATCH, I truly can’t see myself doing anything else as a career.

As I finish my schooling and entering the next phase of training: residency, I am excited, nervous, anxious, pretty much every emotion you can think of. Next July…six months from now…I will be taking care of my own patients. Putting in orders at the hospital, taking call where I make solo decisions, create treatment plans, etc. It is such a surreal feeling.

I honestly would not be here without the support of Stephen, my amazing husband, who truly has taken on this journey as it were his own. He has been with me every step of the way, has seen many tears, frustration, and doubt during some really stressful times. He has experienced the happy moments, the revelations, the confidence that I have slowly built up along the way. I am so thankful for him, more than I can ever write in a blog post.

My parents, Lynn and Leslie Cronk, who are most selfless humans that I know. They ALWAYS put others before them and ensure that all their four daughters are doing okay. They told me I could do this at times where I didn’t think I could. Always available for a phone call, a Skype session, a Duo chat, or a last minute flight home-the feeling that they support me 100% is such an incredible comfort. My three sisters: Jessie, Aleris, and Savannah, who know I am always the sister that is gone. I have missed countless birthdays, family gatherings, events, etc. but they know I am always a phone call away and that I am following this passion of mine, even if it means not being home on the farm.

My friends back home and all over the world from basketball, know that we chat every couple weeks or even months at a time, but it is like we chat every day once we do connect. I am so thankful for such incredible friendships that are constantly cheering me on from afar. They understand my sacrifices for this career choice and I seriously can’t wait to see a majority of them at Christmas!

Life is hard. Medical school is hard. But sometimes…all it takes is showing up every single day and surrounding yourself with an amazing support system.

You CAN do this. Whatever it may be that you are trying to achieve.

Bye for now,

-E xo

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.

-John Quincy Adams


Hey everyone!

It is a chilly Sunday evening in Atlanta, Georgia and I thankfully have time to write a blog post and give you some updates of my medical school adventure.

Even though I am at the end of my medical school training, it is still busy as ever. Interview season is upon us and I am getting ready to plan my next couple months ahead. As you might have read in my previous post, I explained the usual trajectory of not only interview season, but medical school as a whole. It is a long and arduous path, but once it’s done, it is such a surreal feeling.

As I reflect on the past (almost) four years, I am reminded how far I have come. From starting the MERP program in December 2014, living and studying in Dominica, moving to Miami for the IMF course, and then a majority of third and fourth year in Atlanta, I have never wanted to buy a house and stay put for the time being like I do right now.

I have said it before and I will say it again- medical school is HARD. A hard that makes you question if you made the right decision. A hard that takes you away from family events, friends’ gatherings, and many special occasions. After the first couple of times saying the word “no” with some trepidation, it is sad how effortlessly I can decline an invitation and so quickly. Knowing that there is no possible way that I would be able to make the occasion, I would rather say “no” upfront than wait until the last second to decline. Medical school has a way to test you, both mentally and physically, to see if you are cut out to make it in this wonderful world of medicine. It has caught me a couple times..okay…probably more than a couple…where I would be wishing the day away, or hoping that I would be let go early of an already long day at the hospital. Not only did that negativity slowly start to get to me, I had to stop and think- I am wishing away the time to learn. I am wishing away the time to make mistakes. I am wishing away valuable life lessons, where if I make this same mistake next year-it is someone’s life. As soon as I told myself this mantra, my whole perspective changed. I had the ability to wake up each day and make a difference in a patient’s life. Even though I was tired, or that I have worked ten days in a row, I was able to walk into the hospital and be a part of a wonderful healthcare team that is making an incredible difference in the world.

Perspective is huge. Especially in terms of how you view your life. We have the wonderful ability to wake up each morning and decide what mood we want to be in. We can choose to be happy and excited for the day, or we can choose to feed our negative thoughts. If there is one thing that I have learned along the way, it is to be thankful….and happy. (So I guess two things). Thankful to be in this position to study medicine, because there are A LOT of people who want to be here, but can’t due to finances, location, other commitments, etc. And to be happy, because I have the ability to genuinely and honestly help people when they are scared, feel defeated, hopeless, and in their most vulnerable state. This responsibility of being a physician is something that I take great pride in, and there will be no more days where I wish away the time spent learning even though I am tired. I am soaking up every moment like a sponge to one day (aka next year) make decisions on my own, and not having the security blanket of being a medical student.

In three more months I will be Dr. Emma Mackenzie Cronk, M.D.

Three. More. Months.

Bye for now,

-E xo

You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.

-Mae West

Is This Real Life?

Hey everyone!

It is Sunday night, and Domi just got a fresh new bath, Steve is working on his lessons for work tomorrow, and I finally have time to get back to about 25 emails from prospective students. 

Life has been busy. 

I have had an exam almost every week this past month, and not just little quizzes, more like really big and important exams that determine my life. I am officially finished third year of medical school, as I have passed all of my clinical clerkships at Atlanta Medical Center. I have started my fourth year at Emory University with an elective in Sports Medicine-the area of interest as a future career. I think it is safe to say that I found my calling. The early mornings, the late nights, the struggles, the stress, the missing birthdays, life events, not being able to come home to Canada, everything...has been so worth it. I honestly can't see myself doing anything else with my life, and at almost 30 years old, I am happy that I chose to go on this journey. 

Back in November of last year, I saw that I had an opportunity to apply to the AMSSM (American Medical Society for Sports Medicine) medical student scholarship. I had to write an essay about my accomplishments, my desire to pursue sports medicine and not only my volunteer work, but my extra-curriculars as well. I was applying against all of my U.S counterparts, and never in a million years did I think I would win it. This is the INAUGURAL award for AMSSM, and a Ross university student won it. I WON. I remember so many people saying that I would never be able to get an Emory elective as this institution is too prestigious, I remember everyone saying that this scholarship would be a long shot as not only is this the first year they are awarding a medical student, but an international student? No way. When I got that email that I had won, I knew that I just proved everyone wrong-yet again.

My whole life has been people telling that is it not possible, but then my stubborn self would never let them be right. I would never be able to get a scholarship to the U.S, let alone a full basketball scholarship; I will never graduate with a B.Sc in Biology with my basketball commitment, but I made Dean's List; I will never get into medical school, but will graduate and get my M.D in 8 months; I will never succeed in medical school, but I have been high honors since first semester; I will never be recognized for my hard work, but I am receiving the first ever AMSSM medical student scholarship in 2 weeks in Orlando, Florida.

NEVER listen to the people who doubt you. NEVER let them dim your light. NEVER let them dictate your life. And NEVER let them win. 

This journey has not been easy. This is the hardest that I have ever worked in my life. I have never spent so many hours with my head in a book, with my fingers typing patient notes, with my brain being constantly challenged every waking hour that I am at the hospital or clinic. No one really talks about the struggle, no one really wants to share the non-glamorous side of medical training, but I for one would not change a thing. I am going to be a physician, with hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt, while a lot of my friends and family are starting families of their own. But I know one day, I will look back and say to myself: "it was all so worth it."

With that sentiment my friends, I am off to watch a movie in bed with my husband, as I honestly have not seen him in what feels like forever, even though we live together. Hug the people around you, call your friends, and let people know how important they are to you. Life is too short. I see it all the time. Be kind-it really is that simple. 

Bye for now, 

-E xo

If you hear a voice within you say “you cannot paint,” then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced. —Vincent Van Gogh

Oh hello, Blog.

Yup. This by far has been the longest break from the blog since starting it back in December 2014. 

Life has been crazy. Medical school has been hard. Blogging has honestly been the last thing on my mind, but then other days it is on the forefront. 

I have realized that I do not need these elaborate posts, that go into minute detail of my adventures, but more of a way in saying: " Hey, I am surviving, thank you for reading, I am doing okay." When I went home in August this past year due to my grandpa's passing, there were so many people that hugged me at the funeral and said they read my blogs and love following my adventures. I truly feel like I let a lot of people down by not writing, and with 2018 coming into full effect recently, I knew I needed to write. 

I don't blog like other bloggers you see making thousands of dollars on social media, bloggers who get sponsored to say which products work for them, I blog for my family, my friends, for prospective students and present students. Thinking not many people read my blog posts, I have gotten so many emails asking me when I am going to blog again? I checked my stats online today and I have had over 600 views on my blog just in the past week. WHAT. 

So here I am, saying that I will blog post more. I promise. 

To quickly update you all, I am 10 weeks away from my fourth year of medical school. Third year has flown by, with my Internal Medicine, Surgery, OB/GYN, and Psychiatry core rotations complete, I am currently in my family medicine rotation. The amount of information that I have gathered in the past months is something that I never saw coming. I never thought I could absorb so much material and put it in practice with each rotation that comes my way. Life is truly beautiful that way. If I had listened to everyone before my medical school journey, I would be three years into a job I didn't like and instead I graduate this December 2018 with an M.D. ! Life is way too short to live it for someone else, for doing something you don't like, or being too scared to do something you are most passionate about, due to the time it takes to complete it. NEVER settle, do the work now, for success later. :) 

I am surviving people! I promise! My head gets sometimes too caught up in my notes and going through the motions of third year, going to the hospital day in and day out, but just know that I am keeping my eyes on the end goal. I CAN'T wait to become a physician. Thank you all for being on this journey with me. 

Bye for now,

-E xo

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. —Maya Angelou

Hello From the Other Side

Okay, I know what you are all thinking..."Where has this girl been?!" "She has a blog...why doesn't she write?!" "Hellllloooooo?" "Anyone there?" 

Hi everyone! I am here! A lot has happened since December, and I am eager to get talking about it so without further adieu, I am here to chat. I am alive. I am well. I am surviving!

This has been the most whirlwind of a time in my life, from getting engaged, getting married, writing Step 1 [or "taking step 1" for you Americans], and moving to Florida. It has been hectic, but some odd reason, I like this pace. I like being forced out of my comfort zone, and being expected to figure it out quickly. I got engaged at the end of November, and Stephen and I decided to get married on New Year's Eve that less than a month I had to plan a wedding, study for my USMLE Step 1 exam, get all my immigration and health documents read to move to Florida for can see why I pushed my exam date back until February and moved our scheduled departure to Florida for the March IMF intake. [So so so happy I did this]

So here I am! Married, onto year three of my medical studies, and I am [im]patiently waiting for my Step 1 score to come out this Wednesday morning. [Positive vibes welcome] Medical school off island has definitely been different, and I have heard from a lot of my classmates that it has been hard to focus or study for our massive board exam when being on island was much easier, less distractions, less temptation to go watch a movie with friends, etc, more motivation to study hard and get off that island as fast as you can. Staying on island to study for my COMP exam was the best thing that I ever did, and it allowed the foundation I needed to come home and study hard for my board exam. 

That exam was tough, guys. Extremely tough. You needed to know the ins and outs of every topic, every drug, every pathological symptom that you can imagine. But the board exams take it a bit further, they test you on not only your knowledge, but the way you critically think and integrate that information. There were times where I would look at the computer screen and just stare at the question, trying to figure out exactly where they want me to go with the information. Seven blocks, each block had 40 questions, and we had an hour per block. Seven hours of straight testing and a 45-60 minute break , so it ended up being an eight hour day. It was extremely exhausting, but making sure I had appropriate snacks, adequate sleep, and confidence was the reason I felt okay on test day. I will make sure to update you all when that score comes out!

For the people asking what my next steps are of my medical journey I will outline it below:

Currently: IMF-Internal Medicine Foundations- 6 weeks-Miramar, Florida
Core Rotations- 6 core specialties at ONE hospital for an entire year (hoping for Atlanta Medical Center-we found out this Tuesday)
Elective Rotations- I choose the area of medicine I want to study and where. These electives can be anywhere from 2, 4, or 6 weeks. This is for an entire year. 

So in short, I have two years of schooling left, all in the hospital setting and interacting with patients. I am extremely excited to be on the other side of learning, as the island was tough and studying from textbooks upon textbooks was hard to keep the motivation up. I am eager to hit the hallways and interact with as many people as possible, learn from the best, and soak it all up like a sponge. I will keep everyone posted with each core elective that I do and see which area of medicine interests me the most. 

This post was more of an update post I guess, letting you all know where I am and where I go from here. I cleaned up my website a bit, and organized it better and getting the camera ready for some YouTube videos. I will end on one final note: time has literally been flying by, and I want people reading this to know that anything is achievable in your life. Whether it be school, an occupation, a hobby, a business proposal, anything that you 100% commit yourself to can be done, it will be hard, but it can be done. I have made a point in my life to never put an expiry date on anything that I do, I was 27 when I applied for medical school, and turning 29 this year illicits only one emotion: I am proud of where I am, how I got here, and how I continue to help you all, one post at a time. 

Bye for now,
-E xo


Seeing [and Feeling] is Believing

Hello everyone! Gosh it has been such a long time since I have sat down at my computer screen and in front of my website. It has been on my mind to do a post and I am finally sitting down on this cold, snowy, Canadian winter morning to give you all a much needed update.

In the last two months, my life has changed so much. I have moved countries, I am prepping for the biggest exam of my life, got engaged, planning a wedding, got a nasty cold [and still fighting it], and getting excited for the holidays at home. It is such a crazy time and as I sit back and think about my life, all I can say is: "wow". Looking back in my last two years of schooling, exactly two years ago I attended the MERP program in North York, Ontario, then another sixteen months on the beautiful island of Dominica, and waking up in my bed today at my parents' ranch, I had to ask myself: "Did all this really happen?" "Was this all a dream?". It happened SO fast and I always make a point to tell prospective medical students that the time will pass anyway, and in med school, I honestly feel like you are in a twilight zone..time passes quickly. Never set a limit on your education, occupation, passion, or anything that is important to you, because of the time factor. NEVER let that be a deciding point against fulfilling what you truly want in life. DO IT. You will be so happy you immersed yourself wholeheartedly and jumped in with both feet. That I promise you. 

So as I sit here in Canada, and Stephen is in Toronto [I have not seen him or Domi since the flight to Toronto three weeks ago- I know, it's killing me], I have time to really sit and think about my next steps. As soon as I got to the farm, I slept for a week. I am not kidding guys, I went to bed at 9pm and probably woke up at 12pm that next day. I did that for a solid week and it made me realize how tired I was from the island. Moving out of an apartment we had for a good year and a half, then packing everything up into one backpack and one checked bag each, you can already assume we gave a lot of stuff away. We donated a huge chunk of our clothes, food, miscellaneous things to a wonderful lady named Christine, who is my lovely Shacks lady, who fed me the best veggie taco bowls of life. I miss them so much already. [Check out my youtube campus tour video where I point out where to get them on island!] Being home made me realize that life is so precious and that I needed to slow down a bit, I have been go, go, go for about two full years and that is not an exaggeration. I need to take a deep breath and decide on what my plan is for the months that I am home.

After sleeping for that week, I knew it was time to make my calendar for the end of November and for the month of December, and whoa, it was extremely tight to get everything in that I wanted to. My previous test date was Dec. 20th, a week from today. I knew that I would be exhausted from trying to cram everything in and do sixteen hour days up until exam day. I have decided to push back my test date until mid February and start the March IMF, instead of taking the exam next week and attending January IMF. IMF is a quick six week preliminary course all Ross students have to pass before entering clinicals, it is based in Miramar, Florida and transitions us from basic science to the clinical aspect of medicine. I am really happy we have a course like this instead of being thrown into the clinical world without really knowing what our responsibilities are for the next year.

So here I sit, with a brand new calendar beside me that is much more favorable and it feels like I can finally enjoy home. I have not been home for more than a couple weeks in about five years, and it feels so nice to be able to wake up and spend time with my family. I am extremely happy that I chose to push my Step 1 exam back and I had to really listen to my body and mind to come to the final decision. That is why I so cleverly titled this blog post, seeing and feeling is believing, as you have to truly listen to yourself and feel comfortable in your life choices. Try not to listen to anyone else, or take each person's advice and respect their opinion, but at the end of the day, you have to do what's best for you. If there is one thing that I want you all to take away from this post, is that you are in control of your own life. You have the ability to be your own solution in this crazy world of ours and you also have the ability to live the life you want, and that is a beautiful thing. Do what feels right for you, and be content with knowing that whatever you choose, YOU have made that final decision, and no one else. 

Off to do some Uworld questions! The learning never stops, and it shouldn't! 

Bye for now,
-E xo

Pics! My little sister, Savannah, along with being a teacher, is starting a photography business as well! Follow her on facebook and instagram: Warrior Prints Photography. Here are some pictures from our fun photo-shoot a couple days ago!  No editing has been done on these ! 


Overcoming The Odds

What we think, we become.
— Buddha

As I sit here surrounded by music, the ocean waves, the Caribbean sun, and my computer, I can only appreciate this place more so, as Stephen and I leave in exactly three weeks. 

Life has changed a lot since I last wrote, a lot of updates and exciting new beginnings. The NBME COMP is officially over [yay!], USMLE Step 1 is officially in sight, and I can already feel my anxiety shooting through the roof. These next couple months of dedicated board studying are going to be hard, but I am also excited to get this exam over with already. 

I have started a brand new YouTube channel! Woo! [

Which will help me immensely with trying to reach the amount of students that I want to reach. I have gotten numerous emails in the past couple months, and I am trying my best to get back to you all! I thought this YouTube channel would be able to touch on a lot of the common themes that I get asked about, and be able to interact with my followers! I have also attached my Step 1 study schedule, which shows my six week outline for the exam! 

The most common question that I have been asked lately is: "what's next?". That is actually a very good question. My tentative plan is Step 1 in the beginning of December, January IMF [which is a six week program that is mandatory for us Ross students before we enter clinical rotations], then probably New York for rotations or Michigan starting in Feb/March. That is where I will be for a full year doing my core rotations which are: Family, Pediatrics, Surgery, Psychiatry, Internal medicine, and Ob/Gyn. My fourth year will be filled with elective rotations, which is similar to undergrad, where we get to choose rotations that are specific to our interests. I CANNOT WAIT for fourth year, as even though it is a lot of traveling across the country, being able to do family medicine in Colorado, or PM&R [physical medicine and Rehab] in California, or a Sports Medicine elective in NY would be so fun to experience. I am definitely ready to be in that moment right now, but I know that I will appreciate it that much more after going through the struggle..ahem...Step 1 lol. 

This post is more of an update post that let's you guys know what the next steps are for me, and to let you all know that becoming a doctor IS possible. I probably have the lowest MCAT score out of my graduating class [not exaggerating], but that score does not make you a great physician. I have been at the top of my class here at Ross for the full four semesters, and I have gotten Dean's List for all of those semesters as well. It takes grit, tenacity, not giving up, and knowing what you want in life. Every. Single. Day. I was one of the few people that had no idea what I wanted to do after undergrad, yes I took the pre-requisites for med school just in case I wanted to go that route, but I also did not have a definitive plan. I was not a little girl that had a stethoscope around her neck that knew she wanted to be a physician, or in high school when people would fill out their year book info, I honestly didn't know until about three years ago. I traveled, I saw the world, I did a medical placement in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam and helped a little girl on a surgery table. I have LIVED a little bit before I have entered this profession and that is a major factor in my success. It is so hard to see what the real world is like as a doctor when we have our heads in the books all the time. Having those experiences before I entered med school was the foundation I needed before I completely immersed myself into the material, and knew that at the end of four years, and then residency, it is going to be SO worth it. 

Alright folks, I just wanted to let you all know that the island Basic Science semesters were definitely doable and to be honest, I have really enjoyed my time here. I will miss Dominica, and when we finally get on that plane at the end of November, I know that I will be sad. I have loved staying here to study for Step 1, and I know I am more prepared than ever to cross this next hurdle. If it were easy....then everyone would be doing it, and I know residency programs will see that I did not take "no" for an answer in Canada, and I sure as hell worked my butt off to get the best scores possible while here on island. The work is not over yet, not by a long shot, but if the first two years started off like they have, I am excited for the next two. 

Bye for now,
-E xo




Hey followers! I am back from the depths of studying to take time on this lovely Sunday to talk about one of the taboos of medical school-the struggle that every student feels at one point or another. 

The title of this post is all too real right now, and the more I have thought about writing a post, the more that I have tried to always put on a happy facade or trying so hard to be optimistic but I couldn't. I honestly write how I feel, and there were numerous points in the past month where I started a post so chipper and happy, when really I was feeling the opposite. So I deleted it until I felt ready to lay it all out on the line. 

So here I am, saying that things suck right now. And I'm okay with that. Fourth semester ended on a good note, I ended up getting Dean's List, which means that for all four semesters on island, I was able to maintain above a 3.5 GPA, I am extremely happy [and burnt out], about my commitments, and the RUSM Sports Medicine Club is well on their way to making an amazing mark this semester. So those are two things I am really happy about!

So why the struggle? What's going on? Well..that is an excellent question. After fourth semester ended, we had the dreaded COMP exam, which is a four hour exam that was to encompass sixteen [!] months of material, and after passing that allows us to sit for the USMLE Step 1, which is our very first board exam for us to be able to practice in the U.S. [and guessed it..there are more steps..four in total-yay]. That exam was the hardest exam that I had ever had to take in my life. I don't know if it was due to the lack of time we were able to study for it [10 days], the burnt out feeling that I was hardcore feeling at the time, me wanting to go home in that time frame, or that fact that my schedule completely changed in that time period. Those ten days completely sucked after fourth semester. They consisted of me getting up at 7am, then study from 8am-10pm, then me not being able to sleep because even though I felt exhausted, I felt like I never did enough that day. I completely changed my eating habits, I had numerous cups of coffee, ate on campus [which I NEVER do,  I always eat breakfast at home, pack a lunch, and be home for dinner], I didn't work out AT ALL [again, not like me], so those days studying for that exam, I was not myself. I hated the way that I felt, the food I was eating, the lack of sleep, lack of exercise, that feeling of never getting enough done, and you can predict that the score on that exam was not reflective of my personal best, and I am mad at myself for that. I was extremely mad. 

So here I am, on a Sunday afternoon collecting my thoughts after a practice COMP that was completed yesterday, more than a month later of my first experiences with those awfully worded vignettes, and I SCORE THE EXACT SAME. THE EXACT SAME SCORE PEOPLE. I was at a loss yesterday, I felt like crying, I felt like closing my computer and just throwing it across the room, I felt defeated, but the most scary is that I felt doubtful. Doubtful if I will ever pass Step 1, doubtful if I will ever become a physician. I have worked SO HARD at Ross to maintain a great GPA, and I got to thinking: "why?...why did I work so hard to fail now?"...and I answered my own question in that moment. "I didn't work this hard to fail...and I won't...I'd be damned if I am going to let one practice test get me down" and so I woke up today with more fuel in my body than ever before. And I am mad, but a different mad. 

I have realized one thing about social media is that people never post the bad stuff. They post the rewards, the prizes, the successes, and the "my life is perfect posts!", while we all know too well that life is not all about winning. I decided last night to post a picture to instagram [@d1todr] about my struggles yesterday, that after almost three weeks of studying, I still feel like I am in the same spot. I talked about how I am terrible with standardized exams, and how I am very nervous for the board exams that it takes to become a doctor. I never expected the amount of love that I have gotten from everyone, and it honestly makes me teary-eyed thinking about it. Here is one message I got from another Rossie:

"Aww thank you. You always brighten up my day. Seriously I have the worst nightmares looking at step 1. I'm so nervous and scared because I suck too at exams. Like super suck, no matter how much I try and study... but I know that this is the only thing I want to do. And I know that God is guiding me just like he is guiding you! I'm praying for you and you can do this! I'm looking up to you even more for now because I know that if you can do this, then so can I! Always stay strong my love. Always. You never know who you are inspiring. Xoxo" 

So amazing right?! I definitely needed to read that after feeling like I did. The fact that other students can see that other people are struggling, and feeling the same sort of feelings is so empowering, and if I can help just one person feel better, then it is all worth it to me. So never be afraid of failure, I have realized looking back on my past that I have failed a lot. [Almost too much for me to be as optimistic as I am today]. But my mental toughness is what has pushed me through when I physically thought I could not do it anymore.

So inhale the bullshit-exhale the good shit. That is my mantra right now. We all are put on this earth for a reason, and if takes a couple kicks at the can to follow your dream, well then my can may have A LOT more dents, but I am totally okay with that. Okay, I am on a ROLL with metaphors today. BAM, just made that one up ;) 

Alright folks, just wanted to let you all know that I am surviving, and that I have completely accepted the fact that these next two years before the M.D. degree will not be easy. I will give it my all, I will do more NBME practice questions and exams, I will fail multiple times, but when that day comes when it all clicks and I get my grade back from Step 1, it will only be more proof that this is where I am meant to be in life.

Failure is only going to make success taste that much sweeter. 

Bye for now,

-E xo

Pictures :)