re: student life

what is this life? I am constantly stressed. If I relax, it is at best an attempt to escape because I am constantly plagued by pangs of guilt. I should be studying.

If I do not get an A, I am insufficient. I did not try my best. Being a student is my job right now and that’s my priority. If I do not try my best, put in the hours, then what have I been doing except wasting my time and my life? I am insufficient and not worthy of love– God’s love or anyone else’s. If I don’t have my priorities straight, I cannot talk to others because I am supposed to be studying and I am stressed that I cannot enjoy life with them.

God gave me a passion that has bound me. Why must I always study? Why is being a doctor the only thing I will be satisfied to do?

The library has become a prison. My eyes are weary and my back constantly aches from bending over and carrying my bag. My mind wants to be numb and my heart is heavy from the constant striving and wants to be freed. Can I be loved for who I am? Can being me be enough for this world?

I strive for perfection. Isn’t it morally irresponsible to not strive for perfection when people’s lives will be in my hands alone as a doctor? I will have 5 seconds to make a snap judgement that will determine their eterinity. I cannot be good, I cannot be great. I must be above reproach. Every conversation with a patient must be honest and encouraging; every IV must be placed in the most painless way possible; every suture stiched with careful percision.

I am human, yes. I know I cannot be perfect. I am very aware of the fact. My friends tell me I try to hard, that I need to rest. But, when I listen to them, I fall behind.

I am made to work diligently. I am not sure how hard I have to work to be diligent. Every morning I wake to my blaring alarm at 5:30AM jeering me awake, and, as I head the gym, I wonder if the desire to be perfect is a blessing or a curse. I am the first one in the library in the morning, and take the elevator up to the fifth floor, where I will be all alone. I go through the day, resisting, but then succumbing, to my fourth cup of coffee, but most times, I lose track. I stay at the library with my friends for hours after dinner, but I am so tired that I cannot think straight and I am going through empty motions. I do not fall asleep, but crash into my pillow at 11:00PM, too exhausted to cry.

It is good to be excellent at something. But perfect? If I aim for perfection, maybe someday I’ll get close. I am a slave to knowledge, and my fingertips have memorized the pages of my organic chemistry textbook. I replace easy homework for hard homework as a “break.”

I am lazy, in reality. I am unfocused when I study. My mind is cluttered by the thoughts that I am writing now. I think about God and philosphy and relationships and how I will apply the knowledge. But I think most about when I will finally get my degree. Will I still have passion and energy to apply these facts that I crammed in the recesses of my brain the day before my exam?

Oh Lord, have mercy and grant me understanding.