Then we started classes.
I go to class everyday with 175 extremely bright, professional and motivated classmates. Each professor, tutor, academic success person, community liason, and clinical instructor works to help us learn as much and as well as possible. Within about three weeks, we covered what I learned in two years of undergrad science courses.
I am no longer learning alone for myself. I no longer sit at home at a table in front of a book. I am learning for many and with many. I am constantly challenged to increase my knowledge so I contribute to my study group or practice group's performance. I practice my clinical exam interview questions not for the test in December but because my team mates are very passionate about it and often invite me to practice with them. I must read ahead of lecture so that my classmate can discuss it with me directly after class.
Furthermore, the professors have daily office hours, multiple tutors available and academic success professionals. The system is built for hard work and for success. I am not working against the grain of a system weeding me out but with a team that helps me to improve in every way.
When in need of diversion, we are constantly bombarded by extra meetings, specialty interest groups, advocacy organizations and clinical opportunities. There is even a medical school band (pretty good too!) called the Arrhythmias.
At the end of high school band camp, I had practiced with many small groups and mastered new choreographed moves. I had sweat through all my packed clothes and had woken up several times into a bolt upright salute "Yes, Mr. Hogeboom, sir!" I had also mastered a new octave (trumpet) and forged real friendships with band mates. After doing my laundry, I found myself waiting for the next year's band camp. Although I don't think I will long to do medical school again, I can only describe it as intensely fun. Fun in the fact that I am truly challenged and motivated and stretched and learning. Fun in the fact that I have great team mates that challenge me to increase my professionalism and dedication. Fun in the fact that I am exposed to so many new and exciting opportunities. Even if some days, I am in classes and activities for 10 hours before I can begin to study, as if I am playing trumpet in the rain in a soggy field; there's nothing I'd rather be doing.