Every morning since school ended has consisted of me waking up at 7 am, crossing off yesterday’s date on my hanging "cats doing yoga" calendar, and settling down to study for the next five hours at the local coffee shop. While many of my friends celebrate the end of finals and the school year with trips and exciting, new summer jobs, I feel as though I have been wasting my time away, trapped in my notes and flashcards. With my MCAT testing date quickly approaching at the end of this month, it has been difficult to focus on studying as so much is constantly changing around me. Nonetheless, this morning when I went to cross off yet another date in my calendar, I haphazardly lifted this month’s page and saw what I had written in bold, bright letters months before: Leave for Quito! Feeling the same excitement I had felt when I had written the note to myself, I couldn’t help but reflect on my current situation. My upcoming trip to Quito is not only a welcome break from the intense studying I have been enduring but also a reminder of why I am working so hard. All of the early mornings and missed lunch dates, as well as the two months I will spend away from my friends and family are all worth it. Though incredibly different experiences, my MCAT studying and trip abroad are both indispensable undertakings necessary in the journey to be the physician that I aspire to be.
To alleviate the stress of continuous studying and to make the most of the last two weeks before my departure, I've resolved to appreciate all the aspects of my life that allow working so hard even a possibility. As a result, I've begun to enjoy the little things; be it walking the dogs, making my family dinner, or reading on the porch. I've attached some of my favorite photos of my day to life that inspire an overwhelming appreciation for and contentedness in the natural spaces and people that surround me.