When I wrote the last of my finals 14 days ago, all I could think about was how relieved I was to finally be done and how happy I was to be leaving on my vacation the next day. But now finals are in my rearview mirror and I’ve been home holidays for a week.
A whole week to sit and worry about what’s to come…
Today I start the next stage of my education…actually putting all of my “knowledge” into practice. The only problem is, I don’t feel like I’ve retained any of that knowledge.
Like, at all.
I mean, I managed to get through classes with mostly A’s (damn you, CT), but I feel like I bluffed my way through those first two semesters. Like I somehow tricked the instructors with my charm, and “aw-shucks” self-deprecation and they let me slide by even though I don’t know what the fuck I am doing.
But now there’s nowhere to hide.
I’m going to be tossed into a hospital with real patients. Often in emergency situations. Situations where I can’t just stare at a body part for an indeterminate amount of time, begging my brain to please recall what, exactly, I need to do. Situations where screwing up the first time means exposing the patient to more radiation. Situations where my every move is being judged and graded because, at this point, I’m supposed to know what I’m doing.
And I really don’t.
And yet instead of spending the last week going over my notes and reviewing my positioning, I’ve been binge watching Pretty Little Liars and fretting as each day brought me closer to today.
What is wrong with me?!?!
And just in case my conscious mind wasn’t stressing quite enough, my unconscious mind has been helping out every single night with terrible dreams. Dreams about always making the wrong decision, not fitting in, and a lot hiding in public bathrooms. Oh, and one very memorable dream about going for lunch, discovering that I was naked from the waist up, and the subsequent very-embarrassing 10 block walk home.
That means something, right?
I keep telling myself that I was nervous back in January when we had our quick 2 week stint in the field, and that I’ll calm down and start to feel more comfortable and confident after a few days like I did then. Except this time, to make it even more nerve-wracking, we change departments every week. So just as I start to get my bearings…BAM! New department with new challenges that I am completely unprepared for.
And I just remembered…I don’t like people! People generally annoy me!
What am I doing going into a field where I have to deal with people every single day?!
Dirty, smelly people.
Rude, uncooperative people.
People crying and writhing in pain.
People that I am expected to help.
People that I am terrified I won’t be able to help.
I feel so unprepared.
For better or worse, today is the first day of the next 16 months.