Last May? 2016, I graduated from college with a Bachelor’s Science in Biology. I’d like to thank my mother, fam, friends, thesis partner, professors and the UP Manila community at large. And, of course, the Filipino people.
I didn’t post about it so much because it wasn’t the end-all be-all of my life. Graduating from college, while an achievement in itself that my mother and I should definitely be proud of, is only a step towards the greater dream of becoming a doctor.
So here’s a 1-minute Snapchat video.
We stayed in Microtel for my college graduation in UP Diliman, and in Shangri-la for the university graduation in PICC.
I don’t actually have a lot of photos of the event; I also haven’t bothered to scan any of the official documentation.
Thank you to my Lola Doppie and to other members of the extended fam for celebrating with us.
When we get to internal organs next year, I’ll try my hand at inking even the outlines and muscles.
And in other news:
I went on a 1200 calories per day diet last week, with the help of the planned meal deliveries from Gourmet Kusina. I’ll try to blog about the merits and demerits of having meals planned out for you… some day.
My sister’s out watching a premier showing of Doctor Strange right now. I, on the other hand, am preparing for my customary post-whole-day-dissection-shower-back-pain nap.
You know, it’s strange to realize that my life literally has nothing going for it, except for some random chats with still irrelevant people, and friendships, and family, and love. These relationships might all die like my cactus.
(I’m seriously annoyed because when I was drafting this life update in my head, I had more things to say).
Finding the time to write is difficult when life itself outpaces the speed of my thoughts. But this last week’s dermatology submodule gave us all in YL5 some much needed respite, so I think I can try my hands at updating this blog.
Also, we’ll be properly dissecting our cadavers tomorrow, and that means I’ll soon be drowning in MSK and gross anatomy. In fact, I should be studying Moore or Netter right now. I miss the days when I could frequently produce poems and essays and travel posts (–speaking of, I have yet to make any progress in my Australia and Thailand journals).
But here is an update anyway. It’s been in the burner long enough.
Five Things ASMPH Made Me Realize (So Far)
After three modules and some change –Principles and Perspectives, Cell, Hematology and Immunology, and the Integumentary portion of MSK Integ– I feel like I’ve lived and learned a little more (despite my best attempts at ghosting*). And here are the things I learned. In a certain fashion.
#1. Remember your roots.
Firstly, the news of a lifetime. After a shameful X number of years, I finally showed up to a high school reunion/hang out event.
It’s strange to think that these were the people who were with me for days on end, during two of the most formative years of my life. We used to eat, breathe, think and relax together (though we have a bad track record with the relaxation part). And now we’re living different lives, going onto drastically different paths.
But what I did realize was how important my loved ones are. When I first entered med school, people would say how essential having a support system is. It really is true. My friends were a breath of fresh air amidst the confusion of adjusting to med school. They were comfortable, and loving, and warm. They knew me before, and they know me now. And I’m so thankful for their existence.
The same goes with family. Every weekend I go home — even if it’s not always 100% perfect in Paranaque– is a weekend I get to spend comfortably and without burdens. They may not understand med school, but they (mostly) understand me. And that can be enough.
#2. There’s always tomorrow.
At every stage of your life, you think: this is it. Nothing could ever be more fucked up than this. I’ve experienced varying forms of FUBAR throughout high school, only to realize in college how petty those concerns were. And now, in med school, I’m reevaluating every concern I’ve ever had in tertiary education.
envy of the youth: hs students beside me in the coffeeshop are complaining about having to study greek myths
Because now, med school –at least, ASMPH– demands us to prepare for an exam every 1.5 weeks. That’s 2 out of 4 weekends consumed by studying, without the simple pleasure of saying sa Monday ko na lang iisipin. You can’t procrastinate. Or if you do, it’s not going to lead to anything good**.
I had to level up studying***. While I can’t say I’m the most diligent student, I’m definitely more diligent than I’ve ever been. I have to constantly seek inspiration and motivation.
Time flies. It’s only been a week, but I know if I’m not too careful, I’ll wake up to find that it’s already been five years.
I’ll make this update quick. In theory I should study for our first ever exam next Friday, and I also have a writing job lined up for tonight (freelance earning FTW!).
Still proving to be the literal best group!
Before the start of classes, we had a last-minute and hope-fuelled outing around Ortigas. Only half of us came, but it was still cool. We got to watch Suicide Squad (entertaining movie, by the way), eat good Japanese food at SumoSam, and hang out in Moonshine.
I collected a lot of good memories that night. I’m glad I was the only one really sober, haha!
There were a few other hangouts here and there: a before-everything-goes-to-hell /Mythical 7/ night and a spontaneous its-raining-hell night, both at M’s place. (THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR HARBORING US!)
But the highlight of this life: BEST G12OUP in our white uniforms!
(Are we not gorgeous? Brilliant? Literally shining bright?)
I’m screaming, the photos by X look so good!!!
(I also have a bunch of stickers made and in progress because Telegram is God’s gift to the millenial messenging community.)
I’m really, really having a hard time with the 8AM to 5PM sched. I can wake up early just fine (thanks to having a roommate plus the fact that it’s only the first week of school), but sometime around 10AM and around 3PM I get super sleepy.
I’ve resolved to bring apple slices to wake up. The internet says it works, so I’m pretty much gonna do it.
But in terms of what we’re studying, we’ve got our first module entitled Principles and Perspectives. It’s basically laying down the foundations for a biopsychosocial approach to healthcare, i.e. culture, society, psychology and many other factors aside from the biomedical matter when it comes to health.
It has been fun. It’s also always a struggle of deciding where to sit.
The day I sat in the back was the day I slept for two hours total. Life is so hard.
And anyway, I’ve been enjoying the whole process of fixing my school supplies, organizing my study materials, and so on –basically everything except the study part.
I sent this to E(/G? lol) ages ago when I was still fixing up my side of the condo. But the moodboard/whiteboard is cuter now!! And the desk will definitely be more messed up in the future. Continue reading “ASMPH MD/MBA: Week 1”→
The long journey’s at its formal start — five years of MD/MBA (what’s that?why is it relevant?), a couple of years residency, and a million or two moments of crying. I’m so excited. I’m also afraid I’ll forget things (half of my college experience now seems like a haze in my memory), so here’s a new blog series post thing.
Road to Medicine
If you asked me when I decided to go into medicine, I don’t think I’d be able to give you a clear answer. My only actual Career Moment as a child was deciding I’d be a lawyer (Harvard Law, of course), thanks to the inspirational queen that is Elle Woods.
But sometime in the last ten years I just woke up knowing that I’ll work to become a doctor. By third year high school, there was no question.
Sometimes I try to justify this choice by thinking of my dad, who died of cancer 1.5 decades ago. I’d think of the times I play-acted at nursing him back to health. I’d think of revolutionizing the world with medical research.
A photo posted by Jari Monteagudo (@jarimonty) on Nov 26, 2015 at 6:25am PST
In any case, I’d keep getting inspired throughout the years, and I’d keep committing. I’ve immersed with communities in Pampanga, Manila, and more recently in Rizal.
And I realize in debate and discussions, again and again, that any right we enjoy in life are premised first on the right to health, and that there’s no sense fighting for feminism or progressive nationalism or equity in general when only a meager percent of the world can choose to enjoy it.
Education, transportation and right to liberty. But health first.
By the time I was inexorably moving towards medicine as a career, I already fixated on the idea of helping people access quality services. The most beautiful thing in the world is the sight of people who could choose to live their lives well. That’s a kind of art I think more people should appreciate.
Making the Right Choice
I’ve never had a dream school, but if I had one, Ateneo would come pretty close.
Ateneo was the school of my dad, brother, sister and a handful of other relatives. The Ateneo Way –whatever that is– was sold to me heavily that summer of 2011 (?), during the Ateneo Junior Summer Seminar.
I wouldn’t trade what I experienced in UP Manila for the world, but I always wondered “What If?”. Ateneo, after all, was my only other choice for college.
Come med school, I guess I won’t have to wonder. In a way. (Though now I’d keep wondering, what if I got into UPCM instead?).