I Think I Can … I Think I Can …

by Lorien E. Menhennett

I’ll be honest. I’m a bit stressed right now. The end of the semester is nearing, which is very exciting, but it’s going to be a busy next three weeks.

Between now and Dec. 16 (the day of my last final), I have:
– 2 regular exams (organic chemistry and genetics)
– 1 calculus quiz
– 3 genetics lab reports due (which will each be about 20 pages long)
– 3 final exams

Plus, I need to keep up with new course material for two weeks, and will have a smattering of regular homework assignments during that time.

If I step back and look at the whole picture, I become overwhelmed. So my strategy is to take things one assignment, one quiz, one lab report, one exam at a time. Of course, I need to think ahead in some respects to plan for what’s coming so I can properly prioritize my time. But my goal is to focus on what I need to do today, so that I don’t freak out.

Also, I am reminding myself that things will work out, that I will get my work done, I always do. It’s just a matter of putting my mind to it, which I am quite capable of doing.

I have a friend who is a second-year medical student now, and when she tells me about how much material she has to review for this or that exam, or how many exams she has in one week, I feel my eyebrows rise. But the fact of the matter is, she is doing it. I will be able to do it too. And all of the work that is piling up on me right now? Great practice for when I’m in medical school.

This reminds me of one of my favorite books when I was a child, “The Little Engine That Could.” No one believed that little engine could make it up the big hill, but he did it, thinking positively all the way:

“I think I can … I think I can … “

That’s my motto for today. Really, for the next three weeks. Or perhaps for the next several years, as I complete an MD/PhD program. And when I think about it, it’s a great motto just to have, for life in general.