The entire 1st year seemed to revolve around Anatomy corridor. Yet, a floor below was the most dreaded department of medical college. Chemistry had been my favorite subject in school, but the biochemical equations gave all of us sleepless nights.
How were we supposed to memorise all the complex equations, right from digestion of carbohydrates, proteins and lipids to the krebs cycle and the countless diseases one could have even if one enzyme was missing.
I still remember the scene from the 1st term exams in the medical college. The entire 1st year wing was awake whole night trying to memorise each and every word written in the book.
I had been “Early to bed and early to rise” throughout till I entered the hostel. The habit had been so ingrained in me that my eyes would automatically start shutting at around 9:30pm. However much I tried I could not overcome it. There were night owls who could wake up the entire night. There were others who could just sleep for an hour or two and be as fresh as the morning dew. Yet for the entire 1st year I could not delay or make any changes to my sleep cycle.
So for this first exam, when the entire girl gang of hostel was up trying to study, I was disillusioned and worried about my fate. There was no way i could get all that medical jargon into that little head of mine. Some were trying to drink tea or coffee to stay awake, others resorting to bathing so that the cold water could let them stay awake. I closed my books and went to sleep at 10:00pm. I had thought that like others, I would wake up in an hour or two. The first years were not blessed with single occupancy rooms. My room mate, one of the brightest and smartest of the lot sat on her bed cross-legged and her body moved rhythmically with the equations she was memorizing. The tension was in the air and that was enough to keep me half awake. I had a disturbed sleep the entire night and that left me more depressed and my brain totally blank. Next morning, I left the exam paper unattempted after half an hour of trying miserably to solve it.
I did finally learn to reverse my sleep cycle and I survived the 1st year exams with a bare 3-4 hours of each night for the entire duration of exams.
You all might be thinking that I was one of the kind. But believe me, the dropout rates and suicide are high among the 1st years. Medical education is very complex and difficult. There are many who reach that stage because of parental pressure and find themselves in a precarious situation. Some of those who are not able to cope do resort to extreme measures.
Most of the students are promised a life full of fun and relaxation once they clear the pre medical/ pre engineering entrance. The truth is however, just the reverse. Entry to a medical college is just the first step towards a life of stress, anxiety and sleep deprivation.
I am participating in #A2Z2021 hosted by Blogchatter. Blogchatter community binds all the Indian bloggers and has put blogging at a forefront. You can visit them at https://theblogchatter.com
You can read my previous post A for Anatomy dissection Hall