I love having the first years around. The way I see it is that seeing a first year is sort of like seeing someone trip while walking down the hallway. Or down the stairs of the lecture hall*. You start laughing because let’s be honest, it’s hilarious to see someone trip (unless, of course, it’s a little old lady). And then about five seconds later you are like, wow I am so glad that wasn’t me who tripped down the stairs in the lecture hall for everyone to see. And then you replay the image in your head and start laughing again.
The first years are in the middle of their first exam week. And the past few weeks I’ve seen them moping around the hallways in their scrubs. They spend hours in the anatomy lab and perpetually smell like preserved dead people. They look tired, overwhelmed, and miserable. In every small group room I see brachial plexuses (ahhhhh) and obscure biochemical pathways scribbled all over the white boards.
That was me, one year ago. A zombie in stinky scrubs. I feel sort of bad for them because falling down the stairs hurts. Mostly though, I am really just happy that I am not the one in anatomy lab right now. I am happy I don’t have to change in and out of scrubs in the hallways every single day. I am happy I don’t smell like cadavers. I am glad I don’t have to re-memorize every detail of the hexose monosphosphate shunt again until the boards. I am relieved that I have that whole year behind me. I am glad it’s them and not me.
That being said, second year is the equivalent of falling down the stairs, head first, three times a day, every single day of the week in a room full of mean people who, when you finally compose yourself, eat your brains.
* About a month ago one of my professors did, in fact, fall down the stairs of the lecture hall. She was fine. And no one laughed (out loud).