One Year Down, Three to Go

May 19, 2011 at 12:00 pm 5 comments


I am done with my first year of medical school! It feels surreal to even say that. I have learned so much this year. The volume of information and number of pages I have memorized is insane. While the details are long forgotten, many of the major principles are well ingrained in my mind. I have begun to learn a new language, a new way of thinking about the body and health, a new way of interacting with things I used to take for granted. While the knowledge I have gained is astounding, it is likely to be lost more quickly than the other important lessons I have learned about myself. I have become more introspective, a little more intuitive, have found what I am really passionate about, and have deepened great friendships as well as made new ones. It is hard to sum up a year, but here are some random thoughts…

Favorite class: Endocrinology. I am really interested in appetite and weight regulation, a lot of which is hormonally driven!

Least favorite class: Neuroscience. I may have referred to this in previous posts as my dark days. I have never struggled through a class with so much hatred before in my whole life.

Most important life lesson: Do something fun every day, even if you are busy and stressed out. It can be a long run, a cup of coffee with a friend, or dinner with your roommate. But take a break once in a while!

Something I am still working on: Learning to relax. I still spend my days off with to-do lists of things I could not accomplish during stressful study and exam periods, and am not good at just sitting down to do nothing. I fear that this has led to burn-out for me in the past, and I want to learn how to relax better on a more regular basis, when possible, to prevent this.

Favorite dinner I made: Homemade whole-wheat pasta with a butternut squash sauce, adapted from this recipe. I made some changes to lighten it up, but don’t remember quite what I did. When squash season rolls around again, I will be sure to make it again. My roommate and I agree that is quite possibly the best thing we have ever eaten!

Best book I read: This is a pretty small list this year… I was lent And the Band Played On by Randy Shilts by my Clinical Medicine instructor, and really enjoyed the combination of history and character narrative that laid out the history of the AIDS epidemic. It is a dense read and took me a while to get through, but was fascinating!

Thing I am most looking forward to this summer: I will be at home with my family shadowing a family medicine doctor for the first five weeks, and then will be traveling throughout Eastern Europe! While I love my family, I think you can tell what I am most excited about ;)


That right there is a picture of my now busted backpack. North Face backpacks should last forever… unless you overstuff them for 5 years in a row… I tried to fix it, but failed. Guess a new backpack is in order! Amazing that I can even balance on my bike like that!

I’d say its time to trade that in for a fun weekend in Boston with my sister, and then a fun-filled summer after that! (photo by Amanda Dolly Photography)

76374_145548758827848_111308112251913_218090_440276_nQuestion: Do you have any exciting summer plans?


Entry filed under: Ramblings. Tags: , .

Monkey Bites Learning to be a Better Baker

5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Don Grant  |  May 19, 2011 at 3:11 pm

    Congratulations on a great accomplishment. We cannot believe you have finished your first year already–seems like yesterday when you started. Have a fun visit with Chelsea and safe trip home and we look forward to seeing you soon
    Pop & Gramdma

  • 2. Jen's Mom  |  May 19, 2011 at 7:39 pm

    It seems like just yesterday when we bought the Gray’s Anatomy book at Barnes and Noble last summer–and I finally got why they call the show Grey’s Anatomy! So proud of you Jen! Only three more years until you are a doctor. I have been amazed watching you grow over this past year and see your real passions take root and grow. Looking forward to cooking with you this summer!!!!!

  • 3. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide  |  May 21, 2011 at 10:38 pm

    Congratulations! And I recommend L.L. Bean backpacks.:)

    • 4. jenlenew  |  May 22, 2011 at 8:36 am

      Thanks! I have heard that before – I will definitely look into them

  • 5. New Years Resolution « homemadeadventure  |  January 1, 2012 at 12:06 pm

    […] This past year has flown by, and has been filled with so many great memories. I started this blog, finished my first year of medical school, traveled to 5 new countries, completed my first triathlon, stood next to my best […]


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