perth

I spent the spring semester of my Junior year studying abroad in Perth, Australia. I’m obviously so cool and wear chacos, right? It was pretty neat. Ate some tim tams, held a kangaroo, and got some bad sunburns. (strangely Foster’s isn’t a thing there). Who knew. Anyways, because of the timing of this extravagant vacation, I was forced to take a “gap year.” I’d always felt this was for people who didn’t know what they were doing, but here I was freezing my ass off at graduation realizing I had to find something to do for the next 400 days.

Now, here is what the typical rich, white adult says to me: “Just travel, go to Europe or Africa, enjoy your time off before you go back to school.” Now, I don’t know if you’ve been paying attention, but I spent my Junior year savings holding kangaroos and my senior year I worked part time to scrounge enough money to buy cheap beer. So, my entire life savings of $300 was not going to pay for me to “adventure through Europe” let alone live in Chicago with friends.

So, I went home. Well, home for me is a small town of 30,000 people and all of the people I cared about (except for my parents) had moved away. I spent the summer writing applications for med school and figuring out what the fuck I was going to do with the next 350 days.

This was all such a culture shock though. I know my college experience is privileged and maybe not the norm. But I had just spent the last 4 years either studying my ass off or having all of my best friends within 500 feet of me. Going home was suddenly an isolating and boring shock. I don’t think I understood the concept of free time. Boy…. would I learn quickly.

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I’m fine, I promise

This is the worst year of my life. I have no real reason why this is the worst year of my life. It’s not like I have cancer or my mom died. But this year is sandwiched in between the two best years of my life. Here’s a little background on me:

I’m 23. I graduated from the best university in the world (Notre Dame) last May. My senior year was one of the best years of my life. It was a culmination of hard work, so I finally had time to relax. I had finally developed a great group of friends. The kind where you don’t have to try to go out to make new friends anymore, because these guys are all the party you need. Whether it was sloshball, Finni’s, or Galentines day we always had a great time. You know those friends? The ones who will be the best friends you’ll ever have? Never will I ever be in a place where my friends are more important than anything else in my life.

Fast forward to now. I got accepted into my top medical school choice, with a full ride. I started dating my best guy friend from Notre Dame. He lives a gazillion miles away from me now, but loves me more than I’ve been loved before. He loves me enough to uproot his life and job to come be with me while I go to medical school.

So now that I’ve just told you how awesome my life is, you’re probably wondering why the heck I’ve titled this blog the worst year of my life, right?