I’m half hoping I can slip this blog post in and start blogging regularly again like nothing happened. Like it hasn’t been over a whole year since my last blog post! Honestly, I don’t even think I deserve the ‘blogger’ title at this point haha. But man, so much has happened in one year. It’s been largely a struggle; between hoarding all these great creative ideas and longing for a time to work on them vs. prioritizing other important parts of my life that take up about 80% of my time (*coughs* Med School!). From getting the letter of my dreams last Spring to dealing with the dreaded 2020 pandemic, it’s been quite the year. So without further ado here are some highlights from the past year since my last post:
I Got into Medical School in Canada!
Three words: God. did. it. It was March 14th, another regular day on campus in Grenada while finishing up my Master’s degree when I received the email that changed my life. I still shed a tear sometimes when I remember that day. Things moved rather quickly from then. I returned to Canada when my MPH coursework was completed, determined to have the best summer before Med school started and took over my life.
First Solo Trip and the best summer.
Summer 2019 was a vibe! I got to experience parts of Canada I never had, and took my first solo trip! It was a tour of the Canadian Rockies which was just wow. I actually vlogged my entire trip too. Just hoping to edit the videos and put it up at some point this year *fingers crossed*.
Started Medical School
After an adventure-packed summer, it was soon time to enter into this new phase! I’d never been so excited about starting school! Orientation week was quite interesting and packed with lots of fun activities. I met so many people, learned so much information about the nuances of what my next few years would look like, and experienced all the emotions. By the end of the week, I was definitely exhausted, to say the least.
The second half of first year & BMSAC
Soon, it was ‘new year, new me!’ The first half of the school year was over and were quickly moving into the next. The highlight of this part of the school year for me was the creation of a national association of Black medical students: (Black Medical Students of Canada- BMSAC). The Inaugural AGM was held in Toronto, and even though it was a week away from a major exam, I knew I had to go! Why? 1). It was History in the making, 2). I didn’t realize it then, but I was honestly craving some Black presence.
Let’s talk about race for a second–I’m the only Black person in my class. It was the first time I had been in an environment where nobody looked like me or shared this significant part of my identity and everything that comes with it. In some ways, it was incredibly isolating. There’s so much that encompasses this. There’s a sense of being hypervisible while never really being known.
Though I have to say, I am blessed to have the nicest classmates, however, I felt like the underlying sentiment was in line with the ‘I don’t see color’ viewpoint. The problem with that is that by not acknowledging the differences that make a person who they are, space isn’t created for them to fully express their sense of self; and so you’re left with superficial relationships and never really knowing the person- which makes for a persisting feeling of loneliness (which I experienced for part of first year).
I do have to add, however, that this could have also just been largely in my head. My perception may have been tainted by my struggle adjusting to the new environment coupled with high expectations of community and ‘friendships that would last a lifetime’ which we were promised going into med school lol.
So yes, all this to say that the AGM in Toronto was everything I needed and more. It was incredible being in the presence of such accomplished colleagues who shared similar experiences and just ‘got it’ without me having to explain things further. I was also able to squeeze in a night out for my friend’s Bridal shower which coincided with that weekend!
After the major exam, it was March Break and then…. everything changed. The entire world experiencing what no one could have ever imagined. This was about the time COVID-19 started being recognized as a major threat in North America; and within a week, school evolved into an entirely virtual experience.
And now back to the present. Like for many of us, summer this year has consisted of mostly staying home and enjoying nature. It’s definitely not the summer I had planned, but I must admit, as an introvert, I don’t exactly hate it. Its been nice being indoors and getting to just be still and take a breath.
We can’t talk about summer 2020 without talking about the pain of Black people and the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement. Sadly, issues of racism still permeate through every sphere of life and are experienced daily by people of color. The climate created a unique opportunity for BMSAC to play a vital role in advocating for action against anti-Black racism in the context of medical education. Being part of the organization, that has been an important part of my summer. On the other hand, I’ve been working on a school research project.
In the midst of all this, I’ve been trying to find time to revive my social life and Explore with Ola! I’ve also been falling in love with hiking and baking.
Above all, it has been a year of getting closer to God. You know, I can’t write a whole post without talking about the most important part of my life! I am enjoying studying the bible so much more. Praying is becoming a lifestyle and joy, my permanent disposition. Through it all, God has been beyond faithful and I cant wait to see what He will do in the future!