Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Sophomore Slump

It's here. It seems I am not immune to the downward trend in vet-school opinion ratings following the euphoria of first year. Lately I have been short on patience with people I normally like, stressed about an exam load that is actually much lighter than last semester's, and anxious about social dynamics within my class.

I can attribute my blah-ness to many things. First, I have not figured out my workout routine. Last semester, I was running three times a week. I am a fairly terrible runner, so I was not running far, but boy did it do wonders for my mood. I was on a runners's high all semester; my focus was awesome and my grades rocked. It turns out I'm one of those people, the kind who get a little nutty when they don't get their run in.

Second, as I predicted, school is one big kvetch-fest. My god, people, don't you know we feed off of each other? Every minor inconvenience is the end of the world. And the worst part is, I take part in it, just to connect with people. Being the lone Pollyanna in a group of Eeyores doesn't make you any friends. But it brings me down. The worst is talking about people. Most of what is said is not mean-spirited, but almost all of it could be taken that way out of context. The worst part is, I take part, because it's the way of communicating. I know that to excuse myself from this kind of talk would be to excuse myself from a large part of the social life of the school. But what other choice do I have when I find myself repugnant for joining in, ad stress out about who might have overheard me saying what?

Third, I am entirely overcommitted. I thrive on being productively busy, and the desire to avoid boredom is one of the things that led to me veterinary medicine in the first place. But three officer positions, even though one is in a fairly inconsequential club, is spreading me thin, on top of my weekly overnight on-call shifts in the hospital.

Fourth, my schedule is such this semester that I have no mornings free, which translates to no horse time. I didn't realize how much I relied on it until a resident asked me to hold a horse for him while he discussed it with a group of students. With the lead rope in my hand, giving the horse's ear a good scratch, I put a name to a missing piece.

Fifth, there is a project that I'm working on. It's quite close to my heart, and the possibility of failure is very real. If I am successful, it will be a stressful sort of success; but if I am unsuccessful, I will be heartbroken.

I am feeling that creative pull again. Perhaps that will translate to more writing. I am also going to make a point of running this week, no matter what else I have going on. I've got to shake this funk.