I would like to think I am fairly good at planning ahead. I am quite a simple person and fairly straight forward, but few know that I actually think quite a bit about the future. Being an international student, you have to think about the future. We try our best to not think about the future as anything can happen, but we also have to be ready for anything unexpected. My biggest advice to international students (no matter how confident you are about staying in the UK) is to have a backup plan. What happens if the UK government decide to throw us a curve ball and change the immigration/Visa rules? What happen if you suddenly have to return home due to family issues? And if you're not planning on staying in the UK, you really got to plan when to take the registry exams such as USMLE. It pains me when I see international students not having a single clue what they'll be doing in a few years time. Unfortunately it isn't a straight path for international students, let it be staying in the UK or going back home. Either way it won't be easy and you will have to make sacrifices. Anyways enough with the grim outlook for international students. It isn't all that bad to be honest. It's just that you have to constantly remind yourself you are an international student and it isn't a simple straight path. There will be many obstacles to cross and many walls to climb. It isn't easy, but hopefully it'll be all worth it in the end.
Anyways enough with the weird banter paragraph above. Maybe I should put the beer away. Haha. If you guys read my last post carefully, I did not talk about Friday. No I didn't have lectures...and no I did not go into placement. Then you must assume I was skiving. No I wasn't skiving either...well I wouldn't consider it skiving because I was actually doing something productive. I had a meeting with an Orthopaedic consultant at the central hospital to discuss about my Student Selected Component (SSC) project for this coming May. The last time I met the consultant, I fell asleep in the chair and he had to wake me up...great first impression. Luckily it didn't really affect him as he was willing to see me again. He was actually quite keen to be my supervisor for my SSC and to mentor me. This time prior to meeting him, I made sure I was not going to fall asleep. I heard him come out from his office so I made sure I didn't look like I was dozing off...to be honest I was zoning out as all I did was stare at the wall. I had to wait for awhile as I was 30 minutes early for the meeting as I messed up on my travel timing so I was quite tired. Went into the office to discuss what I will be doing for my 6 week SSC project. We did a lot of brainstorming and came up with quite a few ideas. Either this consultant is smart or was prepared to discuss about my SSC as he was rapid firing ideas at me. Unfortunately, I kept zoning out as to be fair...I did not understand half the things he mentioned. He was talking about the different type of implants used in Orthopaedics, and obviously I have never heard of the brands. He talked to me like I knew all the brands so you could imagine I was very lost. When I get lost...I zone out. It's a horrible trait I have. As he went on, he realized he should write down what I will be doing. He set out a bunch of aims and wanted me to expand on it and give it a think. He filled up half a page with notes on the aims of my project (looking at implants). I quickly put the paper away in my bag without looking at the paper.
And then I perked up as the consultant mentioned that during my project he wants to do some clinical things with me. I told him that I got to observe a few trauma surgeries and paeds orthopaedic surgeries over the last few weeks. He ended up throwing a curve-ball at me and told me that it is good that I'm making the effort and be keen to go see these things, BUT the difference is that when I follow him I will be scrubbing in and actually assisting. Oh man, I got so excited it was ridiculous. I immediately sat up straight and couldn't stop smiling. Scrubbing in and assisting = music to my ears. Finally I get the chance to get my hands in and do something that I am interested in. He also went on how I will be able to do some stitching (heart sank a bit as the last time I learned stitching was a year ago). Now, I was very excited about my SSC and the consultant surely knows how to make a student happy.
After the meeting I quickly went home and took out the paper that he wrote on. To my demise, I could not make out half the things he wrote. I regretted zoning out and I should've remembered doctors do not write legibly. Took me ages to decipher what the consultant wrote. In the end, I figured out most of the things he wrote as I vaguely remembered the stuff he was talking about and managed to crack on with expanding on his notes. Note to self: Do NOT zone out while a consultant is talking to you. You'll regret it as you won't be able to read half the things he wrote down. Imagine if I couldn't decipher what he wrote...the embarrassment I would have to go through as I would have to email him and tell him I can't read what he wrote when I should have been paying attention during the meeting.
Anyways I'm super stoked about my SSC in May! One more meeting and a bit of paperwork before my SSC will be official. Cannot wait.