It is funny how many of my friends from back home would now greet me with “hey! how’s the beach life?” or some variety of that. Even my dad said goodbye to me with “have fun on your vacation!” It is true. I do live in “paradise” now. But in reality, med school makes me busy enough to forget this fact. Most days I am stuck on campus. I haven’t really been out that much. I’ve just been busy with school, even when it’s only the beginning of the semester. During the past 12 days that I’ve been here so far, I started to realized how big of an oxymoron “Caribbean Med School” sounds.
I just had one of the best review sessions here at AUC. And it wasn’t at the library, or in my dorm room, or one of the study halls. It was at Mullet Bay Beach, across the golf course from campus. After having our eyes stinging, breathing the fumes from our cadaver for two hours today, it was not too surprising that coming out of anatomy lab, any day would seem nice and beautiful. But today was an especially nice day, with blue in the sky and clouds of all colors and shapes. Feeling a tug-of-war between catching up on my studies in my enclosed, solitary dorm room and not letting this beautiful day escape so easily, my friend and I decided to do both.
We packed up our books and notes, and headed off. I’ve passed by it before on the way to the grocery store, but this was his first time exploring that beach. Within four minutes of walking, we found a rocky area that overlooks the beach and the ocean, with Saba rising in the background. We found a flatter, shaded place and claimed our spot. We went over all the slides in Molecular Cell Bio that was covered from the first day until today, and quizzed each other over the material. The environment was so soothing, without any distractions like direct sun and mosquitoes, and we focused on our notes. Autosomal dominant disorders, chromosomes, aneuploidy syndromes, treatments… Soon, I realized we were not really at the beach. Beaches are for tourists. No, we were in mother nature’s study hall, the best place to study that a Caribbean med student can experience. And we were productive and relaxed at the same time.
So next time when my friends ask,”how’s the beach life?,” I’ll reply,” I dont know. I don’t really do the beach thing, but study hall is great!”