Last Days

Sunset at AUC

This is going to be my last post about my time in Basic Sciences on St. Maarten. My last few days have been both relaxing, fun, hectic, and busy.

Looking back, I’d say my time on the island had been absolutely amazing, although bittersweet. It wasn’t an easy 2 years, and there had been ups and downs, but in the end, I am happy with the greater life lessons that I’ve gained here in St. Maarten. ¬†Before coming to medical school, you may have certain expectations of yourself. During medical school, like life itself, things may not always turn out the way you expect them to… some may fail an exam, others may fail a class. No matter what your situation is, all I have to say is, stay positive, and help others stay positive no matter what happens, and you will make it through together. The quality of our experience here depends on each other. Let’s keep this place the family it has always been.

Among my friends, I was the last one to leave the island, staying for a week after my last exam was finished, and it was worth it. It gave me time to pack, help friends move out, say goodbye to those who have helped me along the way, and experience the island I spent the last two years for one last time. Best of all,¬† I got to meet some members of the new class of AUC students who are entering, fellow colleagues I would have never gotten to meet otherwise. I am leaving and they are starting. On my last night in St. Maarten, I had the pleasure of meeting Jason, Heather, Ski, Vern, and Donny and we went out for lunch at the Taste Factory and Carousel. Afterwards we hiked up to Fort Louis on the French side to watch the sun go down. For the rest of the night, we hung out at the Boat Bar, Bamboo Bernies, Sky Beach, and Sopranos Piano Bar, and then had a late night pizza dinner at Sugar Cane. I had a really good time. It was a pleasure meeting you guys and I couldn’t ask for a better way to end my time on the island. All the best to you on your first semester of medical school!

As I write this, I am sitting in me and Irene’s new apartment in Miami. For the past four and a half years, we had always lived long distance from each other, in different cities and in different countries. Now, after such a long and patient wait, we can finally start our new life together. I can’t be any happier being here with her.

As for Eileen, Nick, Abe, and I, although we may now be scattered across the country, we are still a part of the AUC community and will begin our first Step I video group study session today over Google Plus. It’s amazing how technology can bring us all together these days. A community is no longer dependent on location. We have a set study schedule for the next five weeks which we can all hopefully follow. I am looking forward to it. The USMLE Step I is now only a few weeks away for all of us, and it’s going to be a very busy time.

Thank you to everyone who has helped make this journey possible. We are all here on an island miles and miles away from home, undergoing the stresses of medical school, and there’s no group of people more supportive than the friends, mentors, and colleagues at AUC with whom I have spent every day of the past two years. They have made living here easier, and made medicine worth fighting for. You have been my family and there’s nothing more that I want than to see all of us succeed together. To Irene, thank you for being so patient, encouraging me to do my best throughout this journey. Congratulations to my colleagues who have made it this far, and good luck to everyone!

Benji

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