Sunday, October 10, 2010

Life, plus 10 minutes... plus white coat!

The past month living by myself in Athens has been crazy. When I was telling my friend how I was going to live on my own, I told him my parents' worries and then my own ideas about living on my own: I can do pretty much everything, but it will just take me a little longer. Think of it as “life, plus 10 minutes”.

When I need to go somewhere, it takes me about 5 minutes to load my chair into the car or take it out and put it back together. So that’s about 10 additional minutes it takes to go somewhere. Going somewhere that is about 5-10 minutes away forces me to leave 20-30 minutes ahead of time. Getting dressed, taking a shower, and doing other things all take extra time, especially if I fall onto the shower floor and have to get myself back up, like what happened last week. A simple fast food run takes almost as much time now as grabbing a bite to eat at a sit-down restaurant did before. All this takes time away from doing other, more important things—like studying.

But is it manageable? Absolutely. This is “life, plus 10 minutes”, not “life is over”.

I wrote the above entry really quick one night during the first week of September (before I even wrote the last entry). I had no idea how to end it or if I wanted to post it, so I never did. At the time, I was a bit overwhelmed with things. I wasn’t doing quite as well as I had hoped in school and I was having a rough week. I was finding it hard to balance the obstacles of living on my own with finding time to study, and I was beginning to doubt myself. We had an exam coming up and I told myself I needed to chill out and focus, and that things were manageable. Yes, they would take a bit longer, but nonetheless conquerable. I knew that was true.

A few weeks later, we had our white coat ceremony, where we were basically inducted into the medical profession. In those few weeks before the white coat ceremony, I started to do better in school, I was getting more sleep, and I found ways to save myself a few minutes here and there (hence the lack of posts on here). Looking back at the entry I had written above, I think I have to assure my possible future patients that hopefully those “extra 10 minutes” added to everything I do won’t affect patient waiting time. :)

I continued to pursue my dream of medical school and decided to live on my own because I knew it was something I could do. It would be difficult, considering my circumstances, but I wanted the challenge, if only to prove to myself that it could be done.

I know several of you have asked for pictures of my apartment and my car (yes, I drive! If you didn't pick that up from the post above, haha). An amazing student at the Health & Medical Journalism graduate program at UGA is making a short video that will show y’all everything.


  1. im glad to hear you're getting adjusted!

  2. Everything sounds Awesome! Is the video entirely going to be on you?

  3. Hammad, you are truly an inspiration to everyone.

  4. Probably one of my fave posts... Beautiful.

  5. love your positivity! my fave post too. keep it up :)