I have been stressing for quite a while now over my neuropharmacology class. I knew I had not done so well on the first exam. In fact, I hadn’t even read 6 of the chapters that were going to be on the test. I was so sad and mad at myself, wondering what I did wrong. I don’t remember slacking much at all actually since the beginning of this semester.
The reality of it was that I had taken on a plate too full this semester. I spend huge proportions of my time on working on my thesis since I wanted to complete it before my senior year and in time for interviews. The consequence was the difficulty in balancing commitments, and my hold on the neuropharm class slipped. The course requires 6 hours of studying outside of class for every class hour, and yet I have decided to take 16 credit hours along with my trying to complete my thesis, keep up with shadowing and leadership, and take the MCAT this semester.
It was already too late to drop the class. I stressed and cried over it and didn’t sleep the night before. I couldn’t afford to fail the class. I was in despair. However, my significant other told me not to despair and to look up to God in times of hardship. It was so hard. I tried to pray as I fought my emotions of guilt and self-hate.
After a night of hardly any sleep, I entered my neuropharm class full of dread only to find out I had miraculously made an 87 on the exam… I was more than ecstatic. My mind felt numb. Filled with gratefulness and contrition for having despaired, I thanked the Lord, my heart swelling from the blessing of having such a loving and fulfilling God. It was impossible to make such a grade with the amount of studying I did.
The Lord’s love further showed in what my professor said that day: “Things happen in your life that you can’t control and you will mess up sometimes. However, how hard you work is always in your control. There will always be people who are going to be smarter than you. All you gotta do is outwork them.”
This statement struck me in the most profound way, not just in the sense that those words came from a professor who was notorious for making students feel completely stupid, but that God had answered my worries through him.
As many pre-meds do, I constantly compare myself to other students and beat myself up for what I feel lacking in. Many times I doubt myself and wonder if I am actually doing what I am supposed to be doing because I feel so stupid and incompetent at times. In truth, I focus too much on my own perceptions and what I think when instead I should be praying constantly and having faith that everything will work out in the end because it somehow always does. God allows me to have the fullest confidence because I can rely on the fact that He will walk with me each step of the path, despite my own disbelief in my abilities.
God works in our lives, through us and through the people around us in strange ways to show us that He is always there and that He is always listening and that He will take care of us. We just have to open our hearts and souls to Him.
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” - Deuteronomy 31:6