Fear, Doubt & Insecurity
by Alexis E. Carrington, MSII
Upon my acceptance into St. George's School of Medicine, I felt immediate fear. Fear of the unknown, such as "How can I live so far away from home, let alone in a foreign country?" I had traveled to various foreign countries growing up and loved visiting new places but to actually live 4,068 miles away from my family in California compared to the 365 mile distance in college was overwhelming. "How are the living conditions?" "How could my family reach me if there was an emergency?" "Are the locals and students welcoming and genuine?" These questions plagued my mind from the day I received my acceptance letter in March until I boarded the plane on August 7th, 2015.
The constant fears I played over and over in my head manifested into doubting the calling God had instilled in my heart. I believe that if we have a pulse, we have a purpose from God and a main part of life is discovering our talents and purpose to help others. Since high school, I believed one of my purposes was to become a physician but my fears of this new possible chapter caused me to think, "How could God want me to become a physician if He continuously throws barriers at me?" "What if God doesn't want me to become a physician after all?"
Eventually the doubt became insecurity. I saw some of my peers getting accepted into California med schools or seemingly cooler careers such as acting and business. My insecurities manifested in thoughts such as "I am not as good as my friends since they made it into those schools. Why couldn't that be me?"
However, despite almost a year of negative thoughts, I decided to accept the school's offer and board that plane to Grenada and eventually do well in Term 1, surviving Anatomy, Biochemistry and Histology / Cell Biology. Looking back I realized I and every other student at SGU who had done the same thing was able to do so because of faith; faith in their abilities, dreams, and desires. Despite the negative thoughts, I couldn't ignore the quiet faith I had in my dreams. My parents would tell me, "No one said it would be easy, and anything worthwhile is worth fighting for." As always, they were right. I and my fellow students of SGU have such faith in our dreams to help others that we are willing to venture thousands of miles away from our family for months at a time to achieve them.
Even now, as I'm about to leave for my 2nd term at SGU, I still have moments of fear and uncertainty. "How can my brain remember this breadth of material?" "Will I enjoy my time here despite all the hardcore studying?" As time goes on, I'm realizing these questions will continue to come, but faith must prevail.
Supplemental Note: This essay also appears on the author's blog, "Med School the Caribbean Way."