Biochem… You Went Down… (Sort of)

My first midterm in med school… DONE, A FINI! I feel almost liberated.
I’ve been ferociously studying for the past week, memorizing endless pathways, inventing silly mneumonics, and drawing out disease-cartoons. I did not think I’d ever see the finish line, because studying is its own endless wheel of misery, like the citric acid cycle- ongoing, perpetual, and complicated. It’s certainly not energy producing, more energy depleting. I’ve had too many cups of milk tea, french vanilla cappucino, and aspartame packets to keep me on overdrive… not healthy. Don’t get me started on the late night snacking, because biologically, you want to be in a fasting state hours before you go to sleep, so your liver breaks down glycogen stores and starts gluconeogenesis, all to maintain blood glucose levels at homeostasis. This way, you’re body is mobilizing fats and carbohydrates stored in the body, breaking them down, and keeping you alive. Let’s say you eat late at night and go to sleep soon after; you’ll end up digesting and storing up the excess carbs and fats into glycogen or fats, thus leading you to gain weight. Plus, it’s also best to top off your overnight fasting state in the morning with a good workout, because you want that extra energy boost to rev up the metabolism and top off the body’s overnight catabolic state.

Anyway, back to life. I woke up at around 8:30 am, ate a hearty breakfast of rice and vegetables, and went to the library. It was around 9:15 am, when the first batch of med students went in to take the exam, and a friend saw me stroll in. She was like, “You’re late!” (I have the problem of either showing up right on time, or actually getting in late, like the other week for the clinical skills simulation =( I plopped down, found a cubicle, and started cramming in cholesterol metabolism, more diseases, and insulin/glucagon regulation. I fell asleep last night on my bed studying (as usual), so I felt overwhelmed with so much to catch up on… By the end of that cram session, I had 3 sheets of cholesterol degredation pathways, flying index cards, and floating rainbow of pathways.

When I went in for the exam, I felt like walking death row. Actually, as my friend said, that’ll be the USMLE Step 1 next year… The computerized midterm mirrors the NBME (National Board of Medical Examiners) for next year, and very similar to the MCATs, minus the fingerprinting. But the proctors are still strict with your ID tag and going to the bathroom. So I finished the 100 question exam, drew so much pathways and arrows on my dry erase board, and went ‘Hallelujah! I’m free (for now).” It was not that bad-pretty straightforward and fair.

As a reward, I hung out with a friend at the mall, somewhere outside the library. I went to the gym since forever and did a 40-minute workout on the elliptical. Then I had dinner with another good friend at my place and watched a World Series game. I’m just glad it was a relaxing day, AFTER the midterm, because tomorrow, the cycle begins again. This time, ANATOMY… a real catastrophe ready to erupt.


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