Mama M's Soul Advice

Dear Mama M, My boyfriend and I started a long-distance relationship when I left for school and we currently live on opposite sides of the country. It's been really tough to maintain this relationship over the past year, and we're looking at continued separation for the rest of my time in medical school. I love him, but I don't know how long I can keep doing this.
I got really overwhelmed with my first year of school, and school completely took over my life. I stopped doing regular life things like exercising, eating well, and even doing most fun things like hanging out with my friends. As this new school year starts, do you have any advice for how I can maintain a better school-life balance in the next year?
My roommate also happens to be my classmate. She's really messy and constantly leaves dirty dishes in the sink, and clutter around the apartment. How do I maintain the boundaries between school and home?
What do I do if I have a friend who I feel is often taking me for granted? I don’t want to confront her because I don’t want to hurt her feelings, and I don’t want to make a big deal out of it or risk losing the friendship. Maybe I am wrong for feeling this way, but it does make me feel bad much of the time, and I don’t really know what to do. Any advice?
There’s all this talk about how the biomedical workforce is shifting, and there are not enough academic jobs to accommodate all the PhD students currently being trained. PIs, however, are not traditionally supportive of students who want “alternative careers,” partly because they don’t know how to support our career development in these directions, and they don’t want these pursuits to take time away from lab. I don’t even want to do research after I graduate, but I’m afraid to tell my thesis committee. On the one hand, I want to tell them because I don’t want to waste my time in pursuit of high-profile publications that I don’t need. But what if this changes how they view me, and they don’t want to waste their time guiding a student who doesn’t want to do research?
As I have navigated through medical school, I have witnessed that some know the “unspoken secrets” of excelling in medical school more than others.As a first-generation college—and now medical—student, I sometimes find that I do not know the hidden curriculum behind professional schools. What is your advice on how to excel during professional school as someone who might not come from the pomp and glamour of an educated family and the breeding for academia that it seems to provide?
I don't know why, but I keep dating people who "aren't good for me." That's what my friends and family tell me. I don't even know really what they mean, but I am starting to wonder about it as I get older. In general, I just know we are attracted to be together a lot, and we enjoy each other's company most of the time. What should I be asking myself, to know if I am choosing the right person to date, and even maybe to commit to, someday?
I am early into my third year med-school clinical rotations now, and I am embarrassed to say that I am still so much more than overwhelmed. There is so much to know, and it is not all just “medicine.” That’s hard enough, but no one really prepared us for the rest of “real life” getting things done on the wards: I am always getting lost in the hospital. There are always new forms for everything you order. I am supposed to text-page certain people and numeric-page others. Some forms you have to hand-carry to radiology or the lab, others you have to get in by 11 a.m. or else forget about it. Some consults that I call can be very rude and intimidating and make me feel terrible for my ignorance.
There's all this talk about how the biomedical workforce is shifting, and there are not enough academic jobs to accommodate all the Ph.D. students currently being trained. PIs, however, are not traditionally supportive of students who want "alternative careers," partly because they don't know how to support our career development in these directions, and they don't want these pursuits to take time away from lab. I don't even want to do research after I graduate, but I'm afraid to tell my thesis committee. On the one hand, I want to tell them because I don't want to waste my time in pursuit of high-profile publications that I don't need. But what if this changes how they view me, and they don't want to waste their time guiding a student who doesn't want to do research?
I shouldn't admit this, but I started medical school mainly because I wasn't sure what else to do. What I really wanted was to be a writer, but I knew it was hard and impractical, and I figured I could just do it on the side while making a living as a physician. I've been doing a bit of freelance and having some success. It's getting harder and harder to convince myself to stick with medicine in light of that. What do you think? Should I stay or should I go?