The Big Picture
As a middle- and high- schooler in the early stages of identity formation, I struggled with self-confidence; I had crippling stage fright and awkward social skills. As a pre-med undergraduate in weeder classes at UC Berkeley, I often questioned my self-worth in comparison to the cruel grading curves. Here at UCSF, sometimes I still sigh over my own CV when I imagine that of my peers.
Surrounded by high-achieving people with impressive accolades, I find myself wondering whether I have enough activities and publications, a high enough board score, or a strong enough story and personality, to stand worthy as a graduate among them.
This pictured view reminds me of one of my favorite quotes. “Love looks through a telescope; envy, through a microscope.”
Daily, I remind myself that I am loved and that I love myself. I remember that I am already on the path toward my dream of being a doctor and that the obstacles I have overcome on my way to this very point have been no minor feats. Maybe, just maybe, I do belong here beside these amazing people.
Now, many in my class are walking the early steps of the residency application process. As I consider my own competitiveness as an applicant, my self-doubts have been bubbling to the surface alongside fears of the unknown. A teacher once taught me an effective coping activity for kids in scary situations – composing a thankfulness list.
I have been endlessly blessed: the opportunity to attend UCSF, a strong social safety net, an able and healthy body, and a beautiful city in which I can live and breathe. In the upcoming waves of stress with the prospect of disappointment, I’ll be coming back regularly to the big picture truths that encourage me through insecurities and assure me in times of uncertainty.