Some of you may have seen my post on Instagram last week when I admitted to crying during lab. Something happened to our experiment (through no fault of anyone in particular – just faulty equipment). We were left without any data to report. The professor was understanding. There wasn’t really going to be a problem, but I am absolutely burnt out.
This summer Organic Chemistry class is only 1 month. I work 7:30 AM to 4:00 PM daily. On Mondays and Wednesdays I’m in lab until 8 or 9 PM. On Tuesdays and Thursdays I sit for four hours listening to lecture, until almost 10:00 PM. Waking up around 6:00 AM and getting home around 10:30 or 11 PM is getting old fast.
Yes, I know I chose this for myself. My father would say, “You get no sympathy for self-inflicted.” In order to apply next cycle, I have to squeeze O-Chem into my schedule. That doesn’t mean I’m not exhausted. I don’t have time to clean my house or workout, and I don’t see Boyfriend for days at a time. Thus, I’m easily frazzled.
To make matters worse, my professor pointed out to the entire class that I was crying. I excused myself to the restroom to avoid further embarrasment. The damage was done. I even overheard my classmates mocking me for my over-reaction. There is little I can do to address their opinions, though it seems I am not the only one struggling to stay sane.
Since then, I do my best to excuse myself whenever I feel the tears coming on. This means that I left class three times in one day. Then twice the next day. Since starting SSRIs I haven’t usually been so emotionally labile, but this class is obviously wearing me down. At this point I’ve only got a little over a week before the class is over. The problem is that I need to address this for my future as a physician.
Medical school is hard. I will want to cry. Treating patients is hard. I will want to cry. It is unprofessional to cry in front of a patient. I just need to learn enough control my emotions, then release them when it’s appropriate.
Does someone have any tips? My tango teacher used to tell me to take 6 deep breaths. I do that and see if it helps. I’d greatly appreciate any advice that anyone has. Perhaps I’ll take that referral to a therapist…