When I was young, I remember looking forward to snow with so much excitement I could barely contain it. As anyone who grew up in the South would agree, snow days were coveted as priceless treasures where our hot, muggy landscape was transformed into a winter wonderland. We got out of class at the mere hint of coming flurries, and I rejoiced in it. We would watch the news waiting for that fateful moment when our school would flash across the screen indicating that we would – at the very least – get to sleep in and watch TV all day. But the best case scenario – real snow – meant getting to frolic in mounds of the fluffy white stuff.
When snow appears in the South, we just don’t know what to do! When you are young it is magical, but as you grow older it becomes a terror. At what age do most people make that shift? If you ask me, it is probably occurs a lot sooner for medical students.
When the second significant snowfall of the year was predicted, everyone in my class panicked. We quickly came to realize that missing a day in medical school meant missing an enormous amount of information. It’s hard to keep up with all of it day to day. If you miss a day, you can say goodbye to any free time you had planned before the next test. In fact, sick days are our worst nightmare, and plenty of people go to great lengths to avoid the common cold or even show up at school when they feel terrible. It’s amazing to me that sick days went from being fought for in high school (immortalized by Mr. Bueller) to being feared in medical school as the coming of the end.
Every hour of every day in our medical school is meticulously planned out months in advance. If class is canceled for a given day, there really isn’t anywhere in the schedule to fit in those missed lectures. With the threat of snowing growing, rumors began to spread that if classes were canceled, they would make us come in on Saturday. Clearly that wasn’t ideal, so most of us found ourselves glued to the weather website, refreshing it every few seconds and wishing the snow away.
Even with all of the power of wishful thinking power, the Snowpocalypse came and blanketed Greenville. I, for one, was terrified of driving in the snow and ice. Southerners just aren’t taught to do that, and we don’t have enough equipment to make the roads safe. So, that one day of snow canceled classes for two and a half days. What a nightmare.
As we all sat at home, gazing at the snow and crossing our fingers that class wouldn’t be pushed to Saturday on Valentine’s weekend, the school administrators worked tirelessly to figure out our revised schedule. Thankfully, the staff here at USCSOMG really is on our side and managed to shuffle things around. We got all of our classes in during normal school hours or were given everything we needed online. What a relief that was for all of us. It was chaos, but it all worked out better than we could have hoped.
So, you may think some Southern-like snow frolicking took place during that break. Well, you would be wrong. It just gave us two and a half extra days to catch up on studying and a chance to study ahead. It was a sad moment as I tried to contain my excitement and the overpowering urge to run outside and make a snowman. Gone are the days when snow was seen as the most magical event of the year. It is now a hindrance and a distraction, but at least it is still pretty. And even though we can no longer run around and enjoy it, snow brings with it a joy that is pervasive and lifts spirits enough to make the hours of studying much easier to weather.
I am from North Augusta, South Carolina, and I am a born and bred Carolina girl. When it came time for college, I happily made my way to Columbia to attend the University of South Carolina (USC). I started college in Biomedical Engineering because I figured it would be an acceptable fall back plan. The only problem was, I forgot just how dismally boring the combination of calculus and physics could become. Also, all of my medical volunteering and biology classes made me realize that medicine was actually the best match for me. I loved it. So, I made one of the more difficult decisions I’ve had to make in life and switched to biology, committing myself to a medical track. Graduating from USC with a major in biology and minor in chemistry was a big moment for me, because I was among only two or three people in my uncommonly large extended family to receive a college degree. And, I was the first to be going on to further my education. I am very excited to be starting my medical education here at USC School of Medicine Greenville on behalf of my family and myself. It is going to be an adventure and it will be difficult, but my experience here so far has made me feel that I definitely made the right choice.
Copyright 2014 USC School of Medicine Greenville