Free Fallin’

As Match day comes steadily closer and closer and thoughts of the future come creeping in, despite attempts to push them away, I can’t help but contemplate the idea of jumping off a cliff….

Now, before you call a psych consult and consider my mental stability, I refer to jumping off a cliff not realistically, but instead metaphorically!

The idea of jumping off a cliff is something that all fourth year medical students around the nation are having to figure out how to do, inherently, but don’t realize it. For so long, we have had the parachute of certainty and the wings of a meticulously thought out plan to keep us safe, but we now are forced to embrace a new friend, an uncomfortable friend, uncertainty, as we wait for the single envelope on March 20th that will dictate if the odds are in our favor for residency. 

This uncertainty is uncomfortable, because like darkness, it’s hard to see. It’s full of what if’s, maybe’s, possibilities, and absolutely no guarantees. There is no reassurance and comfort, and for most of us this is absolutely anxiety provoking and disturbing.  The exact path that’s coming up for most of us is hard to visualize- will it be straight, will it be sunny, will it windy, will it be more uphill, or will it be more downhill? Will it be somewhere where I will be happy? Will my friends and family be supportive if I’m not close by? Will I be successful? Will I make it?

I challenge you all to take this time to really focus on the concept of growth. Let go of certainty, of the type A attitude we all have, for a moment, for the beauty and gift that is the unknown. Be curious, be open, be BRAVE! And… when someone tells you sympathetically, “I’ll pray you get your number one choice”, instead say, “Pray for me to go where I’m supposed to go, a place that will help me grow”. 

I challenge you friends to choose discomfort over comfort, the unknown over the known, and to free yourself from the chains that have held you steadfastly on the bridge from point A to point B. Only from chasing discomfort, from growing to love uncertainty, can we all grow stronger, more confident, and more able to love, encourage, and support not only others moving forward, but also ourselves. We are strong, we are powerful, and we can and WILL do well no matter where we go. We just need to be confident in ourselves and embrace that the best things in life are never planned. The way my mom loves to tell me best, “What’s meant for you is always set aside”. 

So, friends, it’s time…
Time to be vulnerable,
Time to be fearless,
Time to cut the umbilical cord,
And time to jump off the cliff, running joyfully into the arms of uncertainty that will certainly carry us to new adventures we could never even imagine for ourselves.

As the Steve Miller band says, “Fly like an eagle, let my spirit carry me.”

About the Author: Irina Geiculescu  

Ethnically, 100% Romanian, and nationally, 100% American, I was born in Seneca, South Carolina and have lived in the Clemson/Easley area my whole life. I graduated with a B.S. degree in Biomedical Engineering, Materials Emphasis, from Clemson University. Athlete, scholar and former competitive pianist, I try to maintain a balanced mind, body and soul. I am ecstatic and blessed to be attending USCSOMG and to be part of the wonderful Class of 2020, beginning the journey that propelled me into medicine: pursuing the principle of people first.