Note: Chelsey Baldwin of Little River is a second-year medical student.
This column follows the journey of her class in becoming doctors.
"Chelsey, do you
feel like a fish out of water?" my grandmother asked me as I woke from
my afternoon nap after a day of walking around the sleepy and
unforgivingly hot town of Beaufort. I think she knows I'm
partially-addicted to the busy lifestyle I've grown accustomed to
during the past year.
I yawned and grinned a
little, "Well Gram, I think I could actually get rather used to this."
While I still visit the hospital every weekday, currently I reside on
the third floor of the clinical science building from nine to five
working to produce a paper on the effectiveness of treating very small
cerebral aneurysms. I still feel as if I have so much time to live
life. I've felt so good over the past few weeks of summer, enjoying
evenings of baseball, beer, bike rides, movies and dinner with friends;
it has been wonderful and everything that summer should be.
Beyond the daily niceties
of summer, I've also been blessed enough to share some special times
with my close girlfriends and fellow soon-to-be second years Tracy
Tholanikunnel and Alex Farish. Tracy and I recently made the trip to
Marion to witness Alex's marriage to her college sweetheart and current
first-year MUSC dental school student, Christopher Farish.
Tracy and I, despite the
best intentions, got lost and were characteristically late. We blame
the hotel we made reservations at for incidentally being in the middle
of a name change and therefore effectively disguising itself from us
and Google maps and for sending us 20 minutes out of the way in going
to the service. However, we managed to scramble into the church just
minutes before the service began and in perfect timing to accidentally
catch the bride before she walked down the isle. We squealed with
delight at this sheer luck and jumped at our chance to kiss Alex,
cooing over how beautiful she was.
To avoid premature tears,
we were shooed off to our seats. Tracy and I looked over at each other
during the service with tears in our eyes and grins across our faces.
We had spent the last year hearing Alex talk about the details of this
day, offering our opinions and support where we could, and getting to
know her wonderful fiancée. Therefore at that moment, in the church of
Alex's childhood, we couldn't have been more happy or proud of her.
"Our baby is growing up,"
Tracy had said during our drive up to Marion. But in reality Alex has
always been the grown-up of our circle of friends. She's always had a
perspective that I have found to be calming and endearing. The big
picture of life has always been her gift. While Tracy and I were
drowning and festering in the minor details, Alex kept us grounded.
We each had our strengths
and for that reason we became extremely dependent upon one another
throughout the year. Tracy, for instance, is extremely hard working and
sensitive to others. She has given me perspective even when I didn't
exactly want to hear it. Yet her ability to force me to see what isn't
apparent has undoubtedly made me a better person. I like to think "the
wad," as we jokingly started calling ourselves after discovering the
surgical term the "mobile wad of three," a name given to a grouping of
muscles in the flexor compartment of the forearm, was one of the major
reasons I survived first year unscathed.
The nickname, the wad, has
stuck with us, half because we might as well have shouted it from the
roof top the night it stumbled across my lips during our
musculoskeletal post-test party and half for the fact that we have
rarely spent time on campus without one another after our early meeting
in the first block. Finding each other downright hilarious and
unrelentingly supportive has made for a friendship that I am incredibly
wad of three' includes Alex Farish, from left, Tracy Tholanikunnel and
Therefore watching Alex,
in all her glory, make her way down the aisle during her early June
wedding was a time of great pride for our little wad. Needless to say,
we ate, we drank, and were very merry that night. Seeing Alex enveloped
in all the love of her family and friends from high school,
undergraduate, and now medical school was nothing short of what she
deserved. It was a magical night and added to the contented feeling
summer has graced me with.
With my sister just finishing her boards and my best friend from
undergraduate, Katie Gyurcsik, enjoying success at her job and my
parents doing well, I have a lot to be proud of. I have great friends
and family and thank summer every day for finally allowing me the time
to be able to focus on them.