The number one piece of advice that people gave me when I told them that I was starting med school in August was, “Enjoy your summer and don’t even think about school.” Now that summer is drawing to a close, I can say that I did exactly that.
This summer has been jam packed with adventures, the first of which was a trip that our family took to Alaska during the quarter that I had off before graduation. Prior to this trip, I thought that Alaska was just some forsaken place where it was too cold to ever enjoy doing anything, but I couldn’t have been more mistaken! Alaska was without doubt the most pristinely beautiful place that I have ever had the privilege of visiting. We hiked and snow shoed to the foot of a glacier and then had lunch (which consisted of peanut butter and hot sauce sandwiches and hot Tang, recommendations from our tour guides) while sitting in a pristine snow-filled valley. I’ve officially decided that snowshoeing is going to be one of my new hobbies.
We also went zip lining and Adventure Karting through the Alaskan forest. What’s Adventure Karting you ask? Well imagine a rally kart going about 35 mph around cliff corners through the rain and mud and you’ve got it, pretty cool right?
When we visited Juneau, my cousin and I amused ourselves by going around asking people, “Juneau what time it is? Juneau where we are right now?” We thought we were hilarious. Overall, this was the perfect trip to start off an amazing summer.
The weeks after the cruise included preparations for graduation and going on several trips with family including hiking on top of the San Jacinto Mountain, visiting the beach, and a weekend trip to San Diego. I also had the privilege of going with one of my closest high school friends and her family to Lake Powell. This was yet another beautiful place with many more good times to be had. We wake boarded, jet skied, innertubed, and lounged for an entire week at the lake and, despite some setbacks that included a broken engine on the houseboat, a dented propeller on the ski boat, and a flooded (almost sunken Sea Doo) we had a blast together.
My last summer adventure was a 2-week road trip with two of my cousins and my grandpa. We started out in Orlando, Florida then drove to Charleston, South Carolina, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, New York, Boston, and then took the auto train from D.C. back to Orlando. We had so many fun times together on this trip that it would be impossible to recount them all so I’ll just highlight a few of my favorites. In D.C. we were able to meet up with some of our family members and we also tried cramming all of the sights into one jam packed day. We literally walked the entire city and my 85 year-old grandpa (Papa) kept up with all of us young whippersnappers and was just as spry and fit as ever. In Philadelphia we visited the Chester Hill SDA church where Papa had his first pastoral position more than 60 years ago.
In New York we waited in line at 7am for stand-by tickets to Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and it was all worth it because we were able to get tickets and see not only Jimmy Fallon but also his guest Joseph Gordon-Levitt!!! For those of you who know me, this is a BIG deal!!!
In Boston we walked the Freedom Trail and visited Cape Cod. Some other highlights of the trip were jamming to Disney music, 90’s boy band music and country music in the car, listening to all of Papa’s stories, eating captain crunch almost every day, and meeting a very hungry gang of 4 squirrels that followed us for 2 blocks in a park.
I can officially say that I followed the advice of everyone who told me to enjoy my summer and not think about school. Well, almost…I do have to admit that I played some anatomy games on my iPad during the long car rides and plane rides (remember the whole self-proclaimed nerd thing?) I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every second of this summer and now I’m ready to enjoy everything that med school has to offer!