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I see a lot of people here complaining that medical school is worse than death. It's very disheartening and unmotivating. Is medical school really hell on earth?
 
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I see a lot of people here complaining that medical school is worse than death. It's very disheartening and unmotivating. Is medical school really hell on earth?
Med school is Blastoise. If you can't drink from the fire-hydrant, you become the fire-hydrant.

 
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Azete

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I'm only M3, but thus far I've worked significantly less than I did in my previous career. Sometimes it can be annoying when it's beautiful outside and you're stuck studying, but I suspect most people that find med school overwhelming also never held a real job before. Med school is exponentially worse than undergrad, but still pretty awesome compared to most jobs.
 

libertyyne

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I'm only M3, but thus far I've worked significantly less than I did in my previous career. Sometimes it can be annoying when it's beautiful outside and you're stuck studying, but I suspect most people that find med school overwhelming also never held a real job before. Med school is exponentially worse than undergrad, but still pretty awesome compared to most jobs.
This. Studying is awesome compared to the drudgery of real professional jobs. I dont have to take **** from a boss, or work an endless amount of hours, or attend never ending meetings trying not bruise ego's of people above me in the food chain. I get to learn about the human body, make connections that I never knew existed and interact with my peers who are also excellent driven people.
 

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I've had some of the worst days in my life during medical school, but I've also had some of the best days of my life. It can be physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausting, but it's 100% worth it and even on the worst days, there's nothing I would rather be doing.
 
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I really do enjoy medical school. It can be extremely stressful at times, but by and large it's been a great experience. Academically, it's significantly worse than college. But my worst day in medical school is several orders of magnitude better than by best day applying to medical school, so I take some solace in that.
 

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I see a lot of people here complaining that medical school is worse than death. It's very disheartening and unmotivating. Is medical school really hell on earth?
"Medical school took me to my intellectual limits"

Jim Frame, MD, an old friend of mine when I was a lab tech.
 

BlackLips

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I'm only M3, but thus far I've worked significantly less than I did in my previous career. Sometimes it can be annoying when it's beautiful outside and you're stuck studying, but I suspect most people that find med school overwhelming also never held a real job before. Med school is exponentially worse than undergrad, but still pretty awesome compared to most jobs.
I agree with most of what is said, but I actually find med school much better than undergrad. The environment is much more supportive, people want you to succeed, there is a whole lot less busy work/crap you will never use again, and overall the information you will learn (especially 2nd year) is useful for most of your career. Busier sure, but I find the school work way more enjoyable. I'd rather repeat 2nd year than do Organic chemistry lab or take biochem tests (having to draw out entire pathways) again.
 
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I agree with most of what is said, but I actually find med school much better than undergrad. The environment is much more supportive, people want you to succeed, there is a whole lot less busy work/crap you will never use again, and overall the information you will learn (especially 2nd year) is useful for most of your career. Busier sure, but I find the school work way more enjoyable. I'd rather repeat 2nd year than do Organic chemistry lab or take biochem tests (having to draw out entire pathways) again.
Agree 100000%, especially about the environment being more supportive. I don't think anyone would have noticed/cared if I dropped out of undergrad, but if I ever even thought about dropping out of med school, the administration would do everything in their power to help me.
 

Azete

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I agree with most of what is said, but I actually find med school much better than undergrad. The environment is much more supportive, people want you to succeed, there is a whole lot less busy work/crap you will never use again, and overall the information you will learn (especially 2nd year) is useful for most of your career. Busier sure, but I find the school work way more enjoyable. I'd rather repeat 2nd year than do Organic chemistry lab or take biochem tests (having to draw out entire pathways) again.
All true, but in undergrad you could literally take 3 weeks off from doing any school work and still get As -- that sort of stuff doesn't fly in med school. Assuming a normal 15 credit semester, undergrad was basically a part time job. The material was mostly useless and a waste of money, but having that sort of freedom is something you never have again after graduation.
 

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It's certainly not easy and much harder than undergrad. I'll disagree with most of the above posts slightly: I hated the first 2 years of med school...and yes I'm nontraditional and have worked many full time jobs prior. I work way more hours now in residency than I did in those first years of med school, but I would never go back to sitting in the library studying for 8-12 hours a day in front of a computer only to still feel like I'm confused or can't ever remember half of what I'm studying.
 

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Medical school was better than working an 8-5 job on almost any day. It was a million times better than working in a non air conditioned fruit packing plant in the Central Valley of California.

Those that describe it as "hell on earth" have surely been coddled or have no idea what they're talking about. To have the opportunity to obtain a higher education and then go on to a high paying, highly respected career is more than the vast majority of the world can even dream about.
 
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This. Studying is awesome compared to the drudgery of real professional jobs. I dont have to take **** from a boss, or work an endless amount of hours, or attend never ending meetings trying not bruise ego's of people above me in the food chain. I get to learn about the human body, make connections that I never knew existed and interact with my peers who are also excellent driven people.
I love having so much control over my own time. It's wonderful. After working through college and afterwards, I feel like there is this huge expanse of time for studying and other parts of life.
 

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Nope. A lot of information, but I've yet to encounter a problem where I feel like it's just too difficult for me to grasp if I put the time into it. Similarly, sure it's busy, more so than the average job or grad school I would argue (especially third year), but it hasn't made me feel isolated or left out socially in any way.

Overall it's different, but not "bad" compared to other life stages.
 

sliceofbread136

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Medical school was better than working an 8-5 job on almost any day.

Those that describe it as "hell on earth" have surely been coddled or have no idea what they're talking about. To have the opportunity to obtain a higher education and then go on to a high paying, highly respected career is more than the vast majority of the world can even dream about.
I think it depends on the person. I'm sure there are plenty of people who have worked 9-5s and still consider medical school a hell on earth, especially m3
 
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doyouhaveaflag

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It's difficult at times and can be grueling for sure. But bad? No. It's opt-in, not something you have to do. You have some say in how hard you make it based on the grades you want (above the effort required to pass), and there's always an out. If you don't like it, you can leave at any time (although I realize the debt burden makes it difficult to do so). Every day you continue, you make the choice that it's not so bad that you can't tolerate it.

It has its pros and cons of course. This week I averaged 17 hours a day at the hospital on my surgical subspecialty subI (not including the time at home to prep for the next day's cases), and yet it doesn't feel "all that bad" because I get to hang out in the OR all day and assist with surgeries, which I love doing.
 

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I think it depends on the person. I'm sure there are plenty of people who have worked 9-5s and still consider medical school a hell on earth, especially m3
Of course there are but that would still fall under the guise of being overly dramatic. Remember you’re talking to someone who has been through medical school and a surgical residency before work hour restrictions.

Its like the patient last night who is telling me that she (admitted for cellulitis, > 90 days post op) is having "9/10" pain. This while eating, carrying on a normal conversation with me, socializing with her family. When I confronted her and said, "is this really as bad as that time you had a kidney stone, or had the baby without an epidural?" she backed off.

I think we need to stop overdramatizing things. Third year was no picnic for me either but its better than working a minimum wage research job and not getting any authorship, working at McDs, or maybe, not even having a job or something to eat tonight.
 
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I see a lot of people here complaining that medical school is worse than death. It's very disheartening and unmotivating. Is medical school really hell on earth?
There is a hurricane devastating Cuba, just took a whack at several Caribbean nations and is aching to wipe Floridians off of their parcels. These are hell on earth. I reached out to a dear Hispanic friend yesterday in Miami inquiring what the local government in Miami has told them as to what to expect. Their answer fits this thread: "Hell, We are expecting hell". Storm surge of 10 feet, saving one's house from water entering (good luck with that) while your family is hoping you can do something. Staggering

So it strikes me as humorous that those who have the privilege to earn the most prestigious doctoral degree in the world, to make important decisions impacting others, have people hang on their life / decison making words, and make ungodly amounts of money compared to those poor souls who lost everything they owned in the Caribbean, that med school is hell.

Go visit St Barts, St Martin or Cuba, and tell us what hell was like. These Cubans in Camaguey were desperately trying to prevent Irma from entering their slum cell - notice the bed, walls and poverty. Now they are sitting in 15 feet of water

IMG_0826.JPG
 

21Rush12

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I really do enjoy medical school. It can be extremely stressful at times, but by and large it's been a great experience. Academically, it's significantly worse than college. But my worst day in medical school is several orders of magnitude better than by best day applying to medical school, so I take some solace in that.
This is the perspective I keep in my back pocket for the bad days.


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21Rush12

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There is a hurricane devastating Cuba, just took a whack at several Caribbean nations and is aching to wipe Floridians off of their parcels. These are hell on earth. I reached out to a dear Hispanic friend yesterday in Miami inquiring what the local government in Miami has told them as to what to expect. Their answer fits this thread: "Hell, We are expecting hell". Storm surge of 10 feet, saving one's house from water entering (good luck with that) while your family is hoping you can do something. Staggering

So it strikes me as humorous that those who have the privilege to earn the most prestigious doctoral degree in the world, to make important decisions impacting others, have people hang on their life / decison making words, and make ungodly amounts of money compared to those poor souls who lost everything they owned in the Caribbean, that med school is hell.

Go visit St Barts, St Martin or Cuba, and tell us what hell was like. These Cubans in Camaguey were desperately trying to prevent Irma from entering their slum cell - notice the bed, walls and poverty. Now they are sitting in 15 feet of water

View attachment 223394
Can you relax?

I am sure nobody actually thinks it's the objectively worst thing that can happen to a person; it's a perception that Med school will be horrible and it can seem foreboding at best looking at it from the outside.

Presumably the Black Plague was worse as well. Talking about one stressful or difficult situation doesn't undermine the importance of another.


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Cura_te_ipsum

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I think it depends on the person. I'm sure there are plenty of people who have worked 9-5s and still consider medical school a hell on earth, especially m3
M3 is like a dream trip with rollercoasters. You paid for the trip, you know where it is leading, you know how little you know, yet youre given the chance to interface with people to aid the sick even if you are a liability.

M3 is an opportunity to learn about interfacing with people in difficult situations, take instructions from others and learn from your experience.
Even Housekeeping can teach you a lot about how to approach a patient
 
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altblue

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Can you relax?

I am sure nobody actually thinks it's the objectively worst thing that can happen to a person; it's a perception that Med school will be horrible and it can seem foreboding at best looking at it from the outside.

Presumably the Black Plague was worse as well. Talking about one stressful or difficult situation doesn't undermine the importance of another.


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It doesn't, but the particular stressors experienced by those in Cuba right now are probably far more physiologically and psychologically significant....
 
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Yes it's hard, and I don't know anyone who doesn't feel behind most the time. There's so much to learn and so little time to do it in. But adcoms are really good at screening for people who can actually finish med school.
 

Cura_te_ipsum

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This seems a bit dramatic
Millennials in particular today are very dramatic but our culture in general is as well. Thus OP gave us this salvo:

I see a lot of people here complaining that medical school is worse than death. It's very disheartening and unmotivating. Is medical school really hell on earth?
We often discuss at home how not too long ago men and women after World War II, Korean and VietNam wars were getting married in their early 20s, had careers and raising children in their own personal homes embracing being adults. Can you imagine? What nerve

Then there is today.

At times I think our culture needs to get its head out of their asses and act like the brave men and women who lived before us.

But adcoms are really good at screening for people who can actually finish med school.
so that is their metric?!?!

Hellll, here I thought they were selecting the best and the brightest, all the while meeting their mutated offspring, entitled whiner and weepy ingrate. Perhaps I understate
 
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21Rush12

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It doesn't, but the particular stressors experienced by those in Cuba right now are probably far more physiologically and psychologically significant....
Read closely and ask yourself if I said they weren't significant.


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altblue

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Read closely and ask yourself if I said they weren't significant.


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Yeah you got me there
 

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I think there are two kinds of comparisons people make:

1. Comparing medical school curriculum to undergrad curriculum.

2. Comparing the life of a medical school student to that of an undergraduate student.

In my mind: I'm expecting the medical school curriculum to be tougher than undergrad curriculum. However, I feel like life should be a little easier as a med school student because I won't have to worry about things like clinic volunteering, non clinical volunteering, shadowing, extra curriculars, etc. What makes undergrad life challenging for me is all the extras. It's difficult to find time for everything and balance so much all at once.


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Cura_te_ipsum

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I'm not saying millenials/our culture is dramatic, I'm saying YOU are.
I tell a medical school aspirant that medical school is not worse than death, nor worse than hell, then describe a current event that truly hellish, and you get really dramatic, defensive, and omniscient with your "pretty sure" and "100% sure" statements.

Your intellectual rigor is truly lacking.

America need not fear Russians, ISIS nor militant whatevers. "We have met the enemy and they are ours..." US Naval Commodore Oliver Perry
 

sliceofbread136

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Of course there are but that would still fall under the guise of being overly dramatic.

Its like the patient last night who is telling me that she (admitted for cellulitis, > 90 days post op) is having "9/10" pain. This while eating, carrying on a normal conversation with me, socializing with her family. When I confronted her and said, "is this really as bad as that time you had a kidney stone, or had the baby without an epidural?" she backed off.

I think we need to stop overdramatizing things. Third year was no picnic for me either but its better than working a minimum wage research job and not getting any authorship, working at McDs, or maybe, not even having a job or something to eat tonight.
Hey man I agree personally, but I'm sure there are plenty of people who genuinely would not (any maybe shouldn't be in medicine in the first place)
 
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Get to know Dr Viktor Frankl, MD, and his incredible book "Man's Search for Meaning"

Amazing source of inspiration for anyone undergoing anything trying

"If someone now asked of us the truth of Dostoevski’s statement that flatly defines man as a being who can get used to anything, we would reply, “Yes, a man can get used to anything, but do not ask us how.” - Viktor Frankl, “Man’s Search for Meaning”
 

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I tell a medical school aspirant that medical school is not worse than death, nor worse than hell, then describe a current event that truly hellish, and you get really dramatic, defensive, and omniscient with your "pretty sure" and "100% sure" statements.

Your intellectual rigor is truly lacking.

America need not fear Russians, ISIS nor militant whatevers. "We have met the enemy and they are ours..." US Naval Commodore Oliver Perry
The irony of this post is almost overwhelming. You first engage in probably the perfect example of hypocrisy by criticizing millennialist for being dramatic in what must be one of the most dramatic series of posts. Then, you insult someone's "intellectual rigor" and follow it with a misapplied quote that you took out of context.

The full quote is from Perry's battle report following the Battle of Lake Erie. In it, he says, "We have met the enemy and they are ours; two ships, two brigs, one schooner and one sloop."

He is literally saying that they engaged the enemy and won, taking their ships. In no way whatsoever is he implying what you are arguing. The "enemy" in his quote was the Royal Navy--a different force.
 

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I'm only an M1 but I agree with what many people are saying here, I'd much rather be sitting here studying and learning than working 10 hour shifts in a Toyota plant, roofing in the middle of a Texas summer, etc. etc. you get it. I would never go back to those old jobs. Only thing that has sucked thus far for me is this terrible back pain I've been dealing with. Lower back pain + sitting down all day = not good combination. but oh well.
 

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Only thing that has sucked thus far for me is this terrible back pain I've been dealing with. Lower back pain + sitting down all day = not good combination. but oh well.
Someone in my class has a standing desk that they use during lecture. If you aren't a class-goer, treadmill desks are life... I would try reaching out to student wellness people at your school and see if they can do anything for you.
 

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M1 was like gouging my eyes out with a rusty spoon. But then it got better.

It beats the hell out of a 9 to 5. Ultimately, a lot of those are technically dead end jobs, at least my department was.

Remember folks: You can either take it easy now and work hard for the rest of your life... Or... You can work hard now and take it easy for the rest of your life (not literally, but you know what I mean).

As bad as it was in the beginning, it got better. And I would do it over again, because the sky is the limit now.
 

Cura_te_ipsum

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I'm not interested in derailing this thread further.
Uh huh.

Dopamine is like that. You can't just get one hit. You need more, and more, and more to get another rush of power, attention from others and of course vainglory

The irony of this post is almost overwhelming. You first engage in probably the perfect example of hypocrisy by criticizing
Matthew 9:35 "Jesus went around to all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and curing every disease and illness."

Jesus. Isn't He that guy who went around preaching about love, forgiveness, mercy, compassion, turning the other cheek, understanding, and what not?

The proclaiming of Jesus to others is a tricky thing b/c then people expect to see Jesus instead of you.

You millennials are adorable online.

==

OP, medical school (including 3rd year) is thrilling, wonderful, an honor, a privilege, and definitely worth every penny.
If you are whining about third year, then exit the program and let someone else who really wants it to take your seat. The world
will always need ballet dancers and bartenders. Ballet dancers have legs of immense strength, enormous grit and ovaries/balls of steel so bartending might be a better gig for you.

And by all means, take your USMLE Step 1 Exam seriously. Don't settle for a lack luster score just because you're going to be a primary care doctor and will be doing your residency in BFE. If your Step 1 exam is that important to you, you'll unplug from the internet, disconnect from social media and engage the Deep Work...which dove tails nicely to:

Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World - Cal Newport

Apply the law of the vital few to your internet habits. The law of the vital few
says in many settings, 80 percent of a given effect is due to just 20 percent of
the possible causes.

Quit social media for 30 days. Don’t formally deactivate these services, and
(this is important) don’t mention online that you’ll be signing off: Just stop using
them, cold turkey.

After thirty days of this self-imposed network isolation, ask yourself the
following two questions about each of the services you temporarily quit: 1.
Would the last thirty days have been notably better if I had been able to use this
service? 2. Did people care that I wasn’t using this service?

Don’t use the internet to entertain yourself. If you give your mind something
meaningful to do throughout all your waking hours, you’ll end the day more
fulfilled, and begin the next one more relaxed, than if you instead allow your
mind to bathe for hours in semiconscious and unstructured Web surfing.

To summarize, if you want to eliminate the addictive pull of entertainment sites on
your time and attention, give your brain a quality alternative. Not only will this
preserve your ability to resist distraction and concentrate, but you might
experience, perhaps for the first time, what it means to live, and not just exist.


Take yourself seriously if you expect others to take you seriously.
How did I ever wind up on the Pre-Allo forum?
 
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The difficulty of preclinical med school depends on your goals and your med school's curriculum. Aiming to be average at a pass-fail school? Definitely easier than being an undergrad engineer shooting for a good GPA. Aiming for derm/ortho? It's going to take work.

Clinical rotations are a different beast but are just as varied. I enjoyed most of my clinical rotations, but there were a few rotations that were very difficult. Sure, nobody is trying to kill you and they probably won't fail you outright, but good luck dealing with a malignant attending/resident. Again the stress level, outside of difficult people, is somewhat dependent on your goals. It takes most people a lot of studying outside of the clinical duties of a rotation to do well on the shelf exams. This can translate to feeling rather isolated.

Some schools require you to do clinical rotations for the majority of your fourth year. I think that would be really tough, added to the stress of residency interviews and everything else.

Those that describe it as "hell on earth" have surely been coddled or have no idea what they're talking about. To have the opportunity to obtain a higher education and then go on to a high paying, highly respected career is more than the vast majority of the world can even dream about.
Or never experienced truly malignant rotations, which can be very emotionally taxing, regardless of the assured future safety. Not "hell on earth" but also not a cakewalk. There are reasons so many med students and physicians kill themselves and I think the extreme end of medical culture is one of them.
 

Winged Scapula

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Or never experienced truly malignant rotations, which can be very emotionally taxing, regardless of the assured future safety. Not "hell on earth" but also not a cakewalk. There are reasons so many med students and physicians kill themselves and I think the extreme end of medical culture is one of them.
As a general surgeon who trained before work hour reform, I certainly know about emotionally taxing situations. I still counter that using the phrase "hell on earth" is hyperbole and in no way corresponds to what people without homes, food, safe drinking water, etc. go through. But we can let it rest - if others choose to be dramatic, then so be it.
 
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@Gurby @jcorpsmanMD If you go on amazon and look up "standing whiteboards" they range roughly below and a little above $100. I bought a standing NOSIVA whiteboard last week because I've always been a kinetic learner rather than being visual or auditory. There are some nice standing desks, but they are too cumbersome and I just didn't have the time to deal with a product that may be 50/50 worth my time or not. If it doesn't fit in an amazon locker, I hesitate before buying it. Watch out world, the treadmillenials are coming.
 
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@Winged Scapula @Planes2Doc @ChrisMack390 @sliceofbread136 Just for clarification, 8/9 to 5 is what we get paid for biweekly and what we tell our families so they know that we aren't running around making calls and filing/filling out last minute paperwork from home at midnight in order to make sure tomorrow doesn't run without a hitch. Because the only 9-5 jobs that I've worked that were actually 9 to 5 was working a retail gig that has likely now been replaced with a sales kiosk or will be replaced by a robot with opposable thumbs. The jobs that required a significant portion of my frontal cortex seemed like they never ended from one day to the next. Everything got pushed back and everyone stayed over hours and a lot of it was off the books to finish by deadline.
 

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@Winged Scapula @Planes2Doc @ChrisMack390 @sliceofbread136 Just for clarification, 8/9 to 5 is what we get paid for biweekly and what we tell our families so they know that we aren't running around making calls and filing/filling out last minute paperwork from home at midnight in order to make sure tomorrow doesn't run without a hitch. Because the only 9-5 jobs that I've worked that were actually 9 to 5 was working a retail gig that has likely now been replaced with a sales kiosk or will be replaced by a robot with opposable thumbs. The jobs that required a significant portion of my frontal cortex seemed like they never ended from one day to the next. Everything got pushed back and everyone stayed over hours and a lot of it was off the books to finish by deadline.
I'm not sure what this is about, how its relevant to the OP or why you've tagged me in it.
 

NotYou20

5+ Year Member
Dec 23, 2012
731
1,115
Status
Medical Student
Second year is a lot of work. It's still ok though. The material is interesting but sitting around all day while studying gets old.

Overall 5/10 could be worse
 
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