I had no idea what my life would be like when I made it my personal mission to help Austin get into medical school. I had no idea what I was in for or the commitment that was about to take place. I had no idea how hard this would be. I had no idea I would find such happiness is another person’s success and dreams. I had no idea that this life was the one meant for me.
I feel like I needed to do a post on what I’ve learned since being a medical student’s fiance and now wife. People ask me how I do it and how Austin does it and here’s the deal…
You have to give yourself over to medical school, even if you are not the student. Medical school is a crazy process that involves moving at least every couple of years and not knowing where you will go. It’s a process that means Austin has to have HIGH test scores, strong grades, and great volunteer service, AND oh yeah, it never hurts to know someone and use your network. Rotations, residency, establishing a practice is an interview process that is exposing and never-ending. This not only effects Austin but also effects me. I have to move with him or live separate (which both are equally hard). I have to sacrifice some of my “dreams” of owning a home a couple years out of college and living in a town I want to live in. We have to live in a town that he has opportunities.
You are going to be alone a lot. And you better get used to it quickly. I knew medical students have to study an insane amount but nothing could prepare us for the reality of it. Austin studies 24/7/365. Even on our “date nights,” I am worried because I feel like he is getting behind and should be studying instead of spending time with me. I am working on that and have learned to just let it go and enjoy my husband. He studies at home with me most of the time but 6 nights out of the week, I am by myself watching tv with Rocco at night. A big change from what I was used to pre-medical school. I have to keep myself busy *hence this blog.
You have to realize that medical students NEED to be selfish. Medical students have to be selfish and put their own stuff in front of everything else, or it’s simple: they will fail. Being in medical school is one of the hardest things to do and if you don’t do what is right for yourself, you will get behind in school and do bad on tests and then get on probation and kicked out of school….it’s not that serious BUT it’s a domino effect. Austin is not selfish by nature at ALL because he is one of the kindest men I know. However, I have had to teach him to be selfish in order to get his stuff done. A lot of times this means I have to sacrifice time spent together.
You have to know that no matter how hard it is for you, imagine how hard it is for the med student. Right when we moved to Tennessee for Austin’s school, I had a good ole pity party about the situation. Woe is Madison. NOPE. That is not the right mindset. I don’t know when it was but one day I had an epiphany: this is not hard for me like it is for Austin. I know the pressure on his shoulders is great and my role is to help not to hinder. That is my mission.
You have to know that this is all going to be worth it. Austin is my heart and my soul. He is that sweet guy that listens better than anyone I know. He is the sweetest and has a huge heart. Yes, time is not exactly easy right now and being a medical student’s wife is not easy. But you know what? It’s all going to be worth it and it is actually worth it now. I would not change a thing. What gets me by is this…not many people pursue their dreams…and I am so incredibly proud of my strong husband for reaching for his dreams 100%. I am going to be by his side no matter what comes our way. God put Austin in my life for a reason and I truly believe it was to make me a better person and learn what is important in life. As a doctor, Austin will be making a difference in so many peoples lives and for me to have a small part in that makes me one happy wife.
Moral of the story: it’s only as hard as you make it. Accept the reality and make the best of it. Positive thoughts, optimism and PRAYERS are very necessary. I will be beside Austin all of my days and that’s what life is about…supporting each other and making the most of the beautiful path God has put us on. We got this!
Question: What is one of your favorite mottos? One of mine is: “it’s only as hard as you make it.”