Being a better ME

I am a very chatty and sociable person, I love to meet new people. I guess you could even call it somewhat of a hobby. The process of getting to know someone is exciting and finding out what makes that person tick is so interesting. I have had many people telling me that I am too nosy for my own good and I’ve been told to ‘mind my own business’ more times than I can count.

I picked up a quaint phrase from a really good friend of mine which is DMC. What is a DMC? It means a deep meaningful conversation. I love a good DMC with a complete stranger. I don’t really know what it says about me as a person when a stranger feels they are able to tell me their life story.

Most people when they take trains will sit in silence next to a stranger. Not me though, I’m that weird person that starts talking to you and you start thinking, “why the hell is this person talking to me?”. I’ve met lots of very interesting people this way.

In Sheffield whenever students are put on placement they are usually in groups of two or more. Every placement I go on I always end up with a couple of new people who I have never met or spoken to. In my year there is roughly 240 students and it’s impossible to know or speak to everyone, even for someone like me. I like that I’m placed with new people every time I change placements because that means there’s a new person I can get to know.

So why is all of this so important? I am always looking to better myself and I will often think, “I wish I could be a little more like that person”. Don’t get me wrong, I am very happy with the way I am and I am not trying to change my core values or fundamental characteristics. Everybody has characteristics to admire and everyone also has their flaws. When I get to know someone I look at their good qualities and all the things I admire about that person. I try to take those qualities and implement them into my life.

All the people I am about to talk about are people who I have been on placement with me and they have had an impact on me in some way. People in all aspects of my life influence me and have an impact on me in some way. For the purposes of this blog I will only be talking about people I have been on placement with.

On my first placement I was in Doncaster partnered up with a guy that we will call W. He was a post-graduate student who worked as a health care assistant in hospitals. This did intimidate me a great deal at first. As a post-graduate student he definitely had a greater knowledge base than me, after a gap year I felt that I had forgotten a great deal of my science knowledge, and he was a health care assistant which meant he had significant experience working in hospitals, where I had fleeting experiences as a volunteer or on work experience. His experience as a health care assistant meant he knew the subtler workings of a hospital and he was not afraid to ask to get involved in opportunities, seeing this encouraged me to get involved more. I did not know W before hand but after a day I was very happy to be on placement with him. A lovely and very practical guy, I thought. Being on placement with him pushed me to want to be better on placement.

Last year I was on placement on a stroke ward with 5 others. One of the guys, that I shall call T, was on placement with me. I thought T was an intriguing character. He is also a postgraduate student. T is a very funny guy who seems to take things in his stride and not be too serious, I admire him for that. He works part-time as an app designer and is definitely doing well for himself since he drives a brand new Audi. I found it somewhat odd that he could potentially make a fortune designing apps but instead chose to study to become a doctor. I definitely respect him for this as his motivation for wanting to do medicine must be immense. I have never asked him but I would love to know what his motivation for wanting to study medicine was and if that has changed now compared to a few years ago. 

When I was on my psychiatry placement I was with a girl who was a champion orienteer and fell runner. She suffered from a serious illness and despite that was determined to return to her sports. I admire her determination and dedication. I have no illness stopping me from doing sports yet I have a serious aversion to exercise.

On my paediatric placement I am on placement with two lads, J and R. Both of them are, in my opinion, cycling fanatics. If you have a severe allergy or know someone who has then ask yourself what happens when an allergic reaction takes place. In a severe allergic reaction a person turns red and struggled to breathe. Over the last few years I have come to the conclusion that I am allergic to exercise (I’m deadly serious) because whenever I excercise I turn red and can’t breathe. Joking aside though, the passion that J and R both have for cycling is infectious and listening to them drone on about cycling for 5 weeks has made me want to cycle. R recently told me that he goes to the gym five time a week which I find ridiculous but very admirable and is the kind of thing I wish I could do. That’s something I will work towards, in baby steps of course.

Take home message of the blog: There is so much to learn from your people so learn as much as you can from others. Confucius said it best, “If I am walking with two other men, each of them will serve as my teacher. I will pick out the good points of the one and imitate them, and the bad points of the other and correct them in myself.”

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