Qualms of an aspiring doctor
After 543 days of closure, schools and colleges across the country reopened earlier this week with a festive atmosphere, as students returned to campuses after more than a year of online classes. Being a first-year student of Mugda Medical College, I am more than glad to resume my MBBS courses in-person, given that remote learning was pretty hectic.
Following a virtual orientation ceremony, my college initiated online classes for first-year students last month. Owing to connectivity issues, the classes were a hassle for most students. After a year-long wait, it was also a bit disappointing to begin my MBBS courses from home, without in-person experiences.
While online classes allowed a certain level of flexibility, I had to be in front of a screen for long hours, in case I missed any important updates. It was also challenging to concentrate for the entire duration of classes, as the calls were disconnected abruptly quite often. It became increasingly difficult for me to maintain a proper balance between academics and other responsibilities, as I had to reschedule daily appointments, based on my class timings.
I mainly struggled with subjects like Anatomy, which demanded face-to-face experience. Physiology and Biochemistry were easier to cope with, as their concepts were already familiar to me. Since my classes began amidst lockdowns, I had a tough time managing resources, and had to order most of my books through Amazon India.
I also needed a set of human bones for studying Osteology, and I was unable to manage one before classes began. Since this was an entirely new experience, I reached out to my seniors, who were kind enough to guide me.
Within a week of online classes, our item tests and chapter-wise viva exams began. With the help of a senior from my college, I bought a bone set just a day before my exam. However, I had trouble locating the various parts. Without physical classes, it was challenging to understand the anatomical positions, relations, and attachments, but our faculty tried their best to make things easier for us.
In addition, I tested positive for Covid-19 just a day before the vaccination drive of my college, and had to continue online classes while staying in isolation at home. My anxieties, coupled with my hectic class schedule, took a toll on my health. I had to take small breaks between classes to avoid fatigue. It took a lot of strength to carry out my daily tasks, while battling the disease.
I have recovered from Covid-19, but I am still not vaccinated. As I resume physical classes, I have a constant fear of being infected again, and I am following all safety guidelines strictly.
Since my college reopened this week, I got to meet my batchmates and teachers. Travelling to the campus is tiring, and being stuck in traffic jams for long hours is a nuisance. Nonetheless, I am excited for the next five years, and the learning experience that follows.
The author is a medical student and a freelance journalist who likes reading, scribbling, and blogging.