I realize that I have constantly, since college began, been trying to define myself with modifiers - dancer, artist, baker, study neuroscience, etc etc. In my head passions were the things that stuck and defined who you are. But a friend I recently met suggested to me that passions can be fluid; they can come and go and ebb and flow as life moves forward. It doesn't make it an any less important part of your life. I suppose it is almost how relationships in your life come and go, but the lessons you learn from them and the emotions that were once there don't become any less significant. My passions are not invalidated if my life moves on to something new. But it does mean I didn't give myself the time to excel at any of it, which is always the thing that throws me off and frustrates me. Life moves too fast sometimes and I can't keep up.

Medical school starts in exactly ONE day and I feel far from prepared. I had a wonderful but surreal month in Kunshan, made some amazing friends, met some very very interesting students (not always a positive thing), and here I am unsure of how to proceed next. I sometimes worry my priorities are not in place - like I'm here to study and learn and build this career, but all I'm thinking about is relationships. It's strange how when I'm surrounded by my pre-med friends from Duke and I look at everyone on my newsfeed who are getting their white coats right now, what I'm doing right now makes absolute sense. I'm starting on this life path that makes sense for me. Then I go to Duke TIP where the staff has such diverse backgrounds and life goals and all of a sudden I wish I had pursued my other passions more before ending up here. Maybe I could have lived in China for a year and worked on my Chinese language proficiency; maybe I should have gone to more dance workshops and joined a team. But then I'm back here and things will start to make sense again. I think this is the thing they say about being in a field where you're in school for so many more years but all your other friends are getting on with their lives. We have to remember this journey is going to be a ride in itself, so I'm going to try to take it day by day.

Until next time.

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