It's official! I am a first year medical student. It's so surreal and I still can't believe that I can finally say that. I definitely thought I was going to get around to this post sooner (aka before my first day of classes) BUT between orientation, my boyfriend visiting, the ceremony itself, and getting ready for the first day of classes, let's just say that things got a little hectic! 

The second ceremony happened on the last day of orientation. (If you're confused about why I had two ceremonies, read about it here!) It was yet another sunny and BEAUTIFUL day, but then again what day isn't isn't in California? Before the ceremony, we gathered in a huge lecture hall where we learned about the history of the tradition, received our coats, uniformly folded them over our arms (in a way that would allow our "cloakers" to easily put them on us!), and finally, participated in a mass procession into an ornate theatre for the ceremony. 

As we arrived, you could already hear the cheers since the theatre was packed with everyone's family and friends. We have a pretty large class, so the ceremony itself went on for a while, but it was really special! We are separated into societies that kind of remind me of Harry Potter houses and each of us got cloaked by our respective society dean. We ended by reciting a pledge as a class, and then it was time to celebrate! They had an awesome reception for us outside complete with a steel drum band (my favorite!), refreshments, and a pretty sunset. 

Since my family is across the country, I think it worked out perfectly that they were able to make it to my first ceremony and that my boyfriend could make it for this one. With the first ceremony, I was able to share that once in a lifetime moment of having my parents help me put on my white coat. I also got to celebrate with my boyfriend, who has supported me throughout this entire journey, and had an amazing last few days of complete freedom with him before starting. My heart is FULL of love and gratitude. 

On that note, I feel honored, humbled, and blessed to be beginning this new chapter of my life. Not everyone has the opportunity to do what they truly love and are passionate about as a career and I am so excited! I've always loved learning, but I am genuinely/nerdily more excited than ever before to learn all that I can about the human body, the ethical, social, socioeconomic, and inherently human aspects of health, and to find my place as a future healer, mentor, community member, and physician. Even though the journey will be challenging, I know it will be exceedingly rewarding. 

Thank you to everyone who has been tuning in and reading my blog so far. I can't wait to share these next 4 years with you!