I have officially completed my first year of medical school! It is seriously unreal how quickly the time flew by. It's cliche but, it feels like it was just yesterday that I hopped on a plane with a one way ticket from NY to CA, two suitcases, and no idea what to expect. Fast forward 10 short months and I can't even begin to tell you how much I've learned (!!!), grown, and experienced. 

My birthday is coming up in a few weeks and as I reflect, I can truly say that 23 has been the best year of my life. Starting medical school has been on my mind ever since I dreamed up the idea of becoming a physician when I was very young. It feels like I have been living the dream, my dream every day and I couldn't be more grateful. What an honor and a privilege it is to pursue this path. 

 I'd like to give a special shout out to all to the people who have supported me and believed in me throughout all of these years (special s/o to you, Mom & Dad I know you're reading lololll). THANK YOU! I would of course be remised if I didn't thank all of you for following along and sharing this journey with me. When I started blogging, I never expected to become a part of such an inspiring and supportive community. It's been truly amazing and I'm looking forward to what this summer, MS2, and beyond has in store!

To mark the end of MS1, I wanted to participate in this fun Medical Student Tag shared by Trisha over at Three Thousand Miles Blog (check her gorgeous blog out)! I tagged some other amazing med student blogs in my instagram post to keep it going. I hope you enjoy it! 

Who are you and where do you study? My name is Shanice and I study medicine in the beautiful state of California! 

When did you start studying medicine or premed courses? I was premed all throughout college. I was one of those weird "always wanted to be a doctor" kids hahaa There were certainly times in undergrad where I questioned being premed, especially when I was faced with challenges that made me feel inadequate. But, when I explored other fields, it always came back full circle to medicine. With the right combination of support and determination, I pushed pushed through, overcame those feelings, and achieved my goals. 

What made you choose the medical field? My initial interest came about at a young age because my mom is a nurse. Whenever I was asked that “what do you want to be when you grow up?” question, the answer was always that I wanted to be a doctor. At the time, I think I was more interested in the cool stethoscope or my "doctor" toy kit, but my later experiences are what solidified my decision to pursue the medical field. I chose medicine because I believe that health is the most fundamental human necessity and the health disparities that currently exist are unethical and preventable. As a physician, I believe I can play a (at least a small) role in righting some of the wrongs in our healthcare system and giving people the treatment they deserve. 

How did you come up with your blog name/username? Welllllll, I love (& by love I mean I'm utterly obsessed with) tea & I really wanted to create a place of good vibes/energy. The play on words with positivi"tea" was perfect for me and tbh, purely just rhymed to complete it! 

How would you describe your blog? It's my getaway! I love having this as a creative outlet and I try not to take it too seriously, which is why I pretty much post what I want (from food to med school) and when I can (if I'm busy, there's no stress about posting a certain number of times per month or anything like that).  If I manage to help a few people along the way, all the better!

What’s your favorite quote? "A river cuts through rock not because of its power, but because of its persistence." -James Watkins 

Best memory in medical school? This is a toughie! If I absolutely had to pick one stand out for now, it would be the moment my parents helped me into my white coat at the white coat ceremony

What’s one course you struggled with? Neuro was tough! Our neuro block was 5 weeks long and I had no exposure prior to starting, so learning all of that information was a massive undertaking. There were times that I thought it would never come together, but luckily it did in the end!

What’s your favorite book? Hmm, I don't think I have an all time favorite book. I'd say my favorite recent(ish) read is When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi.

What do you do in your free time? My absolute favorite thing to do is cook! I love finding new recipes, going grocery shopping for them, and whipping them up in the kitchen! I also blog, insta (probs more than I should), chronically window shop online, watch TV, and other normal/not so exciting things. 

What do you want to major or specialize in? Not too sure right now! Keeping an open mind :)

Who do you look up to? My parents! They both grew up in impoverished, rural Jamaica, then immigrated to this country, made a life, and gave us so much. I am in awe of all that they have been through and they are my BIGGEST sources of support. I hope to be half the parents and people they are someday. 

How do you study (productively)? Allow me to point ya in the right direction -> How To Study Actively

How do you stay motivated in medical school? I stay motivated by taking whatever opportunity I can to interact with real patients. It can me so easy to get lost in mountains of powerpoints and forget why you even started medical school and what your end goal is. Talking to patients and getting to know them reminds me of why I'm in this and gives me the push I need to keep moving forward. 

What are your best tips for future medical students? Get excited! This is going to be hard, but it's going to be worth it. There's a million learning styles and resources out there. Find what works for YOU. Stay inspired. Make time. For yourself, for your family, for your non-medically related hobbies. Never ever neglect your own self care. Sometimes you'll need to study all day. Sometimes you'll need a study-free day. If you need help, ask for it & ask for it early. You've worked hard to get to medical school. This is not a mistake or luck, you belong here.