During this finals period, take a break to read the wise words of Touro Pharmacy student Sylvia Park on managing school, stress, and life:
I love to drink coffee. I just like it, or maybe I am addicted to it? I believe that coffee helps keep my daily life running. Why do I need coffee to run my life? As a mother, a full-time student, a daughter, and a wife, my day is always occupied with so many jobs and to-dos. It is not easy to balance all my tasks and roles, and I struggle every day. I have seen a few women who can handle all kinds of jobs in their lives, but they were few, and I see them as a superhuman.
When I decided to go into the pharmacy program at Touro, I was just married and had no kids. I had plenty of time to manage my schoolwork and housework. I was an A+ student and OK housewife. However, by the time I was accepted to the program, I had a four-month-old daughter, Agnes. I love her, and she is my joy.
Everything was new to me. I became a mother, and a pharmacy student. The amount of work at home and school was not comparable with my past. I was a horrible student who couldn’t get good grades or even understand the material well, and also the worst mother in the world who could not give full attention to her child. I felt miserable and weak. I was depressed and tired. I felt no happiness in doing anything. After a while, I decided I needed to change my mindset.
I decided to accept myself. To accept all the things that were happening to me from the beginning of the school. I accepted that it is okay to get only a passing grade. It is okay to eat simple food. It is okay to sleep less. It is okay to not be part of a leadership group or a society. It is okay to be a busy daughter who cannot call her elderly parent as often as she should. It is okay to gain weight from all those chocolates and coffees for late studying. It is okay to lose a daddy who loved his daughter as she was his everything. It is okay to not be perfect, but to just be sincere in everything I do and try my best.
The Touro College of Pharmacy designed its program as two years of didactic courses, plus two years of outside rotations. All my P2 friends and I am almost there with finishing the first two years. Yes, during those first two years, while we were fighting to get good grades, we got engaged, got married, lost family members, had babies, got pregnant, got divorced, got a job, lost a job, gained weight, lost weight, and more, but we survived.
We still have another set of two years in rotations to be completed. I do not know what is waiting for us, but I know that we have the ability to endure and accept whatever it might be. And at the end of the next two years, we will be so ready not only in our knowledge and skills as pharmacists, but also as strong-minded professionals who are ready to accept the challenges in our fields and our lives.
So if you, like me, have struggled with the stress of school and daily life, please remember this quote from Srikumar Rao:
“Once you accept, truly accept, that stuff will happen to you and there is nothing you can do about it, stress miraculously leaves your life.”
Contributed by: Sylvia Park, Touro College of Pharmacy Student
For additional help, check out some of the library resources on managing stress, like:
Or, speak with an adviser or counselor from your program to discuss managing your course load and additional support services available.