Well, this is it. Time's up. Graduation is tomorrow.
Last night we had our mudphud program graduation party. Today we had graduation rehearsal, so I got to hear them call my name, then say, "VonB, Doctor of Medicine and Doctor of Philosophy", then I walked across the stage so they could put the crazy hood on me. Then I sat back down.
I have to tell you--so far, this whole thing has been strangely and unsettlingly anticlimactic. Maybe it will be different when everyone has on their robes and hats, and the bleachers are full of friends and family cheering. Maybe it will be different when I have a program that has my name in it. I don't know. For now it's all just surreal and, well, tiring.
Little VonB has not made her appearance. I can't wear the dress I bought for graduation, both because I can't go without support hose now (by the way, 3+ edema is VERY uncomfortable; I have a whole new level of sympathy for patients who have it) and because I can't get my feet into any shoes besides sneakers. She's due on Sunday, and I am lucky enough to have an OB who understands that I am eminently beginning residency and was happy to schedule an induction on Monday should the tike continue to be stubborn.
So, it is looking like I will be able to waddle across the stage tomorrow after all. But like I said--it isn't as exciting as I thought it would be, somehow. I find myself not really hoping that Little VonB holds out until after graduation, but feeling more indifferent. It's like when I had my dissertation defense. Then, I blamed it on not having a graduation. But I see now it's not that at all. Maybe it's because I've been doing this thing so long, it feels much more like a job than anything else. Maybe it's because endings are often anticlimactic. Maybe it's my crazy hormones. I'm sure it will dawn on me soon and I will feel all kinds of emotions. But for now, I mostly feel: meh.
I admit, have been feeling sort of nostalgic and sad; a lot of it is for the friends who are moving away, but some of it is for my MSTP program itself. It's been like a family to me for so long. I've invested a lot in it, made a lot of changes I'm proud of. I hope I've left it a little better than it was before. And it isn't like I won't be around and able to check in from time to time. It's just... well, I won't be part of that group anymore. I'll be in a new group.
I think that's part of it, too. I'm excited to meet the new interns and get to know all of the residents I hadn't met before--but I'm nervous, too. And kind of tired just thinking about it. Although basically everyone would describe me as an extrovert, I'm shy in my own way. I'm also not good with change (I guess most people aren't, but still). Also, like when I started medical school, I'm hesitant to get too attached to a new set of people I will be leaving so soon. However, I always regretted not making more friends in my original medical school class, so maybe this is my chance for a do-over.
On the other hand, as we recently discussed over on OldMDGirl's blog, it can be hard making friends with people who are so much younger than you, with such different life experiences. Maybe residency will level some of that out. Hmm. Not holding my breath, but still hopeful.
Now I'm just rambling, which is my cue to sign off. When next I post, I will be VonB, M.D., Ph.D. For reals.