|A Letter to my Future Self
During medical school orientation week four years ago, the staff had each of us write letters to our future graduating selves. They held onto these sealed letters, and on the first day of graduation week, the staff gave them back to us. My letter was super uplifting and made me smile. I even loved my super positive outlook on surgery back then, and how I knew that despite how match would go, surgery would remain my passion to this very day. Since I didn’t write anything too personal or crazy about myself, I figured I would share. Dated 8/15/14, it reads:
Hey Dr. Ward,
Guess what? You’ve made it! You finally accomplished your dreams of becoming a doctor and you are now on the way to the residency of your dreams. Despite the many obstacles you faced including raising a young child throughout school, you persevered and didn’t let anything stop you. I am so proud of you! Tiana is proud of you too, and she appreciates the sacrifices you made to get to this point and raise her to be the most independent and strong-willed pre-teenager that she has become.
At the time of this letter, you feared you would fail and disappoint those who believed in you. Med school was probably one of the hardest things that you have ever done in your life and you survived! You are now on your way to becoming one of the world’s best surgeons, and hopefully you matched into an amazing plastic surgery program that will take you far. If you changed your mind on plastics, I know you are still going into surgery regardless of the specialty and YOU WILL BE GREAT! I love you and take the time to enjoy this moment, because another long hard road lies ahead. But guess what, you will succeed and I’m proud of ya!
-Danielle M. Ward
P.S. The cheddar cheese stains are from that awesome popcorn at orientation! LOL
There you have it! Even though the road ahead will be long and hard, I look forward to the ride and eventually achieving my goal of becoming a surgeon. I just might even write another letter to myself before beginning intern year in a few weeks to see if my outlook has changed a year from now. Up next, I’ll share highlights from day two of graduation week.