Sep 27

This I Believe

Happy Monday, and welcome to Medical Mondays! The first of my residency interviews takes place next week, so the past few days have been filled with introspection.

I recently dug up my research paper from grad school to refresh my mind on it, and it’s been such a long time (or at least, that’s how it feels)–did I seriously write this!?

My brain has since done a whole lot of rearranging to allow for all the things I learned in medical school.

My mentor in grad school was an assistant professor who worked in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, and helped place med students in service-learning experiences with community partners who serve the under-served.

She also taught the Humanism & Medicine elective at my school, so I audited her course. (I am forever auditing courses because I’m not allowed to take as many as I’d like to. ._.) One of our assignments was to write a “This I Believe” essay, which I recently also re-found, so I’m sharing it here!


I believe in pursuing the things that you love in life.


When I was little, my parents had no idea what I would be interested in, so they had me try some of everything in the hopes that I would pick something I liked enough to stick with it. However, we quickly discovered that I had a tendency to keep gaining hobbies, but very rarely lost interest in any of my former activities. This only compounded when I started college, as I was presented with a seemingly endless amount of opportunities that I hadn’t had in high school. I knew that I wanted to pursue a health-related career and to continue volunteering wherever and whenever I could, but I also didn’t want to have to give up music.

I’ve always admired people who have passion and drive in their life—the courage to truly live their lives and go after what they love in order to achieve their dreams. In my eyes, if they could do it, there was no reason that I wouldn’t be able to as well. As a result, I resolved to do it all, and my undergraduate years were dubbed by others as my “rather courageous attempt at academic suicide.” At my best (or worst, depending on how you looked at it), I was taking ten classes while volunteering at three internships, working several jobs and being an officer of three clubs.


 If I could have been paid a dollar for every time that someone told me I was crazy for doing so much, I would be well on my way to being able to pay for medical school. I often found myself defending my love for my majors while trying to explain that although learning to pack my schedule into what looked like endless blocks of text was definitely a necessity, the real “secret” I’d discovered was that if it’s an activity you truly love, it honestly does not feel like work. Playing piano, dancing, exercising and my music major served as welcoming breaks to studying. I admit, after a 13-16 hour day on campus, the initial moments preceding my attempts to force myself to awaken on a subsequent pitch-black Saturday morning were wildly difficult, but being able to work with and help patients greatly outweighed my desire for sleep.


At some point, I realized that if it’s something that you really want in life, you will stop at nothing to get there. My experiences taught me that often, the only factor truly preventing me from pursuing the things I loved was my own mentality and whether or not I thought I could actually do it. Life is not anywhere near long enough to accomplish all the things I would like to do, but I want to be able to live my life without wasting a single moment, and there is no sense in spending your life doing something that you despise.

Do what you love. The rest will follow.

Medical Mondays

  • If you were writing a This I Believe essay, what would you write about?

Permanent link to this article: http://www.fairyburger.com/this-i-believe/


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  1. CARLA

    and here?
    it is do what you love and PEACE will follow.
    CARLA recently posted…What comes out when youre squeezed?My Profile

    1. Farrah

      Yes indeed! :]

  2. Coco

    It took me a few tries to find what I love, but I did – and I love it!
    Coco recently posted…Why Starbucks Is My Home Away From HomeMy Profile

    1. Farrah

      I’m so glad you did! :D!

  3. Rachel G

    Don’t you love the idealism of undergrad? I am also a highly energetic person who mostly doesn’t understand the priority that other people place on downtime and sleep–but I’m not ambitious the way you are, which definitely modifies my level of commitment. It seems like I ought to be more ambitious…
    Rachel G recently posted…Blue is BackMy Profile

    1. Farrah

      The idealism is proooobably what kept me alive through undergrad, because these days, I look back and wonder how it is that I didn’t die, hahaha (…while concurrently wishing that I’d had more energy to do more, because there were a tonnnnn of other things I wish I’d had the chance to try/do/learn!). I think I just really like collecting fun/interesting experiences/knowledge! 😛

  4. Jennifer

    You are very driven and motivating for someone your age . .. heck, someone of any age! What a great reminder take advantage of life.
    Jennifer recently posted…Speedy Orange Jalapeno Salmon – Fueling More FunMy Profile

    1. Farrah

      Thanks, Jennifer! 😀 I have to give myself inspirational pep talks sometimes, but usually it works out! ;P

  5. Susie @ SuzLyfe

    All I want to say is this:
    Susie @ SuzLyfe recently posted…Another Packed Weekend: #BodyShred #BeHealthful and #CES!My Profile

    1. Farrah


  6. Sina @ Vegan Heaven

    Great article, Farrah! So true! 🙂
    Sina @ Vegan Heaven recently posted…Super Easy Banana SushiMy Profile

    1. Farrah

      Thanks so much, Sina! <3

  7. Vicky

    This is beautiful Farrah and I LOVE that you have so many interests and hobbies…you’ll never spend a day bored in your life, so yay you! Going into the medical field, particularly as a doctor, could put you on a very narrow path of just doctoring and working, but you aren’t going to allow that for yourself and I think that is so admirable. I wish I had half your energy and focus, though :)! Good luck on your residency interviews!
    Vicky recently posted…Exploring Vienna, AustriaMy Profile

    1. Farrah

      Thanks so much, Vicky! And you’re definitely right! 😛 I detest idle moments, so I like filling em’ up with memories and experiences. I think having that balance of medicine vs. everything else is really what’s kept me going (and sane) for all this time! Here’s to hoping it continues, and thank you for the luck! 😀 I hope they go well!

  8. Julie @ Running in a Skirt

    I have a tendency to “collect” hobbies too, so I totally understand this! The older I get I find myself wrapped into stuff I don’t really love. I’m trying to make some changes to make time for the stuff I do 🙂
    Julie @ Running in a Skirt recently posted…Things I’m Loving Lately 16My Profile

    1. Farrah

      hehehe, so glad that I’m not alone in that–there’s just so much that I want to do! (I feel ya on getting wrapped up in some stuff I don’t really love, but some of them are unfortunate necessary evils!)

  9. Jessi Haynes

    Yes, girl! We are of one mind today. I just went through a huge transition and career change (and lifestyle change) in order to do what I love, and I’m totally feelin’ this post!

    1. Farrah

      Great minds think alike! ;P I’m really glad that you went for it! 😀

  10. Alex

    If I wrote that article years ago, I am not sure what I would say. Probably something stupid lol – priorities really changed in life once I got a job that was in line with my education (finally) and when I finally accepted who I was and opened up about my sexuality to friends/family instead of hiding it since I was 5. SO, with that being said… I think I would be very similar to you. Do and pursue what you LOVE in life and live for yourself, not to please others. If you are happy with yourself then everything else will fall into place as it should, and if it doesn’t, then you will know you did your best and keep on trying.
    Alex recently posted…Search Terms of EndearmentMy Profile

    1. Farrah

      So very true! I’m really glad that you accepted who you were and opened up to your friends + family! That can be such a difficult step! x_x Completely with you on everything you wrote, but especially that last part! It makes all the difference!!

  11. Clare Speer

    Good for you – trying different things and following your passions! Blessings to you! Great post!
    Clare Speer recently posted…More “Tidbits” from the HeartMy Profile

    1. Farrah

      Thanks so much, Clare! :]

  12. Runaway Bridal Planner

    You always inspire me!
    If I wrote that years ago, I would say I believe in shooting for your dreams and doing anything possible to achieve them and don’t let others get in your way. Life can be anything I want it to be, the choice on if it turns out great or bad is my own.
    Good luck in your upcoming interviews, I bet your rock them!! Hope you get to do your residency at a place you will enjoy!!!
    Runaway Bridal Planner recently posted…Bitten, Progress, Weddings and Changes, Oh My…My Profile

    1. Farrah

      Aww, thank you so much, Kristy! <3 I'd definitely agree with what you wrote too! Yay for going for what you want so you don't regret never trying! :]

      I really hope so too! *-* Fingers super-crossed!

  13. Eva at Kid Minds

    You go, girl! We live only once. Why settle for one hobby, when you can have one hundred. I admire people who have passions. Not only they are interesting, but also inspirational. Following a passion usually requires continued commitment over a long stretch of time, sacrifices, time, effort, sleepless nights, self-motivation, sometimes tears. So if I was writing an essay of the same topic, I would say This I believe… NOTHING WORTH HAVING IS EASY!

    Good luck in the upcoming interviews!
    Eva at Kid Minds recently posted…Everyday Detox by Megan GilmoreMy Profile

    1. Farrah

      I know, right!? I definitely agree with the “nothing worth having is easy” statement! :] I think it reallyyy makes us learn to appreciate it that much more!

  14. Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine

    This is wonderful Farrah! Thank you for sharing it on the blog <3 You so know what you want and I KNOW you will succeed!
    Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine recently posted…Soft & Grainless Pumpkin Spice Latte CookiesMy Profile

    1. Farrah

      Thanks so much, Rebecca! Fingers crossed! :D!

  15. Jess @hellotofit

    Every year, the medical school here puts on a talent show, and I’m AMAZED at how talented many people are in OTHER things besides school. You, included!
    Jess @hellotofit recently posted…Monday motivation: think like EinsteinMy Profile

    1. Farrah

      Awww, thank you! <3 Our school does a yearly talent show too (yay for raising money for the women's shelter!), and it's always a lot of fun seeing what other students do outside of medicine! I was in it my first two years, but oh, clinical rotations. :O

  16. Angie Scheie

    Lovely sentiments. I can relate to collecting activities and not being able to drop them. It does lead to one crazy life lol, but I so admire that you are able to volunteer and do all that you do while pursuing medicine. I’m sure you have to be amazingly organized!!
    Angie Scheie recently posted…Sports Rewind NFL Week 3My Profile

    1. Farrah

      hehehe, I had a lot of “practice” in undergrad, so it really helped with my time management skills! :P!

  17. Melanie

    It’s so important to be encouraging instead of discouraging! Look at all you’ve accomplished because you have done what you love! I’m glad you didn’t give anything up because other people thought it was too much. You’re inspiring!
    Melanie recently posted…Simple Homemade PicklesMy Profile

    1. Farrah

      Agreed, and thanks so much! <3 I'm really glad I didn't give up either! 😀 When I get discouraged, I try to look back to see how far I've come--helps me to keep pushing forward! :]

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