I just sat my medical finals. Six years of hard work culminating in four exams that will determine whether or not I have earned the right to practice medicine. So here I am, eagerly awaiting the results. With all the stress of exams and deadlines, it’s very easy to be swept up in the fast pace of life. Having caught up on sleep, I now have lots of time and not much to do, so naturally it’s time to reflect.
Six years is a long time to study, and I often find myself chuckling when I bump into old friends who are shocked to hear that I’m still at university. As I turn onto the home strait however, I am in the privileged position of being able to look back on this journey, and understand the path that I have paved for myself; the successes and the failures along the way, and what can be learned for the road ahead.
It’s an interesting time this – in limbo; having survived my exams, all I can do now is hope and pray, as my fate is decided. Then again, is that not always the case?
In the final few days before my exams, as the nerves began to fester, and the feelings of doubt slowly crept in, I would increasingly turn to the Holy Qur’an in the hope that simply taking some time away from the books would allow me to re-evaluate. True to form however, the words of The Almighty did much more than that. I was repeatedly reassured by the messages of hope, patience and trust in His will – a message that has definitely resonated with me throughout my time as an undergraduate. After all, only so much is actually in my hands.
Control is a funny thing – people tend to crave it, and we often freak out when we think we’re losing it. But if you take a step back and think about it objectively, when have we ever had any control? Did we decide when we were born? Did we choose our parents, social status or ethnicity? Yet, we still live under the delusion that control is the be all and end all; that control is the key to happiness and success.
What if I could guarantee you all of the happiness in the world? Would you take it? No conditions or catches; a simple proposition.
What if I was to tell you that the ultimate way of guaranteeing contentment is to simply relinquish the desire to be in control? Embrace the uncertainty, and jump the hurdles as and when they arise.
Many of you reading this will be well on your way to a heart attack at the thought of such an atrocity, but take a breath or two and let your imagination run wild. Surely, the biggest act of faith is to have full trust in Almighty Allah’s plans and His grace. With faith comes patience, and from patience we breed hope – and hope, my friends, is a beautiful thing.
With hope comes the strength to look catastrophe in the eye, and learn from it; to appreciate that what we wanted might not have been what was best for us. When one door closes, hope gives us a reason to knock on the next; to open our eyes and our hearts to whatever opportunities may await beyond it, and to strive to find our place within them.
So, with the finish line in sight, I look back on the successes and the struggles, and I can honestly say that each and every one of them has watered the seeds of hope, patience and faith within me. And with any luck, this will make me a better doctor, but more importantly, a better person.
Of course this isn’t limited to medical students, nor to students of any other subject for that matter. We are all on the journey of life, we all have lessons to learn, and we will all inevitably come across some sort of struggle along the way. However, through faith, honesty with oneself, and ultimately trusting in the will of Almighty Allah, no obstacle will ever seem insurmountable.
Reclaim Your Stage:
The Platform is a groundbreaking blog that provides current affairs and cultural commentary. Our pieces offer challenging opinions from a range of spectrums; that’s why we love hosting a platform for them.