Drinking, pfft

Tell me.

What makes a person who drinks more fun or a better friend than one who doesn't? What makes people who party socially admired compared to those who don't? Why do those who don't actually enjoy drinking boast that actually, they are able to skull drinks (it obviously tastes terrible if you have to shove it straight down your throat without it first going through your mouth)?

The social overtone is strong wherever I turn (much more so than in Singapore) that I feel like a large aspect of Australian (or Western) uni culture is foreign to me.

If you pressure me to share interests of drinking or clubbing to be accepted... forget it, because that's not who I am. I do like club music and dancing is fun, but a roomful of sleazy, lustful men is not. Losing inhibition might be amusing but the risks are not worth it and drunkedness doesn't please God. I'm not going to touch it apart from the occasional sip out of curiosity for the taste of pretty cocktails.

In first and second year I felt out of place. I didn't know how come I didn't "understand" these typical uni student activities, sometimes I felt unsure, swayed. Well, it's been a few years and I know myself and my purpose a bit better. I'm not ashamed of who I am, I don't need to learn to enjoy these things that I don't enjoy, and no matter what you tell me I'm 100% sure I'm not missing out. Because satisfaction and joy without a bad aftertaste (or hangover) is from the Lord.

Thinking about clinical school

At our church's youth music concert recently, we sang this song:

我要向高山举目 - 赞美之泉



"I lift up my eyes to the hills - where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth." - Psalm 121:1-2

The transition from class to clinical school... settling into my new place, trying to unpack, clean my dusty room and buy basic ingredients to start cooking. Getting up on foggy mornings for early rounds, meeting up after dinner for late night PBLs (tutorials). Unfamiliar hospital terms, finding doctors, facing mortality each day seeing oncology patients.

I particularly have this awareness of rank. Consultants, registrars, residents, interns, med students. It's normal, but it's intimidating. But why do we fear? I should respect them, but their favour (or disfavour...) is not a measure of my worth. Because God, who is far greater, is my helper.

"Do not put your trust in princes, in mortal men, who cannot save. When their spirit departs, they return to the ground; on that very day their plans come to nothing. Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God, the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them - the Lord, who remains faithful forever." - Psalm 146:3-6

It comes back to perspectives again, to fix my eyes on what is eternal instead of what is tangible but temporary. It's hard to do that in the company of other medical students, because career or study-minded thinking is quite different to God's perspectives. Sigh. I have some questions to ask myself:

What if I finish clinical years, but along the way use patients, colleagues and staff as instruments for my own benefit and use, and forget to love? Why study pathology, clinical signs and treatment regimes to heal if I don't remember to bring God's light and love to patients?

"If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing." - 1 Corinthians 13:3

So what if I see all the common diseases and have a excellent knowledge base (haha, wonder if that'd ever happen), but end up being constantly tired and easily irritable? What if I go through these years at the expense of my mental health and personal relationships? What if I get lost in busyness and work, so as to forget my purpose?

Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun. - Ecclesiastes 2:11

Father in heaven, help me see clinical school in the light of your mission and purpose. Teach me to balance my learning with my time in prayer and reflection. To learn to be still and know that you are God even when I feel like I'm too busy to be quiet. To set aside time for others, and time to rest and sleep.

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