As midterms are upon us, many people are feeling overwhelmed and stressed. I'm in that boat with just about the rest of the student body. While I am very comfortable and very happy at Emory, it still hasn't fully set in that this is where I will be spending the next four years of my life. I still feel like I should be heading home in a few weeks to go to school and return to my regular life. My life at Emory still hasn't become my new "normal."

Living on my own feels more like being away at a summer camp than internalizing that this is my new reality. Maybe that's because that's all I know and a summer camp is the only thing I have to relate to this new experience. I feel like we should be wrapping up and heading home soon, saying goodbye to the friends we've made, maybe to see them again next summer if you both return. But of course, that isn't the case.

For the break, I will be heading home to see my family but it doesn't feel like I will have to leave home again to come back to school. I'll have to say goodbye to my family all over again. But I will be coming back to my "home" where all my stuff is and even more importantly where my friends are.

It seems like a weird balance. While I don't always realize that this is where I will spend the next four years of my life, I couldn't imagine being anywhere else.

Emory is a place of growth and challenge for me. I am expanding my education in two fields simultaneously. It's hard and yes some days I wonder if it is worth it but, I walk to my class and pass an amazing medical school and a world known hospital and I'm able to remind myself that yes, it is all worth it. I know this isn't supposed to be easy, and I have to remember that that is half the reason I love what I am studying.

While this is all still very foreign to me, I know that every day that I push myself it will become a little more routine than the day before. Every time I go home and come back to school will seem a little more natural. The sound of the train behind Kaldi's and helicopters coming and going from the hospital will become the sounds of home. The trek back and forth from the biology building to the music building will seem less laborious. Every hour I spend in the library or the Reading Room will all add up one day. The reality will set in and there will be no turning back after that.