In all this crazy madness of medical school, I have managed to stay (relatively) sane. 🙂 I owe most of that to an amazing group of ladies! Yes, I am finally getting around to talking about the Student Advocate Association – which, for the rest of this post, will be referred to as SAA.
When Kyle first heard that he got into school we were extremely happy! We spent the next few months in a pre-married/newlywed happy bubble. Well, let me tell you… our bubble was quickly burst when we went to Kyle’s school’s “preview day”. This is a day where student who have been accepted can go to the school and hear from professors, administrators and students just what to expect medical school to be like. They also address the spouses in this little get-together, so I went along. Also, Kyle and I had not yet decided if we wanted to buy a house or just rent, so we thought this would be a great time to talk to some of the students about what they suggested. We also thought we should start looking for an area where we would like to live. So, we did.
Well, from the time we sat in our seats at something like 8:30 am (it may have been later than that, but it felt freaking early!) til we were let out around 12:00 all I heard about advice for the spouse was that this time was going to be hell! They basically said that we would NEVER get to see our med student and to just leave him alone and not bother him with petty things, such as how I am feeling. They told us that we could never understand what he was going through that basically our job was to clean up after him, cook for him, do his laundry and never ask to see him. I. Was. Terrified! Seriously, y’all I was almost in tears!
Once the horrible panel was over we were released to wonder around the booths of school clubs and realtors. Since we still needed to figure out where we were going to live, we asked some current students for advice… Most people we talked to were very negative about buying – which is really what I wanted to do… Until we got to the last booth in the room, the SAA booth. (My saving grace!) These women are spouse of current students and many of them have children! So, we asked our usual question, buy or rent, when a lady came up to us and asked if we were Aggies (Aggies rings… you see one on someone and you are immediately friends… its amazing!) to which we replied yes. She was also an Aggie, a stay-at-home mom, and she happened to be a loan officer on the side! We got her number and she told us to contact her on Monday and she would help us get started! Yay! She also happened to be the president of SAA!!! (Which is how I got involved in the group!)
So, SAA is a group of spouses – mostly wives. We get together once a month to have our monthly meeting. We talk about how school is going and how life outside of school is. We also plan super fun events to keep ourselves busy! There are many different committees within SAA – for example, we have a hobby committee – which puts on hobby events; so far we have learned things like bread making, silk flower making, candle making… (you get the idea) – social committee – which plans social events. These events can include members only, members with children, or members and med students. We do tons of fun stuff and this group is really great for when Kyle has a test coming up! Another group we have is service committee – this committee plans one service event a month. We switch back and forth between community service events and student service events. For example, for a community event we went to a local children’s hospital and put on a Valentine’s party for all the kids. For the students we generally bake things for them and pass them out between classes.
I have made so many valuable friends through this group and I really don’t think I would have survived this first year of medical school without them. My other friends who aren’t in medical school are great, but they can’t really understand what it is like to have a spouse in medical school! One of the best parts about spending time with my SAA friends is when we talk about how we are feeling and how stressful/strained things can feel between us and our student we all end up saying “You feel that was too? Oh good, so I’m NOT crazy!” It is wonderful to know that I am not the only person in my situation! It’s also great to know that I’m not crazy! 🙂 I feel completely blessed to have met these fabulous ladies! I look forward to spending the next few years with them!
Because of what SAA means to me, when it was time to elect new officers for the group, I wanted to serve. We held nominations in April and voted in May and guess what… I was elected for treasurer! This job comes with many responsibilities, but is going to be super fun! The other officers that were elected are amazing women and I look forward to serving with them over the next year!
Have you had a group of friends that completely understood where you were coming from and how you were feeling like SAA?