Okay maybe the title is a bit too dramatic, but it’s true! I remember being back in my interviews for medical school, and hearing about how some students were actually getting married while in school. At the time I could understand there might be certain people who were already married and starting medical school, but why on earth would anyone actually choose to start the journey of marriage while still in school?
So let’s take a step back together.
My first medical school interview was back in late August of 2014. That was the first time I had ever heard of medical students getting married while in school. At the time I was dating no one, and had even gone so far as to tell friends of mine that I thought I was done with dating in college. In fact, my friends love to relish that statement I made, and point to the fact that I had no idea what was about to happen. Although I wasn’t dating anyone at the time, I did have a crush on a friend that I had known for a while, and had really gotten to know better over that summer before interviews. I toyed around with the idea of asking her out on a date, asking friends for their advice, and thought I had come to the conclusion to not ask her out. At the end of the second week of school, some of my roommates and I went over to her house and played board games with her and her roommates. That’s all I needed. The next day (a Friday to be specific), I gave her a call (I know, I know, not classy) and asked her out on a date for the next day (Saturday). She turned me down. But only because she was already babysitting that night, so we went on our first date that Sunday, September 14th, 2014.
The first date went well, nothing bad happened, but nothing magical either. We ended up going on a second date the next weekend though, and it was then that I was “hooked.” It was also at this same time that I was starting to finish up my interview season, towards the end of September 2014 (yes, I did all of my interviews within the period of about one month). The thought had been planted in my head that it was okay to date someone because, for some reason, if this relationship went the distance, then there would be no barriers to possibly getting married in medical school.
Long story short (I’ll spare you details about every date and emotion), we kept dating, we fell in love, I proposed, and on August 27th, 2016 we got married! At this point, I’m two classes/blocks into my 2nd year of medical school, and if you had asked me way back when I was interviewing at different schools whether or not I would be married at this point in time, I’d probably give you a confident “no.” But life is often not what we expect it to be. I expected to be done with dating in college, but I had met my future wife and couldn’t help but ask her on that first date.
A lot of people have asked me why get married now instead of waiting until a more “convenient” time. And my question back to them all too often is, “well when would a more convenient time be?” At the end of this year of school I’ll be studying harder than ever before in my life, to take the biggest exam of my life…cough…STEP 1…cough. 3rd year will be clinical rotations, getting adjusted to what it means to actually be a clinician. Fourth year would seem a nice option, as it is a pretty relaxed year compared to all the other years of medical school. But that would be at least two years from now, and fourth year has its fair share of challenges, namely interviewing for and getting accepted into residency programs.
My opinion has always been why not struggle through those “less convenient” times together, grow together, experience life together, and most of all learn to love one another better. Our view of marriage is that although we are “in love” now, that is not what will sustain our marriage for the long-run. Rather, it is the commitment to love one another each day for the rest of our lives no matter the circumstances (as an aside, as I’m writing this, I’ve been married for all of six and a half weeks, so I’m in no position whatsoever to offer marriage advice, I simply want to convey how my wife and I view marriage in a small way).
Life is already getting a whole lot more busy; learning how to balance being a medical student as well as a husband. But there’s also all the other things that were already on the plate to balance, such as being a friend, a brother, a son, and someone interested in and passionate about so many different things. I can confidently say that I am so happy to have my wife to walk through learning how to balance these aspects of life with me. I can’t imagine doing life up to this point without her. After all, she did choose to move to Houston after college to be close to me in Galveston, and she was already there alongside me throughout my whole first year of medical school, bearing patiently as I tried to figure out what in the world I had gotten myself into.
And so yes, the world didn’t end after we got married, in fact I think it got a whole lot better.
PS. Being married is kind of like a box of chocolates. You aren’t sure what exactly you’re going to get out of the box, but hell, isn’t life always better with some chocolate?!
(^ lame attempt at a joke, if anyone out there thinks I’m actually trying to be philosophical…)