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Six thousand words to describe my decidedly non-medical winter break

SMS (“Stanford Medical School”) Unplugged was recently launched as a forum for students to chronicle their experiences in medical school. The student-penned entries appear on Scope once a week; the entire blog series can be found in the SMS Unplugged category.

This past winter break was all about me NOT being a medical student. For three blissful weeks, I didn’t have a copy of First Aid for the USMLE Step 1 anywhere near me, I didn’t log on to Coursework (Stanford’s online course system), and I barely checked my email. This is a snapshot, worth 6,000 words, of what happened instead.

Top left: I met up with a friend from high school and we baked bread from scratch! I’m not much of a baker, so the fact that this bread ended up being edible is a huge accomplishment. My younger brother ate pretty much half the loaf all by himself, which could only be a good sign.

Top middle: New Year’s Eve was spent playing a cutthroat game of Pictionary. Sadly, my team lost. But on the plus side, the game helped me stay up past my 10 PM bedtime to ring in the New Year!

Top right: Under my mom’s guidance, I managed to FINALLY learn how to make my own lattes – not that that has prevented me from spending $3 a day on coffee from the med café…

Bottom left: This picture, taken in front of Universal Studios in LA, will very likely be my only red carpet moment for a while.

Bottom middle: I got to spend an entire day with these two adorable twins. They’re entranced by a show called Peppa Pig. If you haven’t seen this show, I highly recommend you check it out on YouTube!

Bottom right: During my time in the LA area, I went with friends to not only Universal but also Downtown Disney, where we stopped by the LEGO store and created this masterpiece - and left it there for the next person to find and wonder who the heck I am.

Thus passed my winter break. And now, back to the grind – just 9 weeks till my classmates and I are done with our pre-clerkship years!

(Side note: I was struggling for a blog idea, when I remembered this entry, written by a fellow MIT alum – Elizabeth C. – back when we were both blogging for MIT admissions. All credit for this entry idea goes to her!)

Hamsika Chandrasekar is a second-year student at Stanford’s medical school. She has an interest in medical education and pediatrics.

Photos by Hamsika Chandrasekar

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