I’ve graduated! Now the hard part

Published: August 19, 2011

What is the most glorious and magnificent moment in a student’s life? You know, had I not graduated, I might have come up with a different answer. However, since I have – hands down – it is Graduation Day!

The day you finally get to bid farewell to, not only, the annoying crowd you have acquainted yourself with, but also the maddening worries, the sleepless nights, the tantrums that you promptly blamed on PMS, and little things of the like.

You can safely bid farewell to worries and statements like:

“Oh, good Lord! I failed that pathology test. What will my parents say?”

You can finally be carefree, for a few weeks in any case.

For a moment, you toy with the beautiful idea that loosely translates into “life is now complete”. It is transient, yes, but magnificent nonetheless.

The sparkling, cozy bubble, however, bursts soon when you step into the world of grown-ups. You suddenly realize that now you cannot go crawling back to daddy if something does not go your way, because he now expects you handle it like an adult. The transition from the life of a student to that of a grownup is an excruciatingly painful one.

On day one of my life post-graduation, I had to run to the accounts section in the college administration block for my clearance. Despite my brand new status as a doctor and the fact that I did not owe the college a penny, the clerk on duty in the “Accounts Section” refused to sign my form saying,

“Doctor sahib! I will not sign it. I am on a vacation right now. Come back on Monday.”

Maybe he was running low on glucose due to Ramazan, or he expected me to pay up or grovel; I just glared at him and left the office. On day one, a reality hit me really hard; I figured out that hypoglycemic clerks run this country. As depressing as that was, it helped me understand why things happened the way they did in our country.

House job

The next step for fresh medical graduates is “house job”.

Isn’t it a rule everywhere that if you have a recognized degree and are capable enough to get a job, you get paid for your work too?

Apparently, not so much in our public sector hospitals.

If you are a private medical college graduate, the public sector hospitals will treat you as an internee. So, they are at a liberty to make you work like a donkey for insanely unfair hours, but you don’t get anything! It does not matter if you have graduated magna cum laude from your institute, the chronic supplementarian (someone who manages to fail at least one subject, every year at medical school) still gets a job in a better department and has a pay scale too, while you just rot away at the Radiology Department.

The third most important, life altering – no – life threatening issue after medical school is marriage – that eight letter word I abhor. God Forbid if you are a girl as well as a fresh med-school grad- be prepared to meet rishta aunties who want a doctor in a Katrina Kaif body. Beauty with brains is the latest trend, I hear. While these aunties will judge you on a scale from one to Katrina Kaif, they forget the receding hairlines and the pot bellies of their doctor sons. Also, people your age getting married left, right and center does not really advocate your “no-marriage” cause at home.

I think two week post-graduation, I have had enough of adult life. I am going to apply to grad school as quick as I can and enjoy some more days of being a whiny, but a happy student.

Bushra Maheen Rahman

Bushra Maheen Rahman

A doctor from Peshawar who writes, blogs at www.pistaye.wordpress and tweets @MaheenRahman

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • parvez

    Liked the way you wrote about the situation your in and your honesty at the end and you do know that eventually you will have to face what life throws at you. Possibly a few more years of learning may prepare you a little better. Congratulations on graduating.Recommend

  • http://www.6la8.com Taimur
  • Saad

    I have Graduated… I have Celebrated… what next? =)Recommend

  • Dr. Amyn Malik

    Hahah. Welcome to a doc’s life!Recommend

  • SS

    it could have been a LOT more insightful. Seems like you just wanted space to write about how YOU felt at graduation without relating much to readers who aren’t going to be all doctors or be spell-bounded by your realization of the country being run by “hypoglycemic clerks”. Recommend

  • Wmtoor

    A Master piece of Writing!!

    and Welcome to the World of Bitter Realities!Recommend

  • Engineer

    for some graduates ,especially the engineers, life becomes horrible ….its true transitional phase is most difficult phase of graduate’s life…..its very hard to forget the past life..and you become completely alien to society being jobless graduateRecommend

  • FAK

    @author Congrats on your graduation…there is a minor correction in the article

    Internee = Confined prisoner
    Intern = A student or trainee who works, sometimes (In our case most of the times) without pay.Recommend

  • Hira Z

    How True doc meri tu tabiyat khrab ho gae hai :P! Recommend

  • Maheen Rahman

    FAK: Thank you for the correction :).


  • Shamsunissa Khatoon

    I have graduated!
    Thanks for scaring me.Recommend

  • Rabeea

    I read this article on a blog a couple of days ago. Do you own that blog, or did you just copy paste it?

    Here’s the link to that blog:

  • Maheen Rahman

    Rabeea: I own the blog :)Recommend

  • http://hamstershorts.wordpress.com Hammad

    @Rabeea: Does it really matter? Just enjoy the post. :)Recommend

  • Pakistani

    nice blog.. but a piece of advice, two weeks is too less a time to get used to the adult life..its inevitable, we all go through it and have to step in to it one day..so instead of trying to enjoy the past, start planning for the future :)Recommend

  • Friend

    You have spoken on behalf of girls..

    For guys its different. They take a year or two off decaying what was left of their brains and then at the request of their parents after a year and half decide to do something with their lives.

    I still have 2 years to whine till i get to where you are. Yayi me =pRecommend

  • Farina

    You are absolutely right, a very difficult phase starts after a student graduates, and is no more a student. especially in today’s world when jobs are scarce and problems are in abundance.Recommend

  • Xynoob

    3 WORDS- I HATE PMC! :@Recommend

  • AN

    After reading ths, m just laughin at how correctly u have
    described the transitional phase :p, which u dunt really realize
    in the midst of excitement, for getting done with uni and celebrating
    Your Graduation Day!!!!!

    Congratulations on ur Graduation :)Recommend

  • Sanya Shiraz

    While these aunties will judge you on a scale from one to Katrina Kaif, they forget the receding hairlines and the pot bellies of their doctor sons.

    Hahaha. Made me laugh so hard, lol. Good work.
    P.S Happy to know you’re gonna go apply to grad school.Recommend

  • Rabeea

    @Maheen Rahman:

    Alright. You have a very good blog then :)Recommend

  • http://djdurrani.blogspot.com Saad Durrani

    Wow! That is something I mix up too.Recommend

  • Rsingh

    Doctor in a Katrina Kaif body.

  • sana

    Your writeup reminds me of the heated arguments i used to have with my female class mates who used to say that they look forward to getting married right after graduation and the degree was just to make sure they get a better life partner!
    I seriously wish females with such agendas in their minds get a life and do some arts or literature degree and not spoil the limited seats we have available in govt medical and engineering schools.
    As for you, since you have earned a degree better be tough and stay in work force rather than finding a way out in form of further education. Recommend

  • Amna

    Good one, Bushra. You’re smack on the money, specially about the marriage part. A great and honest read though I must admit that it has freaked me out a tad as I graduate next year (InshaAllah or not? Cant decide after reading this =P) Good to know Im not the only one though! Recommend