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.