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  • Writer's pictureLFaits

Celebrating My Birthday at ICO


Um, or not. Since I’m a second year, I’ve now had two birthdays at ICO… both of which have been clouded by exams.

Last year wasn’t so bad. Our third optics exam of the winter quarter fell on my birthday and was at 8 a.m., as all of our midterm exams are. So, I was able to get that out of the way, answer all of the phone calls from out-of-town family and friends, and take time to stalk people on Facebook to see who was paying attention to me on my glorious day. And there was a nice dinner, a boyfriend with flowers, etc.

I didn’t get so lucky this year. As the majority of my classmates would agree, the most difficult and challenging course of second year is the three-quarter long Pharmacology sequence. And of course, my birthday fell on Sunday (along with the Super Bowl), with the Pharmacology exam looming on Monday morning. We second years weren’t as luck as the first years, and many of were really bummed about missing the big game due to studying.

As long as I was going to be spending the whole weekend studying instead of enjoying my birthday with friends and family, I made the decision that a poor result on the exam was simply not an option. This was great motivation to really put my all into studying, not to mention I really needed a good grade on this exam since my last two grades suffered from my lack of ability to memorize 100-plus drug names and their mechanisms in a mere 24 hours. So I studied. I studied really hard. I started on Friday afternoon and wasn’t going to stop until Monday morning. Honestly, if one of my classmates had said, “Forget this, we’re going out to celebrate your birthday,” I think I would stopped and thought about how miserable I was. Fortunately, not one person showed their wild side this weekend, including myself, and we all buckled down.


I locked myself in a little study area on campus and I didn’t move for hours and hours, only going home to shower and eat. At midnight of my birthday, my roommate from last year somehow found me and delivered a little piece of chocolate lit with one candle. Needless to say, I was very touched. We called it an “emergency birthday cake,” and we hung out for 10 minutes as a study break. So maybe I didn’t get to celebrate it with tons of people who were showering me with gifts, but I did have a good friend sing me “Happy Birthday” with the smallest “cake” I have ever seen or eaten. I was also able to give myself an amazing gift: the best grade I’ve gotten this quarter in Pharmacology. Which was exactly what I wished for when I blew out the candle, so I maybe I can’t take all the credit for it.

So yes, I’m now one year older and wiser, and I cannot wait to do this again next year when I’ll be studying for boards right around my birthday. Oh, boy!


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