What I Learned About Myself During My First Rotation

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Wooh! It’s reflection after reflection. I know I already came to you all about my money mindset revelation in Why I Chose Patreon. But here’s another one. This is my self-reflection of my first pharmacy rotation this year.

I am now a fourth-year pharmacy student and it’s my last year. That means I’m pretty much done learning new material now. And I’m on to learning how to use that information in the real world.

I have a total of 8 rotations and I just finished my first one last Friday. In one month, I’ve already learned so much especially about myself.

Like with all my first days, I was anxious the night before and my sleep was restless. I had no expectations and a lot of expectations at once. I had emailed my preceptor 2 weeks before and was basically told just to bring myself.

That scared me and made me relieved at the same time. Do I really not have to look up anything in advanced? Is my base knowledge enough? I’m so glad I get to use my one week break to actually take a break. I don’t have to look up anything.

This first rotation was not how I expected it to be. I expected it to be chill but still rigorous. I guess I expected structure. That’s what I’m used to. You know I spent basically my entire life in school so, I always had structure. Even the only two jobs that I had in my life had structure.

This rotation was completely different and it made me uncomfortable. But it also allowed me to learn some things that will be instrumental for my future and my future job searches.

I realized that I do like people.

I enjoy having close relationships and connecting with people on a long-term basis. Personal connections are what help me get through any challenges and help me feel like I’m not alone.

I was the only intern in an isolated office so, it was a little lonely. I realized that what I do not like is constantly meeting new people. The act of meeting new people and forming an impression scares me.

Thursday at the office at rotation- Shika

So, when I have to be in a position for the first time where I am meeting a lot of new people it makes me anxious. Even when I was a seasonal sales associate for Nordstrom one summer, I would have to pep-talk myself to walk up to a customer. I would have to create a more confident persona.

Nordstrom was commission-based so, I was trying to go home with a decent paycheck. I even had days where I was the top seller in my department surprisingly. It didn’t happen all the time but it was great when it did happen. Hard work pays off. But I digress.

Going up to introduce myself to others or the thought of starting a conversation with a stranger makes my heart race in fear. But having people on my level to share my experiences with, address my concerns, and just talk to is comforting.

To solve my loneliness issue, I made it a must to try and do at least 2 social things a month so I don’t go crazy. Going to work to be alone then going home to be alone again is just boring. I was very productive though.

I’m not as flexible as I thought

Shika at the Office- 1st week on rotation
A novel setting needs daily selfies until the feeling wears off

I find it difficult to change my plans and go in a new direction once I’ve already solidified what I’m doing in my mind.

While that’s great for resilience purposes, it doesn’t always come out as a strength. Anything can change in life and I need to be more flexible when it happens.

Of course, I do change when I need to. But it takes me a moment to process the change. Then, to rewire my thought process so that I can convince myself why I need to change my plans.

I need to open my mind to criticism

Feedback and criticism is not something I take well. Some part of me emotionalizes the feedback that I get and makes it personal.

Then, I have to spend time to process the feedback without my emotions trying to take over. I have always been a sensitive person. I was a crybaby as a child.

But this is something that I need to consciously work on. If I want to improve and get anywhere in life then I need to be able to take constructive criticism and improve.

But to my defense, some people also need to improve the way they constructively criticize. Their feedback seems more like accusations. Luckily, I didn’t have those types of feedback on this rotation.

I’m in love with structure and clear expectations

The last thing I learned was that I like autonomy and a flexible schedule. But I love structure. I like to have a general idea of what to expect on a day-to-day basis.

Not knowing gives room for my anxiety to come and haunt me. I don’t need an exact schedule but I just need to know what could happen and what’s expected from me.

What am I responsible for? What are my roles? That gives me a clearer focus on what’s going on and helps me to do my job better. As for schedules, if I could have a job where I create my own schedule and it’s not set in stone, that would be a dream.

In conclusion

I think I was able to learn quite a lot in one month. The things I learned about myself will help me to narrow down my focus when it comes to my pharmacy career path. It also helped me to realize some good things about myself and some improvable areas of my life.

Who knew that I would miss people so much when working alone? I guess I enjoy working independently. But I enjoy having co-workers or the choice of interacting with people like me. I also learned that I need to be more flexible.

Plans will not always pan out the way you want them to especially in the healthcare arena. For that reason, I need to more receptive to feedback. I need to separate my emotions from the facts in order to grow the way that I need to grow.

I learned so much about myself. I have had a lot of time to reflect lately. And I am so grateful that I was able to grow from this experience.

I start my second rotation today. Wish me luck! I’m excited to see how I grow in this next rotation.

Until next time…

Thanks for reading my rant,

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Special thanks to my very first patron, Onochie. You don’t know how much it means to me.

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Shika Tamaklo is a pharmacy student attending Mercer University. She is a college lifestyle blogger who writes on fitness, health, student life struggles and, occasionally dabbles in creative writing.

8 thoughts on “What I Learned About Myself During My First Rotation

  1. “I love structure and clear expectations”. Spoken like a true pharmacist! Keep on keep keepin’ on my dear on the road of self-discovery. I wish you all the best in rotations!

  2. I’m proud of you and the person you are becoming. I enjoyed reading your blog. Remember you are never alone, God is always with you.

  3. Such great insight here, Shika!!!! Reading your posts made me realize how much we are alike!!! With insight like this, you’re off to a very successful future building relationships, whether at work or personal. Great blog!!!!

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