So you may have noticed that for awhile, nearly all of my posts were about the dreaded Step 1 exam that second year medical students generally have to take (and pass) before continuing on to third year.

This year, all medical students on rotations were to have off on Wednesday, July 8th, because that was the day that Step 1 scores were released. If someone were to fail the exam, they would need to meet with Student Affairs to discuss their next steps. The administration wouldn’t want to “out” someone who failed by having them leave the wards in the middle of the workday, so we just had a free day.

The night before our scores were to come out, I told myself that I would have a great day, and to not check my phone for emails all the time–that everything was going to be just fine. Which was fine until 1am when I woke up in a panic thinking what if I failed? After that, sleeping well was no longer an option. I tried to reassure myself that it would all be ok, that I had passed every practice test that I had taken, that my personal value was not based on the score I received on this one exam. I avoided logging into my NBME site until around 8am.

And that’s when the madness started. I opened my laptop the same way I always do, but this time I was greeted with a gray screen featuring a file folder with a question mark on it. The first thing I did was to call my husband, since he knows all things Apple, and I was hoping he’d be able to tell me a quick fix to get my laptop back to normal on this super-important day. I tried all of his suggestions. Nothing worked. Rebooting/restarting/every tip and trick he could think of or find online simply did not work, and I was really in a state of panic. Of course it just HAD to be this day, this one important day that I’ve been waiting for for well over a year! 

At 10:59am, my phone dinged with an email that read (more or less): your score will be available at 11am. Since my laptop was kaput, I tried using my phone to access the system… Nope. Too much traffic on the site, nothing would load. I called the local Apple store to see about when I could schedule an appointment to have them fix whatever this glitch was. Unfortunately, the only appointments they had open were several days later, so I gave the local store a call and the manager said to bring it in anyway.

Thank goodness for AppleCare. They were able to fix my laptop the same day and it was free of charge and only cost me two trips to the east end. The panic of getting my score back faded as I realized just how much information I stored on my laptop that I didn’t have backed up to a secondary source… not just info for school but also my own projects and research.

After two trips to the nearest Apple store in one day, I had my laptop back and all of my data had been salvaged. When I finally got a chance to check out my Step 1 score, it felt so anti-climatic. I had passed. All of that worrying, all of that panic, was for naught. A year’s worth of worrying, studying, overthinking, etc…. and what I learned was, as my husband always tells me, no matter the outcome, it’ll be okay.


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