One of my many blessings in PA school was having a community group (CG). I know I write about this a lot and I talk about the girls in my group a lot, but that’s because they’ve left a lasting impression on my life. If you told me at the start of my PA school career that I would take out ~2 hours once a week, read my bible (almost) daily, and even think about setting my time and desires aside for others, I’d say that I wasn’t going to do it lol.
Before I started, I knew I wanted to get plugged in at a church and serve others some way, some how. I knew it was important to have community, but I was scared of the commitment. I didn’t know if I could balance something else in my life when everyday felt like drinking out of a fire hydrant on full blast.
I joined my CG at the start of my second semester of PA school and even then, I was really on the fence about it. Who was I going to be with? Would those people be able to empathize with my emotions? Could they truly understand what it felt like to be a PA student? Would I have time for it? Would my grades suffer because of it? There were a lot of questions and uncertainties I had. But, it really helped that two of my classmates wanted to join one also…and so the 3 of us joined one together.
Having these two girls join CG with me has been an incredible blessing. Not only do we sit in the same class, take the same tests, listen to the same lectures, they could empathize with the feels I felt and provide scripture to speak truth into me.
Here’s how having PA classmates helped me love CG even more –
- For all the times I didn’t want to go to CG because I had the test the next day, they went so I went. If they could do it, so could I. An exam the next day was no longer an excuse I would use to not go.
- For the times I wanted to sleep in on Sunday and not go to church because I was so exhausted and test week was approaching, I went and sat with them. We sat together exhausted before service, but refreshed afterwards because we were reminded of why we were in school.
- For all the times I freaked out after a test we all took because I was NOT expecting them to ask “that question” and felt so inadequate and fearful of my grade, they reminded me that my identity and worth was not found in that number, and that I was meant to be here.
- For all the times I would have mini panic attacks before tests or during my studying because I felt so unprepared and behind, they would send me verses of truth and pray for me.
- For the time we were all nervous before starting on rotations, we had lunch together, talked about our fears, and encouraged each other to remind ourselves, not for our kingdom but for His.
Essentially, if you’re on the fence about balancing CG with the stresses of PA school, I say do it. There is life outside of PA school (as hard as it is to imagine this sometimes) and even though studying does become big part of your life, it’s not everything. At the end of the day, grow yourself in knowledge and grow your heart.
Life is a lot more beautiful when you’re not only equipped with knowledge to help others, but the humbled heart of a servant who’s reminded that you’re not doing this alone because you have angel warriors by your side, fighting the same fight and dreaming the same dream, as you are.