Humans of SOMA: Our Online Community

Welcome to Humans of SOMA, an insight into the triumphs and defeats of our day-to-day lives. HoS is an online community built for your thoughts, ideas, and dreams. This is a safe space for all; a place where you can share and build relationships with your peers at Mesa and across the country.

We all experience it differently, but most importantly, you are never alone.

We look forward to all the great things we will accomplish together!

When Life Gets in the Way

“Learn to balance life with medical school”.  I feel as if this is something that has been burned into our brains ever since orientation week. What does that really mean, though? We all chuckled at the thought of our Sundays actually being a day without studying.  We knew, even at the beginning, that our time is valuable and that there was probably no chance we would be comfortable with wasting 8 hours not focused on classwork. As the semester continued, however, I know I learned to make time for myself. It became easier to schedule “me time”; whether that was dinner with friends or a hike far away.  Balancing the stress of school has become easy to do with self-indulgent pleasures.

But, what about the not-so-pleasurable things of life? It’s amazing how the hurdles of everyday existence -- anything from sickness, to an ongoing heartache or even death of a loved one-- can be easily avoided with the distraction of medical school. At what point is our career path a crutch in avoiding the hard aspects of life? I have found, that for me, it is just as easy to say “I cannot focus on this problem right now because I need to focus on medical school” as it is to also say “I need to take a break from medical school and focus on myself”. Maybe there is something more than just balance. Trauma and Critical Care Surgeon, Dr. Jamie J. Coleman, says “My best advice is to stop thinking of work and life as ‘balance’ – that implies they are opposing forces and will only set you up to fail. Surgery does not stop my life and my life does not stop surgery. I am a better surgeon because I am a wife and mother. And, I am a better wife and mother because I am a surgeon”.  Even though this quote seems targeted to specifically mothers, I think it is a beautiful representation of how medicine can be blended into life. So, I am trying to burn a new saying into my head: “learn to complement medical school with life”. And, day by day, it gets easier.

-S, 2022

because of you

            I was able to visit, but I couldn’t stay long. There’s so much going on, but I promise I’ll come back later. I have so much to say, but not many words to express it. I’ve been meaning to visit, but it’s just so difficult. Trust me when I say you’re in my thoughts, but it’s hard to think about you. I’m doing this for us, but I don’t know if you’re proud of who I am. I’ll tell you all about it soon.

I’m here because of you.

-R, 2022



Sometimes I feel like I don’t belong in medical school. I hear my classmates discussing complex topics and asking questions about things I’ve never heard before in my life. Am I really supposed to be here? Am I smart enough for this? I spend every night at home, in a coffee shop, or a library reading and re-reading the lectures I heard just hours ago. I sometimes wonder if the smart people in my class even have to study. I even have to watch the recordings more than once before I remotely understand what is going on. I’m not failing yet… but why am I the only one that feels out of place? I know my classmates have done so much more before coming to med school. I wish I had the same confidence. PLEASE, someone tell me that I am not alone or wake me up from this dream. Am I a imposter?

-Anon, 2022

Survive with Me

             I frequently consider myself to be the luckiest man in the world. Maybe that reminds you of the infamous Lou Gehrig, or maybe that sentence just made you roll your eyes. I know it sounds dramatic, but I like to say it anyway. It’s one of the few things that I will say unapologetically and it all ties in with the theme of this post; the idea of survivor’s guilt. Survivor’s guilt is a heavy term with a lot of layers. It tends to suggest a traumatic past, but I would like to you to focus on the idea of it simply implicating some kind of burden. It is a somewhat ethereal concept and for me it’s more of an internal conflict, or better yet a self-interrogation, that I submit to almost every day.

-        Why did I get this opportunity?

-        Why do I get to enjoy this moment?

-        Why do I get to spend time with these people?

-        Why did he have to suffer, when I didn’t?

-        Why do I get to live my life this way, when he doesn’t?

-        Why me?

A lot of this has to do with my childhood and my family, which I won’t get into today. Instead, I’d like you to reflect on how this guilt might impact your feelings or intercede your thoughts. Personally, it affects how I make almost every decision. It’s a fairly decent motivator and when I feel like I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing, it’s a great justification for my actions. But when I feel like I’m failing, it’s a black hole in every sense of the term. So, my friends, I wanted this introductory post to be short and I’ll stick to that. I’m introducing this concept now and I’ll continue to post about it in the future. For now, I will leave you with an unsolicited piece of wisdom. In your career, you will meet many people with seemingly countless challenges ahead of them. Do not lose faith in those people. Give them the opportunity to rise to the occasion and they will surprise you. And in their triumph, you will triumph as well.

“Survive. Survive to save yourself. Survive to move forward. Survive to come back home”.

-K, 2022