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HI everyone, first time poster cause I need some info from others on this. I just finished my first semester in PA school and did very well (yay!) but I seem to just not like the majority of my class. I know I shouldn't be caught up in liking everyone but it just seems like everyone is so extremely tightly wound and I am more of a funny, free spirit who is crass etc etc. I have people in the class who are just like me, but only 2 or 3 and we feel like everyone else is just so uptight. They make me feel like I'm not a serious PA student although I am at the top of my class and know I will be a great PA. I have always prided myself on being well rounded, but now that I'm in school it seems like a negative quality in the eyes of others. They seem to think we don't take it seriously cause we aren't going out of our minds studying like they do. We like to joke in class (respectfully obviously) and everyone just stares at us like we aren't allowed to have any joy in our lives anymore. It's a very weird dynamic and I just am having trouble keeping myself sane over this. Has anyone else experienced anything like this?!?

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In the immortal words of Gamora, "Who put the sticks up their butts?"

 

In all seriousness, with any program full of Type-A people, no one can get along with everyone.  Be happy to have a few friends, be respectful to the people who aren't on the same page, and realize that "this too shall pass".  When I started PA school, I was hoping to build professional, lasting relationships with more of my class... but it really didn't work out that way.  I keep in contact with half a dozen.

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Just look at it from their point for a minute - you don't study all the time and do great (which is awesome for you!) - but maybe they DO need to study all the time to get by.  It could feel like you're rubbing it their faces or being disruptive to class time.  If they need to be uptight with hardcore focus, let them do them.  You can't make them be goofy and joyful if that's not what they need to survive PA school.  You do you.  

 

If you haven't learned it yet in a professional life you're learning it now: you don't have to like everyone (and you won't) but you do have to be professional and respectful.  They're your classmates; they don't have to be your friends.

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Oh no! We definitely aren't disruptive and are very respectful of everyone in class. but those are some really good points, I just would love for the temperature of the class to calm down a bit cause it makes for even more stress

 

Just look at it from their point for a minute - you don't study all the time and do great (which is awesome for you!) - but maybe they DO need to study all the time to get by. It could feel like you're rubbing it their faces or being disruptive to class time. If they need to be uptight with hardcore focus, let them do them. You can't make them be goofy and joyful if that's not what they need to survive PA school. You do you.

 

If you haven't learned it yet in a professional life you're learning it now: you don't have to like everyone (and you won't) but you do have to be professional and respectful. They're your classmates; they don't have to be your friends.

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Oh no! We definitely aren't disruptive and are very respectful of everyone in class. but those are some really good points, I just would love for the temperature of the class to calm down a bit cause it makes for even more stress

 

 

 

Ah well.  Just shake it off and focus on yourself.  If it's something you're really concerned about, check in with your advisor or director to make sure you aren't coming across as not taking it seriously to faculty (THAT would be bad).

 

You're only 1 semester in.  I'm willing to bet a majority of the class will mellow out as they realize their grades aren't in danger and burnout starts to set in and they realize they can afford more balance.

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If you think the classroom is fun, wait until you meet the aholes working in the clinical environment.

Well at least in clinical I won't have to be trapped in a room with those same assholes for 8-10 hours a day. I've worked clinically in a hospital for many years, as well as an EMT, so I understand how it works. I've wanted this for so long and I maybe built it up in my mind - I guess I had this vision of PA school being an amazing experience with like minded people, wonderful professors who cheered me on, and being happier than I am. Naive doesn't even begin to describe it I guess haha.

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You only really need a solid group of 2 or 3 other people to study with, stay "in the loop" with the rest of the class as far as sharing notes and news is concerned. Having classmates is kinda like having siblings in that you'll likely share similar experiences even though you may not love each other. I've gotten to know some of my classmates a bit better during clinicals as we shared stories and tips about the same rotations, attendings, residents, PAs, etc.

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Not everyone has the same personality. I'm kinda like you, I take my craft seriously but I don't take myself too seriously. Theres a difference. I'm not going to stress if I don't make a 96 on every test. Its just a stupid test. And outside the classroom we do cut up, its how we stay sane. Because heres the truth, the real test is can you recognize that case of child abuse that just walked out the door or that MI in the diabetic with diffuse abdominal pain and "just doesnt feel right" that you just sent home. So find those couple guys or gals you click with and stick with them. You don't have to a grade hungry gunner to survive PA school, just be yourself and care about learning, for the sake of learning, not the sake of grades. 

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Don't sweat it. I felt similarly in a class full of gunners. I started school thinking I'd meet very similar people and make lifelong buddies, but that wasn't the case. Everyone has their own style of learning, response to stress, personality and intercommunication. Just remember that you're there to get an education and degree. Just do you and keep working off the foundation you've built. If you end up making friends, then that's great. If you're trying to reconcile these issues and/or make friends with these other people, think how they might be thinking or feeling. Here you are enjoying yourself and getting good grades while they are studying their butts off and may not be having as much fun or getting as good of grades. Maybe it's jealousy or envy that's making them act or treat you this way. I wouldn't take it personally. If you care and want to befriend some of these people, maybe tone it back. But some people are just much more serious than others, especially in medicine. You don't often find providers who are crass, free-spirited, and constantly joke. It sounds like you'd fit right into our OR ;-)

 

Everyone is likely stressed out and on their best behavior since it's the beginning of an intense and expensive program that they've worked hard to get into. Like MT2PA said, the class will likely mellow out as the program goes on and probably also as people get to know each other more. Give it some time and let people find their way. Meanwhile, don't worry about em so much nor let their actions/attitudes affect your experience. Good luck!

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Now that I'm reading this, I'm kind of worried how I'll fit in with my class once I start in September.  I am so NOT type A by any means.  I am serious and a hard worker, but I balance that by being goofy and silly as well (also a great way to deal with stressful times IMO).  But I can imagine an "uptight medical" group of people could see me as being a non-serious clown.  I like the advice given here though.  I just hope I'll find some other "free-spirited, artsy, thinkers" like me.  People seem to appreciate this style in the ER I work in (which is kind of its own unique environment itself).  I guess we are out there!

Sed, do you have a rotation for students in your OR?  Heh.

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Now that I'm reading this, I'm kind of worried how I'll fit in with my class once I start in September.  I am so NOT type A by any means.  I am serious and a hard worker, but I balance that by being goofy and silly as well (also a great way to deal with stressful times IMO).  But I can imagine an "uptight medical" group of people could see me as being a non-serious clown.  I like the advice given here though.  I just hope I'll find some other "free-spirited, artsy, thinkers" like me.  People seem to appreciate this style in the ER I work in (which is kind of its own unique environment itself).  I guess we are out there!

 

Sed, do you have a rotation for students in your OR?  Heh.

 

OMG no! I'm sorry haha i didn't mean to make you nervous. PA school is amazing, but definitely difficult in a myriad of ways. I definitely have extremely close friends that are just like me, so you will find that too! It just takes some teasing out of the ones who are mayyyyyvbe a bit "too much". We try and keep class and this craziness as light-hearted as we can (it is a stress reliever for us too!) and we ignore everyone who is aggressive, mad, and annoyed all the time. You will be fine! be excited for this amazing time in your life. I am Type A, but a chill Type A with a sense of humor BUT one of my closest friends a full-blown Type B and she is doing great too, so don't get caught up in the "Type A = successful med student" bullshit. And I also agree, the advice I have gotten from this post is honestly amazing, so THANK YOU everyone! 

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Now that I'm reading this, I'm kind of worried how I'll fit in with my class once I start in September. I am so NOT type A by any means. I am serious and a hard worker, but I balance that by being goofy and silly as well (also a great way to deal with stressful times IMO). But I can imagine an "uptight medical" group of people could see me as being a non-serious clown. I like the advice given here though. I just hope I'll find some other "free-spirited, artsy, thinkers" like me. People seem to appreciate this style in the ER I work in (which is kind of its own unique environment itself). I guess we are out there!

 

Sed, do you have a rotation for students in your OR? Heh.

Eh, don't worry about trying to fit in. Just get in there and do what you're there to do: get a PA degree. If you end up making friends along the way, then that's great.

 

And yes, I do take students.

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PA school is pretty stressful and everyone responds to stress differently. It is a mixed bag of personalities. I remember one day one of the class darlings was going to send a "snowflake" (a white form with complaints or suggestions) to the staff because the test we just took was "too easy and didn't represent the amount of time I spent preparing." She (yes it was a she...we are equal opportunity) was told if we got retested she was going to get a beat down after class. Eventually we muscled through and I made some friends I still have 30 years later. Worry about your work, make friends where you can and let the rest roll off your back. You have enough to worry about without adding social worries.

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