I hate waking up before 8 a.m. Ever since I became a professional rather than a college student, I’ve grown to enjoy staying up a little later and sleeping in more. When I was in St. George, I used to go to bed around 3 or 4 a.m. and wake up at 11 or 12. These days are earlier. If I want to stay up, I go to bed at midnight and wake up at 8:50 on the dot. The earliest I’ll wake up is 7:50 a.m. to get to work by 9 a.m., which is whenever I can shake the feeling of my bed for the hot shower that awaits just a few steps away, earlier than normal.
But as much as I hate waking up before 8 a.m., my great friend Justin has ALWAYS struggled to wake up. Regardless of time and how much sleep he got, he always seemed to find a way waking up late and getting to school later than most of us.
So I find it strangely coincidental that both of us had to wake up early for an extremely special day on March 15. It was his “Match Day,” the medical equivalent of “National Signing Day” in college football, where aspiring med students learn where their futures lie.
Trust me, it was not an easy thing to get up at 7 a.m. just so I could get to the Nevada School of Medicine before 9 a.m., so I didn’t miss nay of the festivities. But even though I went to bed earlier the night before in anticipation, I still struggled and got up around 7:30 a.m., giving me plenty of time to get ready and drive down. I got there relatively close to the 9 a.m. reveal. I’d say a good 10 minutes before, allowing me to chat with Justin’s mom and others that I recognized.
It was a “Monopoly” themed event with each person getting their own Monopoly square with a hotel with their name and face on it. The clocked ticked down and shortly after 9 a.m., we knew where Justin was heading.
He was going to Oregon. His top choice and one of the top programs in the country.
Now many of us expected him to get to Stanford. It was his second choice, had a bigger class and, while being highly competitive, had shown a high interest level in Justin. But when he removed the roof of his “hospital,” and saw the “Chance” card read Oregon, it was one of the coolest moments I’ve ever witness. Right in front me, I was watching, arguably the hardest working person in my high school group of friend accomplishing what he set out to do and move one step closer to being the type of doctor he wants to be was awesome.
Trust me, I’ve seen a lot of great moments. My job allows me to witness such great events in people’s lives. But here, someone who I’ve known personally and seen grow up from sophomore year at Coronado High School, accomplishing something great. It was better than any sports memory I’ve ever had.
Safe to say, I’m proud of Justin. He’s going to do big things in the future.
And naturally, it will always start with him waking up in the morning to do said things.