After I finished my HKCFP/RACGP Conjoint Examination in late October, I did something which I should have done a long time. After filling my bookshelves for years, I threw away the notes I had from medical school. I asked myself a few questions and realized the notes were no longer needed.
Q. Did I need the notes?
A. No. All the paper was just notes, timetables and bits of administration. Most of the notes were of medical knowledge which have become out of date. I still have my textbooks if I needed to refer back to any information, or I could just look on the internet for the information that I required.
Q. Will I need the notes in the future?
A. No. Apart from the aforementioned need for information, the only other purpose I could think of for my notes were of sentimental value. Those notes won't provide that. I did not enjoy my time in medical school and have no desire to return to that era. Neither am I going to show my children or grandchildren (if I have any) what I learnt in medical school. It's not like the stuff I kept from primary school, like paintings and drawings, which you can look back upon with some sweet recollection. At least from secondary school work there is a marking to show how clever I once was. My medical school notes does not fulfil any of these functions.
Before the environmentalist have a field day on my gesture, I didn't just throw the paper straight into the rubbish bin. All of the paper has gone into boxes and my domestic helper has been bringing the load to a recycling centre. I have taken things out that may serve a purpose in future, such as ring binder folders and file dividers.
The situation I have just gone through highlights something we have all encountered. At one point or another, we have stuff at home we should throw out but don't. We accumulate stuff we don't need and we don't use. The major problem is trying to get rid of it but not knowing how to. I think the circumstances maybe better in places such as the UK or US, where there are recycling centres for almost anything and there are online forums or websites where you can sell these items as second hand or give them to charity.
I have several electronic gadgets which are either broken or so out of date that I won't use them again. It's taken me a while but I will eventually send them to the local electrical recycling centre, along with power adaptors, wires, cables and a whole echelon of electrical stuff.
The same goes with CDs. I have a bunch of CDs of computer programs I don't use any more. Particularly because I use Apple OSX but also because most of the printer drivers, DVD programs and what not can be downloaded off the internet right now.
It's nice to have more space in my place now but it is most likely I will have the same problem again in a few years time after I have bought more useless stuff that I don't need.