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For my debut on the medical student forum (as opposed to the desperate medical school applicee forum), I decided to write a list of all the things I wish I'd known before embarking on this degree.
10 tips on surviving the first term of medical school (from someone who isn't sure she is):
1. Figure out whether attending lectures is actually going to be useful for you in the first week or so.
2. If you end up realising you just can't sustain intense concentration on the intricate details of DNA methylation for sixty minutes (surprisingly), find a different way of covering the content.
3. Get yourself a printer - end of.
4. Never, ever, look at someone else's notes unless you want to feel like you 100% do not belong here. The colour-coded sections and beautifully rendered diagrams will induce the desire to crawl into a hole where the word 'revision' doesn't exist. Exception to this: when your computer breaks and your friends lend you their notes be very, very grateful.
5. Make revision material as you go. The best method I've observed so far is making flashcards after each lecture.
6. Buy Vogue and avocados. Trust me, there will be days when learning the anatomy of the gastro-intestinal tract is the last thing you want to do (lo and behold!) and you will welcome these comforts. So whatever your version of Vogue and avocados is, whether it be ramen noodles or a nice blanket, treat yo'self.
7. Get in touch with your oh-so-intimate feelings. You will be doing a lot (and I mean a lot) of reflection on your emotions, expectations, prejudices (et cetera.) and you need to be prepared or you'll end up writing 300 words on how the sight of a patient's toe made you feel "naïve yet excited to be a toe doctor".
8. Have a separate budget for coffee, chips after a night out and printer ink. Including these in your weekly budget will leave you hating yourself.
9. Find a couple of friends who think the same as you. Yes, university is all about meeting new people who challenge you as a person (et cetera, et cetera, et cetera) but sometimes, amidst of all the change and stress, you'll really need to have a deep conversation about all the stuff you bought from Primark or the best Angel Delight flavour.
10. Chill. Just chill. Slow down, breath, chill. You've made it this far. You deserve to be here. You'll be okay.
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