After what felt like an eternity of sleepless nights, excruciatingly painful exams and more than a handful of moments of self-doubt, you finally received your acceptance into medical school. Now, you feel like anything is possible and in fact, it is. But with the first day fast approaching, you need to find ways to stay organized and make the most out of your first year. Here are four tips to make your first year of medical school memorable.
Pat Yourself on The Back
Before you do anything else, you need to congratulate yourself. Being accepted into medical school is a major accomplishment, so make sure to give credit where credit is due. And even though it’s normal to question your overall abilities as a future doctor, you need to remind yourself that only the most qualified get accepted into medical school.
Transitioning from college into medical school comes with its own set of rules. In addition to entering as a first-year medical student, which is stressful enough, you also need to create a schedule that works for you. During the first two years of school, you’re expected to learn and retain an enormous amount of new information. You also need time to review and process what you’ve learned, study for exams and have time to regroup. Take a look at your courses and create a schedule that incorporates everything you need to get done.
Sticking to the same schedule will eliminate anxiety and prevent mental overload. You also need to choose a day or night where you spend time with friends and blow off steam. Even a few hours where you do nothing but kick back and watch television is beneficial for your mental health. If you’re looking for more ways to decompress, you can also review articles that explain why students need a mental health break from school. This type of literature is invaluable, especially when in a rigorous medical program.
Make New Friends
Probably during your first week, you’ll meet a variety of different people. While some will be super competitive and may not want to socialize, there’s plenty who want to forge new friendships with you. Building a supportive network will help make even the hardest of days just a little easier. Since your peers are going through the same thing as you, they’ll understand when you need a shoulder to lean on.
Take Care of Yourself
In addition to taking care of your mental health, you also need to take care of yourself physically. Far too often, med students don’t have the time for meal preparation. This can lead to unhealthy choices that pack on the pounds and leave you feeling listless. Fresh fruit and vegetables are better for you than fast food, so schedule a time to grocery shop and meal prep as well. You also need to find time to exercise, which can be walking to the market instead of driving, taking the stairs instead of elevators or even doing super sets of squats every couple of hours.
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