It’s been quite the semester- third year at my medical school is known as the hardest year. Only one term in, and I agree with that completely. On reflection, it’s been challenging, with many ups and downs, so without further ado, here are some lessons I’ve learnt so far:
- STAY ON TOP OF ANATOMY. This is something I always keep coming back to, and I need to learn from this, because I started off the term well, but ended up slacking after a few weeks. You can make life so much easier for yourself if you dedicate time to going through anatomy. A new year’s resolution for me, maybe?
- Getting my first student job in third year probably wasn’t one of my best ideas, so I’d say don’t do this unless it’s a job with flexible hours. Working as a student caller was only for a couple of weeks, and I only had to do three shifts a week so it wasn’t too bad. I made quite a bit of money too, so I guess #noregrets
- Leading on from my last point, time management is very important. This term I had to balance staying on top of PBL/lectures, netball commitments, student caller work, volunteering on Saturdays, and church commitments, so it was quite a lot to handle. But I got through it through the grace of God, and my trusty calendar, ofcourse. So sticking to a strict-ish schedule really helped. Before I go to bed every night, I make a ‘To Do List’ for the next day, and that helps me keep on top of things. It also helps me get to sleep easier, because I sleep quicker with my head cleared of what needs to be done.
- As important as it is to stay on top of work and various commitments, don’t forget that saying no sometimes is okay too. Looking after yourself is important, and I learnt this a lot this term, because there were quite a few times that I had take time off to be alone, and watch TV, and sleep, and eat, and just have some ‘Tai Time,’ AND IT WAS OKAY.
- In the words of John Donne, “No man is an island,” and this is so SO true in medical school. I would like to give a very special mention to Alice, who has been such a blessing to me. From practising examinations together, to grilling me on logbooks, to patiently teaching me anatomy, and just listening to me when I was sad/feeling sorry for myself, I would definitely not have gotten through this term without her. It’s very important not to isolate yourself as a medical student, because things can get very overwhelming if you do. So make sure you surround yourself with people who you can count on to be there for you.
I got the results of the OSCE a few days ago, and I passed, yay! So so relieved and grateful to God, praying that next term will be even better! It’s so great to be home and to relax though; coming home for Christmas is the best.
Finally, merry Christmas! To everyone reading this, I hope you have lovely festive season with friends and family wherever you are. As always, I leave you with my favourite hymn: