If you’re about to head off for your first year of medical school, you’re probably a ball of emotions. Excitement, nervousness, and in some cases even fear can all leave you feeling apprehensive about your first year. Below, you will find some advice from physicians and surgeons about how to survive your first year as a medical student – and how to succeed in the process.
Medical School is a Very Important Job
If you convince yourself that medical school is exactly like an important job, you’re far more likely to succeed. Leaving class early to go to a friend’s birthday party or playing hooky because you were up too late are simply unacceptable as they can leave you too far behind in the material to catch up. Treating medical school like a job does require some discipline, so you’ll need to practice before it become second nature.
Get Access to Study Tools and Question Banks on the Very First Day
No matter which exam you’ll need to take at the end of your academic career, you will have a far better chance at success if you get all the tools and question banks you will need starting with the first day of medical school. The more familiar you become with the interface, the better off you will be. Look for customizable questions that you can sort by topic so you can stay up-to-speed with what is happening in the classroom, too.
Eat, Sleep, and Meditate
Medical students around the world do not get enough sleep, and most of them either don’t eat enough or eat too many things that aren’t very good for them. If you want your first year to be as simple as possible, eat a balanced diet, sleep at least seven or eight hours each night, and meditate or find some other way to disconnect your mind and relax. You might try yoga, mindfulness exercises, or a quiet hobby that takes your mind away from school for a while.
Don’t Forget to Have Some Fun
While there’s little doubt that medical school is hard – and we mean really hard at times – you can’t be the best version of yourself if you never get to have any fun. It’s important to balance things appropriately, so just as you make time for studying, you should also make time for fun. Get involved with a group on campus who shares similar interests or take up a hobby that you enjoy. If you’re going to school away from home, consider getting out to see the sights and explore new things.
Your first year as a medical student does not have to be fraught with fear and anxiety. For the most part, it’s all about your mindset and how you choose to approach each day. Looking at classes like a job, taking care of your body and mind, and preparing yourself for your medical licensing exam well in advance will go a long way toward making your experience as a first-year medical school a great one.