Though medical students don’t get to take entire summers off school, they do have less to do, and they tend to really enjoy their summer breaks when they can. However, as summer ends and the full fall semester looms on the horizon, you might find yourself struggling to get the motivation you need to study and prepare for medical exams. Here are five things you can do to help get in the back-to-school frame of mind.
#1 – Get on a School Day Schedule Early
The number one way to get yourself ready to head back to school for the fall semester involves getting your body used to your daily schedule ahead of time. This means getting to bed early enough to wake up early while still getting a solid seven to nine hours of sleep. Be sure that you have enough time in the mornings to have a cup of coffee and some breakfast so you can get your bearings before heading out to face the day.
#2 – Meal Prep
Though it may seem silly for a college student to worry about meal prep – especially if you’re in a dorm room with no stove or oven for real cooking – there are things you can do that will reduce your stress and save you time (and money!) all throughout the fall semester. Check out sales on things you have the means to prepare and buy your groceries based on those sales. Get enough for an entire week’s worth of meals, take it home, portion it out, precook it (if possible) and store it in your fridge. This way, everything is ready to go and all you need to do is pop a meal in the microwave. It’s cheaper than eating out, and a good diet is key to keeping your comprehension and memory healthy, too.
#3 – Register for (and Set Up) Question Bank Software
If you haven’t already set up your question bank platform, now is the perfect time to do so. All you need to do is register your account and then choose one of the numerous subscription options designed to fit a college student’s budget. You can even ask a school representative whether an institutional discount is available. Once you have it set up, download it to all your devices and familiarize yourself with the interface.
#4 – Find a Study Group
If you take the time to find a group of people to study with even before the fall semester starts, you’ll be that much more prepared, and that is one of the numerous ingredients in the recipe for success. Try putting up notes on message boards in local coffee shops, the school library, and even the school cafeteria, and don’t forget about online message boards, as well. You can take turns quizzing each other with question bank software or you can watch fast, informational YouTube videos to help you absorb more information.
#5 – Get Your Shopping Done
Shopping for things you need for your room can be a pain, as can buying new clothes and school supplies. Although much of your work will be done on a computer or tablet, the basics – pens, paper, highlighters, and index cards for making your own flash cards, if desired – are always a good idea. To get what you need on a budget, try dollar stores for your supplies and thrift stores for gently used clothes. You might even find discount or salvage grocery stores close to campus, and don’t pass up an opportunity to shop at a farmer’s market, either.
Going back to school can be a bummer, especially if you’ve had a wonderful, relaxing summer. However, if you follow these tips, you can reduce the shock to your system, which will help you feel better about the first day of class – and all the consecutive days after that, too.