Today, as I was listening the song called “Eat Sleep Rave Repeat”, I’ve been thinking that this is the exact feeling that you have when you are in session at Med School, only a little bit modified: Eat NoSleep Study Repeat. I’ve been studying the whole semester since the beginning, and I can proudly say that I didn’t have to lose sleep not even a single night.
For us, the semester is divided into four parts:
- In the first part you still have time to go out, have fun and waste nights without feeling guilty
- In the second part you already have a lot of courses and the tests are around the corner. If you want your final grade to be a good one, this is a good moment to start studying
- The presession is the third part of the semester. You will have to take a lot of exams in just two weeks.
- The fourth part is the session. Fortunately, the difficulty varies from one year to another. For instance, in the first semester, I had to prepare for four difficult exams (Cellular Biology, Anatomy, Biophysics, Biostatistics). On the other hand, the second semester was a little bit easier because I had more time left between the exams, as they were only three.
All in all, this sums up the whole first year in Med School. It would be difficult for me to describe it in one word because it is quite complex.
What can you do (more) ?
Besides studying, eating and sleeping, you don’t really have time for anything else. There are four weeks in which you will go to the library daily until the librarian will recognize you. Most students prefer to study at the library because there are less distractions than home. Unfortunately, the program of the library is from 8 to 20 which is not always enough and you will have to study after you get home. If you want to get a place at the library you will have to wake up early for it.
What helps you stay calm ?
Whatever your method and place to study is, not thinking about the exam is the best thing that you can do, because panic doesn’t help you al all. At this time, you have to stay calm as much as possible.
There are some inside rumors that some students take Xanax in order to calm down and be able to study. As far as I’m concerned, I don’t think that these pills help you get through your panic attacks that occur during the exam. I believe in the Reward System which consists of getting what I like after I finish studying a certain amount of pages (Chocolate is my best friend in this situation). Chocolate stimulates the secretion of dopamine and serotonin which induces pleasure.
The most important thing is not to feel guilty if one day you don’t feel like studying and choose to spend some time with your friends, family or your significant other.
Every night after you close the books, you should do some exercises, no matter how tired you are because sports improve your blood circulation. I also recommend ginkgo biloba and magnesium for a higher performance. These supplements increase the cerebral blood flow and reduce stress.
Rest as much as you can and study just when you are focused. The session is defined by your ability to combine these two. If you manage to stay calm and focus on what’s important, you will definitely go through it.
This article is suitable for those who are trying to get into Med School as well as first year students who have problems organizing their time.