Hey guys! It has been a while again…as you can imagine, my second semester has been even busier than the last. This time around my courses include biochem, physiology, genetics, neurology, research methods, and a case-based learning seminar once a week. Just finished my second set of block exams for the semester and I can’t even imagine how the time flew by!
Coming back from the break was more difficult than I had anticipated. I had hoped to feel refreshed and ready to get back into things after my 10 days at home (I even managed to swing a trip down to Cali with the fam!) but when when my plane touched down, I couldn’t help but feel a wave of depression washing over me. I can’t put my finger on why exactly, but it felt very much like a system re-set, as if I was back to re-start all over again. It was like the previous 4 months had added up to nothing. It felt as though I had worked so hard to learn so many things over the last 4 months, only to start new courses about which I knew nothing. Of course, I was indeed moving forward in my medical education, however looking from the front of a new semester in medicine seemed so very daunting. Regardless of these feelings, I managed to pass the time with the help of friends who felt the same way, Friends (as in the actual TV show), and ice cold diet cokes by the pool.
I have learned that the first month of every semester is a rough one. This being due to a number of factors, the main one revolving around not knowing what is expected of you for the first round of shelf exams in each new course. It’s all mental, of course. You can’t help but stress over not knowing what style of questions the exam will offer for each specific course. You have that little voice in the back of your head constantly saying “what if I fail?” and if you’re anything like me, exercise seems impossible while the world’s unhealthiest foods become mouth-watering-ly appealing. I’m not usually one to stress over exams…in fact, my stress lies greatly in not stressing enough about exams. However the first month back is when I start to get a feel for the mindset of some med students, 24/7.
Thankfully, round 1 of blocks went by without a hitch – even biochem, which I was concerned about the most. In a way, this semester seems easier than the last because 2/5 days we get off at 3pm instead of 5. The course material is more manageable than last semester I find as well, because this time around it’s less about memorizing, and more about understanding how things work. If you understand the physiology of the lung, for example, you don’t need to memorize what will happen as a result of certain types of trauma/pathology, etc., because through a process of deduction, things will reveal themselves in a way that makes sense.
Round two of blocks, however, went a little less smoothly. I stressed about my marks for about a day, until I realized how it was a direct result of the effort I put into studying all month…which was minimal. I was so exhausted by studying for the last blocks, and having done well, I took the liberty of giving myself a week off from studying. Which turned into two weeks, and then two and a half, and then I was left cramming everything in the last 10 days before blocks. Not a study habit I recommend, but here and there, something’s gotta give. This month I’ll be back on it! It will be a hard grind though, seeing that my friend is visiting for 10 days AND carnival is on as of tomorrow.
That’s about it as far as updates go, I’ll probably throw up an informative post or two this week for y’all, comment if there’s anything in particular you’d like to know about life as a future IMG 🙂
Until then, cheers! xx