I’m officially experiencing senioritis.
Having senioritis is great in undergraduate programs, because technically your entire future isn’t revolving around the last few months of your 4 year degree. Now, however, I feel unable to fully succumb to my careless subconscious telling me that procrastinating is okay, and that I’ve tried hard enough for long enough, and that I’m pretty much outta here. This being because, news flash, I’m not outta here! Or this! Or med school at all! And never really will be! And that the courses I’m taking now, in this final semester of second year are some of the most important courses in preparation for my future as a physician, and USMLE/MCCEE test taker.
That being said, I’ve been managing my feelings of burnout and over-it-ness in a variety of different ways that I thought would be useful to share:
- Visualizing and planning my future
- Searching for apartments in Chicago (where I will continue the rest of my program) has helped excite and motivate me, as it has given me something to work towards in the immediate future that will only be attained if I pass all my block exams this final semester
- Making a mental schedule of all the fun things I’m going to do on weekends to relax during board prep has helped me look forward to studying for the Step as opposed to dreading it
- Writing down long term goals based around the type of physician I want to be and life I want to have once I’ve become a doctor. This has been essential in staying motivated! (ie. Pinning pictures of nice apartments, clothing, vacation destinations – as superficial as it sounds – and writing down the type of practice I want to have one day, right down to the design of my office space)
- Working towards fitness goals
- The hardest thing about the basic sciences, I find, is that the end goal is so far away. Monthly exams aren’t very rewarding, because 4 weeks later you’ll have another set of them, and nothing (to me) seems academically fulfilling because I know I need to write that Step 1 exam. So, instead of focusing on that one long term goal, I focus on achieving smaller, short term goals, to do with fitness. My current fitness goal, among others, is to get my squat back up to 100lbs, along with my deadlift, be able to do 20+ pushups, actually be able to do a few pull ups, and so on, all by the end of the semester. The great thing about exercising is that you see noticeable differences in the amount you can lift or run/endure on a weekly basis, so it satisfies that craving for accomplishment.
- Getting through my YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, other social media feeds
- Is this dangerous? Yes! However, I feel like I’m a pro at not letting social media be too distracting (knock on wood). Speaking of instant satisfaction, I find that giving myself an hour or 2 a day to really just get through all the videos in my subscription list, or all the Instagram posts over the past 24hrs, is immensely gratifying. The thing is, with studying, I never feel truly satisfied because there will always be more work that I could do, because in medicine, I will never know enough. But the simple act of checking off all those videos from my “watch later” tab, or responding to set of tweets that have been sent my way, gives me a sense of accomplishment that then motivates me to continue getting stuff done. I don’t know how, people, but it just does. Am I a true millennial or what??
Hope you enjoyed these tips! See you in the next one.