Surviving your first year of medical school

Congrats! You made it. You are officially a medical student. You’re probably excited and pretty damn nervous.

Medical school can look daunting at first when you see the number of online lectures you get assigned within your first month. I remember how my days were almost everyday 9 to 5 and would tire me out. On top of that we had to keep up with studying and writing up things for our portfolio. So here are some tips to help you with your first year of medical school.

Keep yourself up to date with lectures and tutorials. I know easier said than done but try keeping up with the workload. It may seem overwhelming at first but try methods like checklist to track all the lectures you have reviewed or made notes on. This will keep you organized and save time for your exam season. Make friends with older students. They will have notes from their medical years and could share it with you making your life easier.

There’s no denying that the first year of medical school is challenging. Remember you are not in this alone and pretty sure most students feel like this. Forming an online study group could benefit some of us when we try teaching and learning from each other. Additionally, YouTube is going to be your favourite teacher. Channels like osmosis and Armando Hasudungan are amazing tools for visual learners like myself to understand pathology lectures.

Keep a work life balance. Its first year so explore and try new things. Don’t be shy and join societies you are interested in. I had joined multiple societies like Latin dancing, Indian society and loads of medical ones. I would suggest picking your societies in which you are genuinely interested and go for their trial sessions to get a feel of it. It’s a great outlet when medicine gets overwhelming, and you want to escape the bubble that doesn’t remind you of your exams or the assignments you haven’t done yet.

Joining different clubs is also a great way to make friends outside medical school. It’s a refreshing change to see a different outlook on life from non-medical students as they would often have a completely different university experience compared to you.

Start thinking about second year accommodation plans. Explore Dundee and figure out your location preferences as well as the people you would want to live with. Don’t leave this to last minute as you will have your exams coming up in summer so it’s better to get it sorted before that.

Lastly, enjoy your long summer break. When exams are over you will be rewarded with months of holidays. Don’t take these for granted and enjoy those sunny days.

Written by:

Hello ! My name is Nidhi. I am an international medic studying at University of Dundee.

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