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How to Survive Your First Year of Medical School- Part 2

19 September 2014
4.1.1
4.1.1

Be friends with medics and non-medics

It often comes as no surprise when you chat to people studying medicine and discover that all their closest friends are also medics. It’s kind of a given how we all end up being friends with each other. We spend at least 5-6 hours a day surrounded by other students in our year group in sociable settings. With the number of lectures being cut in C21 and the emphasis of our teaching shifting to small group sessions, you get to meet different members of your year group more frequently, meaning friendships quickly blossom.

Being friends with medics is of course an important aspect of surviving medical school. You can share your worries with each other over how you’ll ever learn all that anatomy. You can also help each other out when it comes to studying for exams or trying to understand that histology lecture you were given the other week. Most importantly your medic friends will be with you every step of the way; as they are also spending a minimum of five years at the university, compared to your non medic friends who on average only stay at university for three years.

But it is also important to try and strike a balance and become friends with non-medics. Sometimes being around just medics can get a bit stressful, especially when it comes to coursework and exams. You also forget that most of the things you talk about- especially your experiences in the dissection room are not suitable conversations to be having over dinner! Being friends with non-medics can be a breath of fresh air and sometimes provides a much needed break from medicine. You also begin to imagine how your life would be if you only had eight hours of contact time a week!

Medics & Non Medics! #Freshers

Don’t let work catch up on you

In your first term of med school especially, exams seem like an eternity away. With that in mind it can be easy to leave notes half-finished and say to yourself, ‘Oh I’ll do that another time.’ However the work load can soon creep up on you, next thing you know it is only 5 weeks until your end of year exams and half of your platform for clinical science work is hidden somewhere in that pile of paper.

The best thing to do is try and do a little bit of work each day. You will go into your exams being slightly calmer and less sleep deprived; as you will have avoided the stressful cramming period which is fuelled by Pro Plus and worryingly large amounts of coffee!

 

Have a social life

Your medical degree is obviously the most important part of you going to university, and needs to be prioritised. However with the new style of learning you experience at university coupled with the broad spectrum of things you can learn. You can easily be swallowed up by your work load. So it is really important to still have a social life and not let the work take over.

Although your degree is the most essential part of your time at medical school, university is also about becoming more independent, moving away from home and making lots of new friends. Having a social life is more than achievable with a bit of planning and time management. So make sure you go out and enjoy yourself, it’s a good way to blow off steam after a stressful week, and well you are freshers after all!

 

Join Societies/Sports Clubs

My last piece of advice on how to survive your first year of medical school is to get involved with all the university has to offer! Most of you who will be joining the medical school this year probably did loads of extra-curricular activities in school that you will want to carry on in university. And whether you want to stick to what you know or want to try something new the guild of societies and athletics union at Cardiff University are bound to have what you are looking for.

Sport societies especially are a great way to keep fit and make friends from other courses, and even the medic sports are open to all students who do healthcare courses at the university. Also don’t feel that you have to join a medic sports team just because you are a medic. You are free to trial and join all of the whole university teams. Although they do train more often than the healthcare teams tend to, it is still more than manageable to be a member, so don’t rule it out! My best friend Elin (also a medic) was a successful member of Cardiff University’s First Netball Team for the duration of our first year and still comfortably passed her exams and coursework.

 

 

So I hope these pieces of advice will help your first year to run a little smoother! This time last year I was already moved into my flat in Talybont North. I’m so jealous of all of you living there, you are bound to have a wonderful time! I actually move into my house tomorrow and have some serious packing to do… so I better go do that!

Ps. For all you medic freshers…see you on Monday for our first social! Make sure you pack your summer dresses and ties for back to school!

Lucy 


Dim ond yng Nghaerdydd

How to Survive Your First Year of Medical School- Part 2

19 September 2014
4.1.1
4.1.1

Be friends with medics and non-medics

It often comes as no surprise when you chat to people studying medicine and discover that all their closest friends are also medics. It’s kind of a given how we all end up being friends with each other. We spend at least 5-6 hours a day surrounded by other students in our year group in sociable settings. With the number of lectures being cut in C21 and the emphasis of our teaching shifting to small group sessions, you get to meet different members of your year group more frequently, meaning friendships quickly blossom.

Being friends with medics is of course an important aspect of surviving medical school. You can share your worries with each other over how you’ll ever learn all that anatomy. You can also help each other out when it comes to studying for exams or trying to understand that histology lecture you were given the other week. Most importantly your medic friends will be with you every step of the way; as they are also spending a minimum of five years at the university, compared to your non medic friends who on average only stay at university for three years.

But it is also important to try and strike a balance and become friends with non-medics. Sometimes being around just medics can get a bit stressful, especially when it comes to coursework and exams. You also forget that most of the things you talk about- especially your experiences in the dissection room are not suitable conversations to be having over dinner! Being friends with non-medics can be a breath of fresh air and sometimes provides a much needed break from medicine. You also begin to imagine how your life would be if you only had eight hours of contact time a week!

Medics & Non Medics! #Freshers

Don’t let work catch up on you

In your first term of med school especially, exams seem like an eternity away. With that in mind it can be easy to leave notes half-finished and say to yourself, ‘Oh I’ll do that another time.’ However the work load can soon creep up on you, next thing you know it is only 5 weeks until your end of year exams and half of your platform for clinical science work is hidden somewhere in that pile of paper.

The best thing to do is try and do a little bit of work each day. You will go into your exams being slightly calmer and less sleep deprived; as you will have avoided the stressful cramming period which is fuelled by Pro Plus and worryingly large amounts of coffee!

 

Have a social life

Your medical degree is obviously the most important part of you going to university, and needs to be prioritised. However with the new style of learning you experience at university coupled with the broad spectrum of things you can learn. You can easily be swallowed up by your work load. So it is really important to still have a social life and not let the work take over.

Although your degree is the most essential part of your time at medical school, university is also about becoming more independent, moving away from home and making lots of new friends. Having a social life is more than achievable with a bit of planning and time management. So make sure you go out and enjoy yourself, it’s a good way to blow off steam after a stressful week, and well you are freshers after all!

 

Join Societies/Sports Clubs

My last piece of advice on how to survive your first year of medical school is to get involved with all the university has to offer! Most of you who will be joining the medical school this year probably did loads of extra-curricular activities in school that you will want to carry on in university. And whether you want to stick to what you know or want to try something new the guild of societies and athletics union at Cardiff University are bound to have what you are looking for.

Sport societies especially are a great way to keep fit and make friends from other courses, and even the medic sports are open to all students who do healthcare courses at the university. Also don’t feel that you have to join a medic sports team just because you are a medic. You are free to trial and join all of the whole university teams. Although they do train more often than the healthcare teams tend to, it is still more than manageable to be a member, so don’t rule it out! My best friend Elin (also a medic) was a successful member of Cardiff University’s First Netball Team for the duration of our first year and still comfortably passed her exams and coursework.

 

 

So I hope these pieces of advice will help your first year to run a little smoother! This time last year I was already moved into my flat in Talybont North. I’m so jealous of all of you living there, you are bound to have a wonderful time! I actually move into my house tomorrow and have some serious packing to do… so I better go do that!

Ps. For all you medic freshers…see you on Monday for our first social! Make sure you pack your summer dresses and ties for back to school!

Lucy