When you’re first starting medical school, you might not know what to expect. Some students find that trying to absorb the sheer volume of information in each lecture is like trying to drink from a fire hose. Starting your education takes a lot of adjusting, and you won’t be alone if you find it’s overwhelming at first. But making the most of your education can help it be some of the best years of your life.
Avoid Taking Too Much On
There are many groups, activities, and other fun aspects to be part of while in med school. It might be tempting to try to enjoy them all, but don’t overcommit yourself. The same is true of a job. Some med students might be able to work part-time to help pay for school, but it can bring on extra stress and take too much time. Instead, look for other ways of paying for school. Apply to scholarships and look for grants. You may want to look into taking out private student loans for graduate medical school. That way, you won’t have to worry about your finances and can focus on your education instead.
Have Good Study Habits
Sometimes, medical school professors post electronic information or record the lectures, so it might be tempting to skip going to class and do homework instead. It might work for some students, but you should start out attending class. The first couple of weeks are vital to helping you adjust, and when you go to class, you can become better oriented while getting a better understanding of the coursework. You also don’t want to cram while in medical school. You might have been able to get away with all-nighters in undergrad, but there’s too much information to do this in medical school. Instead, go over the information right after you get it and go over it as much as you can until it’s time for the test.
Take Care of Yourself
This field places a lot of demands on you, and it’s easy to forget to care for yourself. That might mean making dentist or doctor appointments when necessary. Make time to relax when you’re stressed or ill, and try to eat well and get some exercise in. It’s a marathon, not a sprint, so you need to take care of yourself to get through. It might seem impossible to balance these things out, but it’s not impossible. You may need to cut back on reading non-medical-related books or not spend as much time at the gym as you would like, but it can be done.
Part of self-care includes developing a support network. You can stay in touch with family and old friends while making new ones in medical school. The stress of your education shouldn't be something you have to bear individual. It’s important to have the resources and support to get through the journey. Even though it’s stressful, it’s also an important part of your journey. It can be one of the best parts of your life, so spend time taking it in.