Getting back into the swing of Medical School after a long, hot summer can be difficult and it is so important to try and start the year on your best foot. All too often people underestimate the impact of the way you start. Not starting right tends to have a knock on effect not just in your studies but in all areas of your life; from your social life to your peace of mind. Don’t get me wrong finishing right is what is most important but starting right sets you up for an excellent finish and saves you a lot of energy. Below is some of our tips to making sure that you get off to the best start this academic year.
MINDSET/ RESET YOUR BODY CLOCK
Now first thing is first, you need to be in the right frame of mind. University is challenging so you need to be mentally prepared for what the year might bring. I like to start by gradually getting myself back into the process of waking up early as that is something I normally struggle with. Start thinking about what is coming up and what you need to do in the run up, this will help to easily adjust to life back in university.
Be clear on what is expected of you. So much will be going on through out the year and the handbooks are there to guide you through it, so make good use of them. Of course they can be a pain to read but hidden inside are often some key tools to make life just that bit easier for you during the academic year. Don’t just look at them once, go back to it through out the year.
ASSESSMENTS & DEADLINES
Writing down what assessments you will have through out the year and deadlines will help you to stay focused and up to date. Make sure you put it somewhere you can easily see it, giving that constant reminder to leave yourself enough time to adequately plan and prepare for them.
Make sure you are aware of the various avenues of support available. Every Medical School has Medic Support, make sure you know how to contact them. Never forget your family and friends, make time for them and try your best to keep in contact with them. Medical School is tough, please remember you are not alone.
IDENTIFY YOUR STRESSORS
As humans, we tend to exhibit the same patterns of behaviour and similar things seem to be the ones causing us stress. It is important to recognise what your stressors are and establish ways to alleviate your stress. You can’t necessarily remove all stressors but you can change the way that you handle the stressor.
TALKING TO PEOPLE IN THE YEAR ABOVE
Have a chat with someone in the year above you, they are the best person to go to for advice, after all they’ve just been through what you’re about to go through. Don’t just speak to them once, stay in contact!
PASSION PROJECT – MAINTAINING YOUR INTERESTS
As a student it is crucial to maintain your interest. What is it you are passion about? Do you have a passion project? This may be some voluntary work you do on the side, writing or a setting up a social enterprise. We will elaborate on this another blog post in the future.
SET YOUR GOALS FOR THE YEAR
Make sure you know what you are working towards. When writing your goals try and be specific and think about what you need to do to achieve it. Make sure your goals are realistic and regularly review them to keep you on track.
MAKE THE MOST OF OPPORTUNITIES
Medical School is about more than just getting a degree, it is also about utilising the opportunities to develop as an individual and preparing for not just your future career but also additional endeavours. This is your chance to make the most of opportunities to pursue areas of interest, meet new doctors and work with different people, so don’t be shy.
We have a range of blog posts to help you out with this next academic year: