How do u survive medical school???
Here’s the secret. You absolutely have to focus on taking one step at a time and ignore the rest.
It’s pretty intimidating at times, especially when you think that you’ll be a doctor in X number of years! Probably the only way I got through it was to focus only on the next step at hand. It’s perfectly natural and rational to feel that it’s overwhelming and terrifying, because there is a lot to learn. But you don’t have to learn it all at once, and nobody expects you to become an expert overnight. They just expect you to reach the next milestone.
You won’t feel ready for final year in first year; but you’re not expected to! Of course it looks scary! Remind yourself that this is natural, but also pointless to worry about, and try to re-focus on the task at hand. Break down the current year into all the steps you need to achieve (and there are probably a lot of them!). Breaking it down and planning the steps you need to take can be therapeutic when you feel anxious, and it also help you to plan out your workload, so it’s a win-win.
Then, by the time you get to the end, you realise that you’ve levelled up quite a bit, and the kinds of things that once scared you aren’t quite so scary any more.
Every once in a while, I had to remind myself that everybody before me had managed to somehow scrape by, so it wasn’t impossible. If they can, why can’t you? I promise all the people who have finished med school before you aren’t better than you. If you got through secondary/high school and the applications process you are more than smart and hardworking enough to go all the way, with a little support. Sometimes, telling yourself that you can do it is an important part of beginning to believe that this is true.
And of course the other half of it is making a support network out of friends. It’s important (or at least, nice) to have both medical and non-medical friends but looking after each other is an important part of surviving med school.