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I sincerely hope this person isn’t allergic to all animals. I think I could reasonably stay away from lemon peels though.

I’m pretty sure that the allergy to needles is more of a phobia…

And for those who don’t know what “black drawing salve” is, that’s your southern remedy for boils and cysts (and everything else…sort of like the Southern version of Tiger Balm). It’s some black smelly goo you put on your risin to get whatever’s in it to come to a head. 

Finally started to study for my midterm tomorrow and just as I cracked open my books, the city pulls up in front of my neighbors house and starts to cut down a tree. So now I’m sitting here on Pinterest (@wonderfullifee) listening to the sounds of a wood chipper …

On a side note: I’m sorry my photos come out so crappy. I have a super nice Canon camera but my cat hid the memory card on me so I can’t take any photos until I get a new one.

Freshman year: Premed experiences and tips

Freshman Year as a premed is scary. Am I good enough? Am I smart enough? Can I keep up with the other premeds?

You feel as if your decision to pursue being a physician is all reliant on your first year of college.

Breath. The only thing you can prepare yourself for on being a “newbie” on campus is to choose your classes.

Classes: at this time it is recommended that Biology and Chemistry be taken together (though everyone is different and there is no perfect way to have classes to get into medical school… this is under your discretion, this is only what I did AS A BIOLOGY MAJOR).

TIP 1: GET TO KNOW YOUR PROFESSORS; IMPRESS. IMPRESS. IMPRESS.

I believe the best thing you could do in these classes is… DO THE VERY BEST YOU CAN. IMPRESS YOUR PROFESSORS. GET AN A+ IF YOU CAN ON EVERY EXAM. HOWEVER, do not kill yourself… make sure there is balance in your life, but do the very best you can. Why?

This is the time where professors are just getting to know who you are. If you impress them as a freshmen, ideally they will invest more time into seeing that you succeed.

I go to a private college in California. SO, getting to know your professors at my school is much easier than a public university I would say, HOWEVER, it still can be done.

SIT IN THE FRONT OF THE CLASS. Do not be afraid to stand out. This is college, this is your career ahead of you.

When the professor asks a question intended for the students to answer and you know the answer, ANSWER IT. ANSWER AS MANY AS POSSIBLE.

Professors seek premed students to guide that are striving to succeed and have an unquenchable thirst for learning. STAND OUT. I would even introduce yourself to the professor one way or another if you have to. YOU WANT THEM TO KNOW YOU. Why?

After trying my hardest in these classes, my professors sought me out and are now offering me teaching opportunities in the future, as well as recommending me to other professors for research. I am researching right now because of a close relationship I have with one of my professors. I impressed him with my drive in his class as a new premed and he is now offering me opportunities I would not have been able to find on my own.

Whatever effort you put it, it will pay off.

TIP 2: TRANSITION

Make sure that the amount of units you are taking are enough to challenge you, but also enough for you to be able to transition to the new challenges you will face in college.

Transitioning into college life can be easy and/or difficult for students. This is the time where you learn how disciplined you are. Friends or Studying? Ect… Give yourself leeway if this may be a problem for you, like taking 15 units instead of all 18 for at least your first semester of freshman year. The worst thing you could do to yourself is disappoint yourself with how you preformed and give up on your dream to be a doctor.

Remember, we are only human.

TIP 3: GET A’S

It is important to medical schools that your GPA is high in college for a variety of reasons, but they are searching for medical school candidates that they know will succeed in their vigorous programs. They are investing in you to succeed.

Thus, get as high of a GPA as you can. Not only this, but freshman year will be one of your easier years and maybe even your EASIEST YEAR. Get A’s in your easy classes, so that when you enter upper level classes that you cannot get A’s in no matter how hard you try, you can feel at ease knowing that you tried your hardest and have a “safety net.

Getting A’s also gives you a confidence boost. “YEAH I AM A PREMED AND I CAN BE A VERY GOOD ONE TOO. BRING IT ON SOPHOMORE YEAR. I KILLED IT FRESHMEN YEAR.”

TIP 4: LOCATE OTHER PREMEDS

You will find many premeds in beginning biology and chemistry classes this year. Get to know them? Maybe they have information you do not know and vice versa. PREMEDS MUST STICK TOGETHER (to the best of their abilities).

It is nice to be able to discuss courses and maybe even study together if you are compatible with them. Either way, it is nice to feel like you are not the only one struggling at times. Yes, there are other people that have felt the pressure you are feeling and they have survived. You will live past this year.

Another way of doing this is joining biology, chemistry, and/or premed clubs! This way you can also meet juniors and seniors that are premed and you can ask them about their premed journey/receive quality tips on courses, which professors are the best, and even ways to study.

I know a senior who was accepted by a medical school in Wisconsin through premed club and now I can ask him questions to see how he got accepted or what he felt was most crucial to his application (what made him stand out the most).

TIP 5: MAKE A FOUR YEAR PLAN WITH YOUR ADVISER.

You can also do this on your own and check with your adviser (this is what I did). There are plenty of templates online/ you can make your own via Microsoft word. This will help you in the long run.

Yes, it will change so do not spend endless hours on it like I did. The availability of courses (EVEN AT A PRIVATE SCHOOL) can be tricky to fit into one schedule. At the very least, map out what major requirements you will be taking every year to meet that major (same with minors and concentrations). Then, you can fill in GE’s but be prepared for THOSE to potentially change.

Have fun with it. It should be exciting to see all the courses you could discover and take. It also takes pressure off of making a brand new schedule in such a short amount of time during the school year, while still taking classes. It will already be set for you via your four year plan and you make changes as you go.

TIP 6: TAKE GREAT NOTES IN THE COURSES FOR THE MCAT AT THE VERY LEAST

I will be making another post on how to take different types of notes depending on the class, but for the sake of this post, take great notes because of the MCAT.

You will most likely need the notes you took in Biology, Chemistry, etc… when you begin studying for the MCAT so make sure they are organized and stay organized. I organized mine in binders, since much of my notes were PowerPoints from my professor and typed notes/handwritten notes I made.  

Also, I am keeping my textbooks that have information that will be on the MCAT, but selling the others if necessary.

TIP 7: STAY BALANCED

This year will go by so fast that you will feel like you just graduated high school yesterday, but now you are a sophomore in college.

A way to stay balanced is to avoid procrastination. How? This will be another post, but doing this will avoid stress. Stress can affect your health negatively if it is constant so make sure you do whatever you need to in order to avoid unnecessary stress on your assignments.

Lastly, take time for yourself, family, and friends. Seems simple, but it is not. You can lose yourself in the books for classes, but take the time (even if you need to schedule it) to be with the people you love.

Medical schools like seeing that you can handle the school work in college, while finding time to do other things outside of medicine or school. Whether it is playing a sport, painting, or going to the movies with your family. Find a way to de-stress.

KNOW THAT COLLEGE IS ONLY ABOUT 8 MONTHS OF THE YEAR. THE OTHER FOUR ARE SUMMER. Yeah you may have to work… but it is not the same as studying (unless you take summer courses, DUH).

MY POINT BEING, BUST YOUR BUTT FOR 4 MONTHS AT A TIME (SEMESTER SCHEDULES). It makes it seem much less intimidating than thinking of it as a year (helps you not to mentally burn out). You take different classes each semester, so realistically it is only four months at a time. BUST YOUR BUTT, SO THAT YOU CAN RELAX IN SUCCESS THAT WINTER BREAK OR SUMMER.

Find your inspiration TO DO YOUR BEST and go with it.

ENDING WORDS:

You are a freshman with little to no expectations by others but much from yourself. Understand this next year will be a learning experience and pose odd problems, but you can do it. You will survive it and most will survive it with flying colors. Do not forget to have fun and learn to love your school (you will be there for the next 3 years of your life, most likely).

These are tips that I would have told myself before my freshman year, but if you decide to use them, I am not responsible for the consequences that follow. I can only see positive consequences coming from them, but life is crazy so I thought I would say this just in case. I hope it helped/poses a realistic view of your freshman year. Again, use my advice under your discretion.

PREMEDS UNITE. xoxo

I have no one else to tell…so you guys are going to have to suck it up and deal with my happiness. 

I FINALLY passed a practice test since my little hiatus. And between you and me I kind of did awesome. This is only my second one, so I have a ways to go. But I’m so happy for the improvement, considering things have not exactly been rainbows and unicorns as of late. 

 I’m taking a break and going for a celebratory run! 

youtube

VLOG DAY!

Officially the most requested thing for me to do in LA was to make a vlog–so I did it!! I had to head out to LA for a couple of days to take USMLE Step 2 CS, obviously I didn’t film any of that–but I did manage to have some adventures while I was there and catch some of the fun on film!

Enjoy! :)

Story of revision...
  • Me:Aaah that was a good long productive revision session. I almost feel on top of things now.
  • My leg:*twinge of pain from sitting around all day*
  • Me:This is it. I am going to die of DVT and it's all my fault for sitting around too long. Goodbye world...
  • My leg:*pins and needles feeling appears*
  • Me:OK so I am not going to die of DVT but I kind of wish I was... ouch.
Bullying in Medicine.

So for those who are interested, ABC FourCorners just finished airing an episode about bullying in the medical field. This is in light of a news article months ago of a female surgeon commenting how it’s better for junior doctors to comply to the sexual harassment make by their training doctors so that their career won’t be jeopardy. The article also mentioned a female neurosurgeon who filed a complaint about her training doctor sexually harassing her, and as a result, her career was affected. She couldn’t find a job in public hospitals and resorted to working in the private sector instead, and she was only allowed to use the theatres in public hospitals for half a day once a month.

The episode also discussed a recent report about a female neurosurgeon harassing nurses and junior doctors. You can read it here if you are interested. Personally, I find that really morbid and depressing. If you are a surgeon and a female, you should have made yourself to be an example of success and inspire junior doctors. You could have made a great impact to all the women studying to become doctors, especially since there’s already a problem with the male: female ratio being completely out of proportion in surgical specialties. 

Albeit, I’m glad that these issues are being raised in the public as it is truly a wake-up call for the Australian Medical System (and possibly others overseas) to fix this issue, rather than sweeping it under the carpet like how they tend to dismiss complaints of bullying and sexual harasssment.

10 Study tips Exams/Finals

It’s almost summer and I’m sure you guys have exams/finals coming up so here are my top ten study tips to help you pass!

1. Plan ahead whenever possible. 

If you know your exam is in 3 weeks, mark it on your calendar and plan out what to study on certain days. That way, you won’t be cramming and burnt out by the time finals roll around. I usually like to use sticky notes to create a calendar and plan at least three weeks before the exam & write down what to study on what day. (sticky note calendar)

2. Eat the right foods

I know this might sound hard to college students and high schoolers, but eating healthy will improve your brain function and energy levels. I know when I eat something with a lot of empty carbs, I’ll usually get really tired quickly and lose the motivation to study. Also, plenty of water! (Power snacks!)

3. Make a study playlist

Classical music in particular has been shown to improve memorization, reduce anxiety, and relieve tension. It doesn’t necessarily have to be classical music. As long as it’s not distracting you, jam out to your favorite tunes while you study! The site I found the best for study tunes is Spotify. They have many pre-made playlists for studying including white noise, nature sounds, and classical music.

4. Study out loud

What I found that really helps is to say the information out loud like you’re teaching someone. Imagine you are trying to teach a friend about the subject you’re studying and tell them what you think they would need to know. After doing this, I memorize the information much better and can sometimes easily recite information when I’m doing household work. When I study something complicated like math, talking through the problems helps me a ton! 

5. Take breaks

Set a timer on your phone to go off every 30-40 minutes and take a 5-10 minute break. If you study for too long you’ll burn out quickly, and it will be harder to retain the information. During my breaks, I like to check the news or watch funny BuzzFeed videos. Sometimes, I would even watch an episode of Friends.

6. Study with a friend

Sometimes it’s nice to study with a friend and have them quiz you on information. If there is something you don’t understand, you could ask them and vice versa. Just make sure they’re serious about studying, because it would be frustrating if you’re trying to learn and someones there distracting you.

7. Get resources from your teacher/professor

If you couldn’t get all the notes down from a certain powerpoint, ask your teacher if they could give it to you on a flash drive or email it to you (they’re usually happy to do so). That way, you could study, and write down notes at your own pace. If you still don’t understand something don’t be afraid to ask. The worst answer you’ll receive is no. They’re your teachers for a reason. 

8. Rewrite your notes

When I’m taking notes in class, they are usually very messy, so I like to rewrite them in different ways to study them. You learn the information as you rewrite them, and the new set of notes will look neater so it’ll be much easier to study. (ways to write notes)

9. DO NOT pull an all nighter

Although it might seem like a good idea at the time, all nighters will impact your memory and performance the next day. They’ve been linked to poor cognitive performance, and sensitivity to stress. On days leading up to the exams make sure to get your full hours of sleep. (5 ways to fall asleep faster)

10. Eat a great breakfast

I know. We’ve all heard this before, but it really does help. Eat a nice big healthy breakfast with good fats, and carbs to help you power through the exam. Eating a healthy breakfasts has been shown to improve your memory during exams, so you can recall more things. For me, I can see the difference on my performance during exams when eat breakfast. If you don’t have time, try to get a granola bar, or a banana. (Healthy breakfast for busy mornings)

Recycling my old Muji notebooks as a review notebook and using another as my bullet journal. And I’ve got my favorite highlighter from Muji as well. I love that store so much it’s insane they should give me a loyalty award honestly.

Anyway, yesterday’s rain has stopped and the sun’s back out! Seemed a shame to stay in all day when it’s such a beautiful day outside, so I decided to take my books out on the porch! It’s such a great study location, I should have done this ages ago.

Talk to me! Where do you like to study? :)