Starting medical school can be a very daunting time, especially with the change from school student to university student. It can be hard to try and prepare for the unknown, but you’re not alone.
Here are some tips to prepare yourself for medical school and make the transition a little easier…
1. Everyone’s in the same position
Don’t forget that you are not the only one about to start on this exciting adventure.
You’re not alone and if you’re having a hard time or are lost on campus, all the other first years are in the same position. Everyone at medical school is super friendly and if you need help, don’t be afraid to ask for it!
2. Organisation is key
Medical school makes sure all students hit the ground running from the start of the year. Being organised and laying out what you need to do and where you need to be can ensure you aren’t overwhelmed.
Going from school to university can be a really big change and going from tutorial-based schoolwork to lecture-based work can be stressful. So being super organised and having a planner can help you to keep on track.
3. Find a good group of friends
Starting a university course without your friends that you’ve been spending most of your time with for the past few years means that you get to start fresh. It can be scary but making new friends and finding a great support group for the next few years is important.
Saying hi to new people, trying to push yourself outside your comfort zone and joining as many groups and social events as possible for the first few weeks of med school can be a great way of meeting new people.
4. Ask for help
If you feel too overwhelmed, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Not only from other first years but also from older year students or your lecturers/tutors.
We’re all here to help you and remember we were in your position once upon a time and know what it’s like to be a bit scared.
5. Be professional
Professionalism is something that all doctors start developing in med school from the very beginning.
It’s important to remember that as a future doctor you have to be aware of what you post on social media and how you act in the medical school.
6. Don’t forget about other friends/other activities
Remember that you have other friends that are not in medical school and spending time with them can help you feel more balanced.
When I started medical school I was so worried about making new friends but having my school friends there to help me through and make me feel more comfortable around the university was definitely stress relieving.
7. Look after your mental and physical health
The workload can be quite high and demanding at the very beginning so it’s vital to look after your health.
Studying while feeling under the weather, especially at the start when you’re still figuring out your own way to study makes it more difficult.
So doing simple things like making sure you get enough sleep, do some exercise and hang out with friends outside of medical school. Also make sure that if you are feeling ill, stay home, get some rest, recuperate and come back the next day with more energy and drive to continue.
8. Enjoy it for what it is
You only get to start university once. Enjoy the feeling of starting fresh, of making new friends and experiencing an entirely different world.
It’s one of the most exciting times of your life so enjoy it for what it is. Medicine is such a great career to get into and will lead into such a fulfilling future but for now, relax and have fun!