The Eve of a New Semester
February 3, 2013 § 5 Comments
Tomorrow it starts all over again. Though I’ve been fighting some serious nerves over the past few days, I am excited to meet the challenge of this semester with my newly acquired study skills.
This week has been precisely what I wanted it to be: productive with a little bit of relaxation. We fixed our immigration status, did the necessary steps to get our student cards, began the process of applying for our nursing rotations this summer, and registered for classes.
The rest of the week was spent studying. As Skjalg said, I broke through the “winter-break study barrier” – and I took off running. I reviewed the first chapter of biochemistry, read the section of the biophysics book pertaining to the first lecture, spent an entire day on the heart, and prepped a bit for our histology lab tomorrow. Surprisingly enough, I really enjoyed myself. One thing I learned during exam season – or really that I was just reminded of – was that I actually like the subjects we’re learning. With the pressure of an upcoming exam looming overhead, it’s hard to enjoy anything. But when there is no time pressure, this stuff is, dare I say it, fun. I spent one day watching a bunch of movies and redrawing some of the anatomy drawings from this past semester. Here is one I did on the muscles of facial expression:
I’ve decided that I am going to make a section for anatomy drawings. I enjoy drawing them (so I get something out of it) and I like the idea that they may help some random medical student who happens across my blog in the future. I’ll make sure to post the other ones I’ve done as soon as they are labeled.
Tomorrow is a relatively easy school day – biophysics lab followed by histology lab. One of my new proposed study tactics is to cover the lecture material before the lectures (some may feel that this is obvious, but trust me, it was impossible last semester). Since I have already started reviewing, all I have to do is maintain my headstart – much easier than playing catch-up if you ask me. So, though tomorrow is a relatively easy school day, there is a lot to do to prepare for Tuesday. Once I am done with my histology lab I plan on: writing thorough summaries about the slides covered during lab (redraw and label them if needed), write my biophysics lab report, write my pre-lab for next week’s physics lab, review “signal processing” for Tuesday’s biophysics lecture, and study amino acids and carbohydrates for Tuesday’s biochemistry lecture and lab. If I have enough time and energy after all that, I will continue studying the heart for anatomy (our midterm on the heart is only 3 weeks away…and we haven’t even started school yet!).
One thing that makes this new, more aggressive approach more bearable is that I have company – Charlotte and Skjalg. Charlotte and I were pretty much in tandem with our studies this weekend, and Skjalg began reviewing today. Over the break, Charlotte and I met up and began making weekly study plans based on the topic lists of the exams. One big tip we got from St. Steffan* (an inspiring 4th year student we were lucky to meet at a café last semester) was to study from the topic list, not the lecture plan. He explained that many of the topics are not covered in the lectures and there is nothing worse than sitting down to study for a final exam and finding that you only know half the topics. *(Meet St. Steffan: my post and Charlotte’s post)
Though it may seem that I am coming on to this semester a little strong, I know that it is the best thing for me. I emerged this exam season unscathed, but I never want to go through such an experience again. Feeling as unprepared as I did for 5 long weeks was almost unbearable. It’s not that I think that any exam period from here on out will be easy, just that I will be a better version of myself the next time we meet. I may never be as prepared as I want/expect to be, but I will do my best to meet that goal.
Alright blog world, this med student is off to bed.