In the wee small hours of the morning
November 20, 2013 § 4 Comments
Our anatomy exam is racing towards us and I feel the panic settling in my stomach. I’ve been studying for the past 11 hours and I think that I might need to call it a night and get a good night’s sleep. I have so many worries about tomorrow and there is so much more that I still want to cover. My brain is having a hard time wading through all the information that I am trying to cram into my head. It’s not that I waited until too late to start studying, but rather that I began to lose confidence in the things I did know and now I feel like I need to hold on to them as tightly as possible. So, in an effort to evade the panic, I am taking a deep breath and reminding myself of a couple key things:
- This is medical school, which means that I need to know – and I mean really know – what should be covered for the exam. I’ve written before that I should look at each “failure” as an opportunity to improve my knowledge – and it is equally true now! If I fail an exam, it’s because I didn’t have a good enough foundation to move on to the next level. The best thing to do is stay strong through the critique, allow myself a few moments of self-pity and then do whatever I need to do to be better the next time around. Now is the time to make mistakes if we are going to make them at all. That’s what learning is about!
- I have given everything I can to this and in the best way I knew how at that moment. I can’t expect anymore of myself and I should therefore not beat myself up over what I have or haven’t done up until this point. Whatever happens will only stand as feedback to my method of preparation, not my intelligence.
- Despite all the stress, lack of sleep, poor nutrition, etc., I actually had FUN studying for this exam. The human body is amazing and I learned so much! Plus, I got to study with Skjalg and Jannie and we enjoyed ourselves while we studied.
- I realized that going over material we covered last year is going to be a lot easier than I thought. I’ve been dreading the final exam in Anatomy, but in the past few weeks, I’ve come to appreciate how much my mind has changed over the past year and a half. The way I interpret, learn, visualize and process information is on a completely different level than it was. I am able to consume vast amounts of information – both visual and theoretical – and memorize it within a few repetitions. I am able to relate structures to each other and deduce answers from few facts. Anatomy has it’s own language – and we’ve learned it!
Ok, on that positive note – and the quick escape from reality – I’m off to bed. I will be getting up in 5 or 6 hours, just to review…but at least it’s not an all-nighter. Progress, not perfection 😉