Hey Afros and Anatomy fam! This post is later than I would have liked, but life has been crazy since I started school in August. I get a lot of questions about how I balance my time with studying so much and still having fun. My priorities really depend on my exam schedule; I prioritize studying because at the end of the day I have to pass my exams. If I have a free weekend, I choose to relax in bed or go out and don’t feel guilty! Here’s a little life update on what happened the past month and a half:
Our first block of second year was the digestive/gastrointestinal (GI) system and it was actually pretty interesting. I changed my study method to try to gear it more to STEP 1-related material (First Aid, Pathoma, and Boards and Beyond). Even though I studied hard and spent a lot of time on outside resources, it was not the best method for the faculty-designed exam. Thank goodness I passed. I am also content because I started using Pathoma the way I should have been using it last year. All part of the learning process I guess! I have thorough notes that may come in handy during my dedicated study period, so I don’t think all of that work will be in vain. My favorite part about the block was definitely the anatomy. I did well on the practical despite the fact that I was studying at the airport (more to come on this in the travel portion of this post).
I have had people say that I make med school look so fun. HAHA. I’m going to be honest- most of the time it’s not. I often turn my phone off for hours at a time when studying (it’s my biggest distraction), so I don’t always show when I’m super stressed out on social media. When I’m studying, I focus on learning everything I can for the exams and doing my best. Sometimes I sleep less than I should or eat junk food, but I choose to enjoy my “free time” to the fullest. It’s such a long road- if I don’t enjoy it along the way I’ll end up miserable and burnt out. A few of the exciting things I got into: a post-exam beach trip with my friends, OTRII (first time seeing BEY!), and a Drake concert (another first!).
If you’ve been following my blog from the start then you know last year I went to LA for Labor day weekend. Check out the post if you want recommendations on where to go if you’ve never been to LA. This year, was my first time visiting Montreal and I took the opportunity since it was my boyfriend’s birthday weekend and my only 3-day weekend. It rained a bit while we were there, but we still enjoyed the trip overall. We ate A LOT and hiked Mount Royal to get a beautiful view of the city. We also had an awesome brunch at Eggspectation- would highly recommend it if you ever visit. We left Saturday morning after the Drake concert, got back to New Jersey on Tuesday, and I had the anatomy practical on Wednesday. Since we planned the trip at the beginning of the school year, I knew that I had to put in a little extra work the week before because I wouldn’t be around the weekend before to study in the anatomy lab. I just made sure I was learning everything well as it was presented to us and made extra effort to study with my friends. I did flashcards on the plane and at the airport on the way back and went to study in the lab as soon as we landed.
In terms of balance, sometimes the scale gets tipped to one side based on what’s important at that time. When you have to study, that’s your focus vs. when you a free weekend with no exam coming up! Everyday you have to choose what’s important to you. :)
Well that’s it for now. Thank you guys for reading! As always DM me on Instagram if you have any questions or comments.