I recently filmed this for Imperial (some very embarrassing moments in there, but was very fun to do!)- offer holders can find more information and videos on: http://www1.imperial.ac.uk/medicine/prospectivestudents/undergraduate/mbbsbscmedicine/offerholders/
We all have unreasonable expectations about how much we will be able to revise during the day. We wake up with a “LET’S DO THIS” attitude that seems to dwindle before you have even made it down for breakfast.
A few years ago my dad gave me some ‘advice’ before exam revision began.
“There are 24 hours in a day. Take away 8 hours for sleep that leaves you with 16 hours. Minus time for eating your 3 meals and you are down to 14 hours. Maybe minus an hour for general faffing around and toilet breaks and you are left with a solid 13 hours to revise.”
I had nothing to respond to this and I am sure one day I may be able to fulfil this 13 hour day I dream of being able to conquer.
I have sought advice over the past few weeks from various “elders” of the medical school with the mission of finding the best advice possible to do well in first year medical exams. I have compiled the advice together and hopefully you will be helped as much as I was. Note: Most of this advice is generally unhelpful.
“Fear not young freshers, it only gets worse. Brave through exams and be prepared for worse in years to come”
“Don’t work, freshers!!! You can’t fail first year…well…okay you can. Maybe do some work…okay work hard.”
“I had 3 breakdowns over Easter of first year.
I am PLODDING through revision. I looked over a lecture today on obesity and it discussed obesity in twins…
It got me thinking about an investigation NASA has planned to do with twins in space which you may/may not know about. NASA will embark on a year- long mission in March 2015 when they send Scott Kelly to the International Space Station and his twin brother Mark will remain on Earth. As a medic (who is currently revising genetics…) I find this really interesting as they are going to be studying the effect of different environments on two people with the same genes for a whole year.
SO MUCH HAS HAPPENED SINCE I LAST BLOGGED.
I’ve actually been a bit scared to do this blog post because I have so much to talk about and it has scared me thinking about writing it. It was like a terrifying to do list that had slowly started to build up:
– Having 2 Exams…completing around 40% of my year!
– Being stressed about how the exams went…
– Being elected as one of two ICSM (Imperial College School of Medicine) Union- Social Secretary’s
– Watching the amazing UH Win! (Yay Sherry and Super)
– Varsity Win (You go, Netball!)
– My new found addiction to Salsa Music
– Being given an iPad by the MedSchool (best few days EVER)
– Easter Revision
But I have decided that I will not base this blog on any of the above.
This week in anatomy I spent minutes trying to find my pulse…yes that thing that I can normally feel without any grief whatsoever. I thought I was dead for a split second, but swiftly told myself that this was probably not at all the case. I persisted on until I found it, and when I did I felt my pulse was pretty elevated. I had been anxious over not finding my pulse when it was pretty clear from the start that I was going to have one.
I think it just reflects my mind set at the moment…and a lot of first years I have spoken to.
So I am writing this on Thursday 20th February before my Cardiovascular System Lectures this afternoon. My day so far has consisted of “morning after sports night” feeling, a brief meeting with Hall Staff about the bin cleaning schedule and a few bits of Rag Dash preparations. I am SO EXCITED. Tomorrow some of the medics are off to Brighton then Antwerp, Belgium for the weekend… all in the name of charity. Having changed my pounds to euros and had a glance at my awful passport photo I am now in the process of being ready to leave. In the classic “Dictator Mala” style we (I) have organised a full day plan for tomorrow and everything is timed to the minute to ensure maximum fun.
So a few days ago I began anatomy of the thorax…i.e. I took a trip up to the 14th floor and met the body my group would be working with for the next few weeks. It was incredible.
I have so much respect for people that donate their bodies to science and even after just one session I can see how useful it really is to have the opportunity to see. I was terrified though. Genuinely so nervous to have the responsibility of someone’s body in my hands only a term and a bit into my degree. However, it was incredible.
We have been getting results back from our formative exams/tasks over the past couple of weeks and I recently received this question:
“Dear Mala, I heard that every first year medic fails January exams at Imperial. Is this true because I don’t want to fail. Do first year medics even do any work?”
In short…the pass rate was around 58% in our year. For those of you that don’t know, formatives are basically “mock” tests that we have to gauge how well we are doing so far. They are supposed to give everyone a metaphorical ‘kick up the aorta’ and thus work harder.
There have been a few phrases that I have adopted since coming to University and they have been detrimental to my bank account balance and lifestyle choices. ‘I am treating myself‘ or ‘I deserve this’ have been absolutely awful. When I walk into Sainsbury’s and see a large Lindt bar on the shelf calling my name I manage to convince myself I need or deserve a treat…which is never, ever the case.
Another great phrase is ‘you’re only a fresher once’. Because…it’s true. It is an excuse to do pretty much anything ridiculous as you have the excuse that it is all part of a ‘fresher experience’.