The musings of a fourth year English medical student

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

First term: Reflections

I cannot believe I have been at university for 12 weeks! It feels like I've blinked and suddenly everyone has donned their Xmas jumpers and 2014 is drawing to a close.

It's been a fantastic term. Since arriving at uni, I've met the most wonderful friends, done an awful lot of partying and really enjoyed the course. But I've also gone about many things the wrong way, and looking back I now have certain resolutions to help get myself on track. It makes sense to reflect on the term, given the strong emphasis on reflection during our clinical placements and as practising doctors.

First of all, finances. Fortunately I had a generous budget, however, I have not been wise with my money. I often bought little bits and bobs without even looking at the price and just putting on my card. Once you start looking around, there are loads of deals on offer for students, but you need to engage your brain and make active decisions to cut costs. Little things, like planning to do your food shop in the evenings when you'll find all the reduced items, and buying coffee from the SU instead of Starbucks all make a difference. My mum always says "Look after the pennies, and the pounds will look after themselves." Perhaps if I'd followed her advice I would now have a bit more money for nights out and Christmas shopping.

Then there was the washing machines. In my halls, they are awful and temperamental. You also can't wash clothes on the weekends because you won't find a free machine. Don't bother trying to use 10ps.  The first 4-5 times I did my washing I didn't read the instructions properly and so the machine would eat my money, such a waste. I now always stick to the same machine. Tumble drying is always worth paying for given my room is so cold so the clothes never dry anyway.

I have 90%+ of my lectures in the same lecture theatre, which is freezing. Now I always layer up for lectures.

People. Some people are introverts, others extroverts. It's hard to understand why some people don't want to go out loads like you do (or for others vice versa). In addition, people need their own space. Every flat has had its own tensions, and I'm relieved to say we haven't had any major tiffs or tantrums. But sometimes when you get the negative vibe from a flat mate, you just have to leave them to it, not necessarily ask them what it's about, just let them get on with it and hopefully they'll chirp up the next day.

Lastly, education and the work-life balance. I have certainly not mastered this balance yet, and have placed way too much emphasis on the 'life' side. I had an online musculo-skeletal test today and I didn't even bother checking my score because I knew I hadn't done enough revision to do well. I think from now on I will try to treat uni as if it was a school day: work should be done from 9-4 with a one hour lunch break, 1-2 hours in the evening but that's it. Also, I cannot stress how organised you need to be at medical school. There are so many deadlines, socials, managerial tasks to carry out etc etc that you have to be on the ball. Particularly for my medical school which has some focus on self-directed learning, so each lecture needs to be allocated a good 3 hours of revision and note consolidating.

Now I've got one more week of uni, in which I have to have a couple of Ebola research project meetings and I will be beginning the cardiovascular block. My only motivation now is that on the last night here we are going to celebrate my birthday at a restaurant and then go to cocktail bar afterwards. Cannot wait!

Kate

Puissiez-vous avoir le meilleur de Noël cette année et une nouvelle année très heureuse. 
Que tous vos rêves se réalisent.

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