XYZ: What do you study?
XYZ: Wow, this must be so hard! How is it, did you go to the morgue?
This happens when you are a freshman and you have your moment of saying it’s not that hard, it’s just a lot of information to process. But it’s hard, there’s no other way to say it! Hundreds of exams, sleepless nights, all sorts of emotions, doubts, decisions and no tan during summer. Just ask others how they learn, study studying a little and then dive in those books. Sooner or later, you’ll figure out how to do it, this one is all up to you!
The good thing is you’ll enjoy the student’s life for many years and you will have time to learn also how to make it fun! Trust me, it will happen!
You have to take your exams with a good grade, not necessary the best, but a good one, try to be in the first half of your class but make sure you choose the best university. Think, not just memorize. Study something reading about it, talking about it, hearing about it and in as many different ways as you can. Do it in another language, find an app, online courses/videos. In this way you will sediment the basics in your mind. Take care of your medical education and make sure you are at least somewhere around 9.
I have always admired and respected my colleagues who had the best grades. Maybe because I couldn’t do what they did and this is a lot of work and dedication only for Medicine. So, I was the girl who wanted to learn also about what we want to stay alive for. This is how I tried to make the best of my student life and I think this is how I figured out who I want to be!
I believe graduating Med school with a colorful approach, you can give all your best to the next stage of your preparation, as a specialist. And this is where you have to put in the hard work, totally immersing in your field!
As a student, try to study/ experience the next ones, for understanding life, not just our bodies:
Languages & multiculturality | Travel
The European identity is still forming, you will work with colleagues with a different background than yours, treat interracial couples and read articles with research made in all of the corners of the world. Speak other languages, understand cultures and the international medical environment! ERASMUS study programs/ Training sessions/ Youth Exchanges/ Summer Internships, try to go abroad as much as you can!
Human relationships & communication | Volunteering
Be nice and help your colleagues! Join an NGO! You will gain the medical knowledge one way or another, but human relationships make the difference! You will have to work in a team and you will have to build a trustworthy relationship with your patients! How you manage situations, group dynamics and communicate is crucial for your success!
Entrepreneurship & Management | Branding & Marketing
Try non-formal education and being a trainer- you’ll understand what you talk about much better and you’ll meet new people! Nowadays different fields tend to collide to create better products and improve services! Get a summer job, try different work fields, even if it’s just entry level! This is how you understand how the world works, a business, the hierarchy in a company, having responsibilities, service/ product quality and clients’ satisfaction. It’s a lot to learn that you can apply in Medicine as well: time management, multitasking, serving people, financial literacy, marketing, teamwork and leadership. Maybe one day you will run your own private practice, dealing with employees, or find yourself building a personal brand and promoting healthcare in the public health sector.
Each one of us is the entrepreneur of her/his own life after all. This is a skill you will always benefit from, starting with building a fulfilling professional and personal life, as a doctor!
Art | Sports | Playful creativity
I recommend you spending time outdoors, dancing or any sport! Do something creative, to take a break from science because after a while, you will experience science in a creative fun way. This is how new connections and ideas may appear! Don’t forget to be playful and enjoy your growth!
Maybe someday this will help you explain your work in an original way to your students, or educate your patients!
You know what I’m talking about! Yes, go to that boy/girl in your class and tell them! You can always find time for love! Sorry, I meant you always have to find time for love, for your own health!
P.S.: At some point we all had a white coat crush!
Invest in yourself!
Personal development is how you start hacking life!
1. One way or another, you’ll probably fail an exam- don’t worry! A flat line is not what we want! Try to be in the first half of your class and figure out who you are by getting involved in different activities… Being as developed as possible in all the areas of your life will help you be your best at what you will choose after!
2. This stage of your life is your playground, use it wisely foolish- do different things in an “abnormal” way, get out of your comfort zone, search colorful people and distant places. Hunt experiences and connect with others, the rest will fall into place just before the deadline, as always!