Merry Christmas from first year medical student!

Happy Holidays to all of OPM from the first year non tradition osteopathic medical student! I did it ! I survived and did not fail the first semester, with family ( wife and 18 months old daughter) and being over thirty. It is little harder, but it can be done. The most difficult part for me is to manage family and school - there has to be sacrifice on one part because time is so precious when one is a student. I started strong, but then my wife was left alone. In the November I spent more time with my family, but my grades suffered. In the final weeks my wife decided to move back to Chicago to her parents for 2 weeks, and I was able to score high on my finals. It is really sad, but there is no other way around. “no pain, no gain”

I would like to share some thoughts with the all of You because maybe someone find it useful ( I like to read others stories too).

Wow, what a 21 weeks it was! It is very difficult to describe my excitement. everyday I like it more. During this semester I was constantly experimenting with my studying - where , when, how and how long. And I found a perfect solution ( in my opinion) for me.

Lets start with “where” - initially I studied in my living room, but my daughter was constantly “attacking” my stuff - pulling books from the shelves, drawing pictures on my powerpoint slides and books, and trying to destroy my computer. So I decided to move my study area to the kitchen. I put the gate between the living room and the kitchen, so I was “protected”. However, my wife was complaining that there was no room in the kitchen so in the end I was studying in the school during day, and at night I was studying at home.

I really enjoy studying in my school - it gives me more motivation when I see other students studying too.

I used to be a night person before medical school. I always studied at dunking donuts or sturbucks at night ( they are open 24 hours ). But in my current place there are not such places. Also, when You go to school during day and sometimes afternoon , you are too tired to study at night. So i found out that waking up around 5 am on weekends and studying from 6 am till late evening works best for me (with break around noon). during weekdays i try to study till 11pm and than go to sleep, but some days I just skip studying because my daughter or to watch some movie or play chess.

Lets finish on “how” - I read about this method so many times, but it was really hard to implement it. But during the Thanksgiving break I tried it first time in my life and I am just telling all of You, its is very powerful - I learnt the material one day and next day, first thing I did was repeat what I was studying the previous day, next days I again review thoroughly the material first ( it took me sometime 2-3 hours just to review it) but after few days I knew material so well that later it was enough to review it once every few days. Weekend before the last exams, I did not have to cram and try to study every thing, I just review oldest stuff and learnt the new material, and I did really good - I improved my average grade by 0.5 to 1 grade, but most important, I was not so exhausted after the exams. I still did not manage to learn everything, but I guess this is how it will be throughout the med school. I know some of you are already studying this way, but I really recommend doing it to everybody.

Happy Christmas everybody. And to all applying to med school this year - dont give up. It is worth it, and sometimes life can change very fast. Last year at this time - I was still missing 12 credits to finish my BS , I was missing Physics 2 and English 2, I did not even had any interview invites till February. <br /><br /> On the other hand, this is my first Christmas in my adult life that I do not have to work and can spend it at home with my family and go to church and watch some movie and continue little bit of Polish tradition which is drinking some good liquors or just plain vodka lol ( Im just kidding)

Wow! Awesome stuff! Happy Christmas to you and yours! Thanks for the post. I’m looking forward to starting my prereqs in 4 weeks.

Congrats! Thanks for sharing your story with us.

very good insight, indeed! Thank you.

Best of luck to you and your family. You sound highly motivated and I’m sure you’ll kill those STEP exams when it comes time.

Oh! and I’ll be sure to take some of your studying advice to heart!

Thankx again, and a Merry Christmas to you as well!

Thank you or should I say, DziÄ™kujÄ™! (I have some Polish in me, but don’t ask me to say much else!) I love to hear these stories and get advice from those who have gone before me. This is one of those posts I will file in my pile of med school stuff. Thank you again, Merry Christmas, and continued success to you!

Na Zdrowie! Cheers!

Awesome post - thank you for sharing. The information will hopefully encourage others.

You seem overmotivated, and I like it. You really inspire me. Thank you for sharing. Merry Christmas.