"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."
- Dr. Seuss

Saturday, August 7, 2010

studying 101

1st shifting. i was scared as hell. i remember back in college when prelims/midterms/finals are mere reviews of what have i learned - a backtrack on the things that somehow caught my attention during lectures. but this was different. Here i experienced to pull an all nighter not just on one night but for the entire week. so much so that my circadian rhythm got disrupted yet again. i am now officially back to being nocturnal.

i have one word to describe shifting exams week: hell. though i haven't experienced the real thing (thankfully), i believe this is the most hell-ish experience ever. here are a few things i learned from this shifting:

1. books matter. scribbled notes help but without books, for sure you're a goner.

2. reading it just one time doesn't help. twice doesn't seem to help either (as per neuroanatomy experience). thrice would be mediocre.

3. as per one of my professors said, "consolidate". information doesn't come only from one source. every now and then, a cross reference book or two would really come in handy. especially if a certain professor asks the normal values of every pressure in the human body.

4. obvious information are out of the question. all words that are highlighted, italicized, bold, etc would not be asked directly. test questions have a way with words that necessitates to think out of the box and to use critical thinking.

5. time is not just gold, it's a diamond. a "5 minute break turned 1 hour" is definitely a no-no.

6. focus, focus, focus! distractions are always present - blogging, fb-ing, ym-ing. basically anything involving social interaction is considered a distraction. living like a hermit crab is the key.

7. aside from focus(repeat infinitely), another thing i've learned is that location matters. studying in a cozy bed with the tv / radio on is a suicide mission especially if it's already 1 am in the morning and the exam is just a few hours away. might as well give in and just sleep.

8. highlighters, ball pens of different colors, post-its, and pencils have replaced my BFFs. they're my new BFFs. survival rate from med school without this is next to zero.

9. a little tip or hearsays here and there helps a little. widening social network increases success rate in med school.

10. lastly, 5 hours of sleep is a blessing. more than that is a vice similar to smoking, suicide.

there, just a few tips that i have learned based on my 1st shifting experience. and to think that i'm only on the tip of the iceberg. it's going to be a very, very, very long way before i get to the core of medicine. the silver lining: i got through with it. only the results will tell how much more effort should i put in.

oh how i love medicine.

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