I feel as though I need to recap everything that has happened since, but I’ll try to be somewhat concise. Two of the most important were my first two exam sets of medical school. Now, for all you out there who have not yet had the distinct pleasure of enduring a LLUSM exam, let me set the scene.
You have been taught a plethora of information from your different classes over the course of about six weeks.
Below are the core classes you are currently taking:
- Gross Anatomy
- Medical Physiology
- Cell Structure & Function
- Physical Diagnosis
- Evidence-Based Medicine
- Medical Biochemistry
The various questions, from each lecture (of each subject), are mixed up and compiled into a single test. This test is then broken up into three separate exams to be administered over a course of three consecutive days. This format forces each student to really integrate the information from each class. In addition, one must be able to quickly switch his/her mindset from one subject (or class) to another. To top it off, the last day of the week is dedicated to lab practicums, usually anatomy and cell.
Needless to say, test week causes some anxiety! By the end of the week, students are relieved to be finished. In fact, the weekend following a test week has been dubbed, and will forever be called, a “golden weekend”! Golden weekends are the few times during the school year where LLU medical students can relax without worrying about studying or falling behind. That being said, one has to make the most out of them! My favorite golden weekend activities include sleeping, hanging out with friends, shopping, watching movies – basically, doing whatever makes me happy! After all, when Monday rolls back around, it is time to get serious again!
Anyway, now that you have some background, let’s get back to my actual experience. I was very nervous when the first test week arrived because I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. To my surprise, I survived and actually did just fine! It was hard (especially due to the volume of information), but definitely doable. That golden weekend was our School of Medicine retreat at Pine Springs Ranch. Overall, it was a fun experience getting to know fellow classmates (and faculty) outside of lectures and labs. My favorite part was probably Saturday night’s talent show. It was a blast and everyone who participated was so talented!
Six weeks later, we had our second test week. I was anxious all over again, but in the end I didn’t do too bad!
Lessons I have learned while in medical school:
- Cling to God because He is the only One who can get you through this!
- Relearn how to study and then study hard!
- Previewing lectures before class is incredibly helpful.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
- Learn from your mistakes, and don’t repeat them.
- Take breaks as necessary, but not too many!
- Collaborate and share with your classmates. (Besides, they’re the only ones who know your struggle!)
- Preserve your sanity!
That last nugget of wisdom is essential to EVERY medical student! Medical school can be very stressful, but each person must find a way to stay sane. This may involve taking a day of rest, listening to music, exercising, finding a hobby, or even going home for Thanksgiving. Sometimes, you just need to escape for a little while. For me, I knew I had to take a break and get away. When I found out that two of my friends from college were getting married, I decided that I had to go! About a month in advance, I bought my plane ticket so that I could attend their wedding in Alabama. It was one of the best decisions that I could have made!
I flew to Alabama that Friday and attended church on Saturday. Since my family only lived a few hours away, they were able to drive down and visit me. It was such a blessing to spend quality time with my family, and it didn’t hurt that they had cooked! The following day, I attended the wedding with my three best friends (who had also flown down). We were able to witness two of our friends committing themselves to each other for life. It was such a beautiful ceremony and reception. Needless to say, it was a rejuvenating experience to take a weekend off from school and go out of town. When I got back to LLU, I went right back to studying with a renewed mindset and refreshed spirit.
Bottom line: Take care of yourself!
Anyway, here a few pictures from my weekend off!
Thanks for reading!
Until next time…