This week felt like a finals week. That is the best comparison I have for how long I asked my brain to work, and also, it currently feels like post-five-finals mush.
Our first quiz was given today, which was the reason for the feverish studying. I want to thank all those in authoritative positions who scheduled this quiz for the first full week of classes, because otherwise, I would not currently be aware of how much I cannot procrastinate.
Once lectures hit us on Monday, I realized that no amount of googling “best ways to study” and planning intricate study plans would help me actually learn anything – I just had to go for it. So I defaulted to my personal tried-and-true: go through lecture powerpoints and make my own outlines/notes (although I did type most of these instead of handwriting them). Usually, for undergrad classes, I would take the week before a test to make my notes. Then I would have time to re-write them all from memory, and I would feel ready for a test.
This. took. forever. I was constantly behind. And by the end of the week, I had only gone through each lecture once, which meant that I felt like the material was NOT cemented in my head. Granted, I did not spend every single second studying because after 6 or 7 hours of class, I just wanted a nap (I understand you, high school friends!!), and I watched the tail ends of 300 and The Princess Bride on nights I could not get myself to sit down and look at notes. But also, most of the material was from undergrad science classes (admittedly from a semester’s worth of the class though). So it was familiar, but still A LOT to get through.
So I did my best to break it down, and then plan for a new way to study next week:
1. Most of my anxiety came from feeling like I was behind, or hadn’t “completed” a lecture/made notes. So I would like a more efficient way to make notes. What I tried for this last lecture was to make a VERY brief outline while in class, so I’m not puzzled about where powerpoint slides fit into the bigger picture.
2. There are SO many resources! Our profs love us! They make their own detailed outlines of lectures, then give us powerpoint slides, AND all lectures are recorded. Then review questions are given before the quiz, as well as pre-quizzes sometimes. I have yet to crack open a book, although I’m dying to be able to fit that in as well at some point. On top of all of this, an M2 gave our class his notes for the entire first year.
What to do? I’ve decided that books need to be supplementary – I will open them when I need to and/or have time (hah). Others’ notes are nice, but making my own really forces me to think about the material more. Recordings I think will also be only if I really need to go back because I’m sure I missed something in lecture. That leaves me with pwpts, detailed outlines, and my own notes, which is pretty much what I’m comfortable with anyways.
3. I hear pre-studying is the way to go. Someone advised learning all the material before going into lecture. So the lecture becomes your first forced review, you’re not scrambling to write things down, and you can more easily follow what the professor is saying. We spend a lot of time in that lecture hall, so it needs to be worth something, right? My only qualm is that I will get bored and let my attention wander. Maybe I will do a brief outline during my pre-lecture study time, and then fill it out during lecture.
Hm. I will try that this upcoming week.
I guess my goal is just to be done by 8PM most nights. Not done as in “I refuse to do this any longer” but “I’ve completed what I want to do, and can take a break without thinking about how much I still have to do.” That was the worst part of the week – not enjoying any breaks because I felt guilty. Ooh I guess that leads to one more number:
4. I can’t do it all. I need to embrace this mantra. I will do my best, and it will be okay when my best is not enough. This is especially hard because I want to learn everything, because I feel like missing anything will be absolutely detrimental to my patients later on.
I really am very excited to study because there’s a lot of diseases/clinical aspects incorporated to our review of the basic sciences, which has gotten me through this week! I would have been dreading studying, but then would sit down and be fascinated, which is a lovely and satisfying feeling. That was a weirdly confusing sentence. Sorry if I verb-ed wrongly there. Again, brainmush.
Anyways I’ll keep updating about how my weeks go! and if anyone has tips, tricks, or advice, I am all ears!!!!
Also, did anyone watch the Bayern Munich v Hamburg game??? I only caught the second half, but maaaaan…poor Hamburg. It’s a great analogy for school v me. HAHA only I still really love my school and studies – not so sure about Hamburg lovin’ those Munchies.