You’ve applied to a medical school, you’ve done the hard work to perfect your application and now its time to play the waiting game (it can be nerve-wracking – I know). Some aspiring medics have got interviews (congratulations!) and many are waiting for initial decisions on their applications. It’s a tense time. However, you must keep your eyes on the prize, ensure you keep on top of work and not get too fixated on an application that is now out of your hands. What is in your hands now are your grades!
It’s holiday season which is a perfect time to rest, catch up with family and friends but in the back of your mind you know it’s also a time to catch up with school work. How do you find a balance between work and play? This is the million-dollar question.
Organise time for your work and relaxation
Being organised is key. Make a list of the revision and assignments you need to complete over the holiday and commit time each day to completing them. This will be your ‘protected time’ where you focus on work. Let your family and friends know in advance to minimise distractions and prevent feelings of neglect. After the work is done, guilt-free, you can spend time with your family and friends knowing that your making progress on your work. When studying use effective study methods: active recall, spaced repetition, flashcards, summaries etc. There are plenty of resources online to help you with this.
Reflect on what has worked and what hasn’t last term
Holidays are a great opportunity to take a step back and analyse your progress. Were there any topics you struggled with? Is the learning style you’re using working well? Use your thoughts to create a plan of attack for next term to ensure you are making good progress. This will help you maximise your chances of getting top grades. Your plan will provide you with the motivation to keep going during a stressful time in your academic journey.
Take the time to see what is coming up next term. Look through the syllabus and give yourself a preview of what is to come. This will prime your mind and your approach for success!
Hopefully these time will help you find the sweet spot between holiday fun and working to make your medical school dreams a reality.
Until next time.
BSc MSc MBChB