Starting uni is an exciting, but scary time for many. Everything is a bit new, and a bit different and it can be hard to adjust and you may feel like you’re not getting the most out of your time at uni. Here are some general pieces of advice that might help you make the most of your 5 years of studying medicine:
1) Get involved early
It took me until around third year to start to get involve with student societies at university. If I could take this back, I would! Get involved early and you’ll be able to rise up the hierarchial ladder much faster and also, you’ll make your extra-curricular activities part of your normal routine. Believe me, if you don’t start early, you’ll struggle to do it later! The same applies for sports teams, music practice etc. etc.
2) Stay organised
Again, if you don’t keep your notes organised from early on, it’ll never happen and you’ll be kicking yourself for the next 5 years when you can’t find anything! There are a number of ways to keep your notes organised, each of which has its own pros and cons. I think I’ll make a separate post about this topic a bit later on.
3) Drs are real people – talk to them!
Again, I wish I had realised this a bit earlier on in life and it’s only recently I’ve managed to stop talking to my supervisors like teachers and started speaking to them a bit more like colleagues. Networking is a really important thing in medicine – it’s not always what you know, it’s who you know. Networking can help you to set up SSCs, 4th year projects etc. etc. which will be of interest to you, and, if you get on well with your supervisors, it’s much more likely to end up in publications and presentations which obviously looks great on your CV. Generally, if you show that you’re interested, tutors will be much more likely to be interested to you.
4) Plan Ahead
More so now than ever, students are being told to consider their career choices early, because before you know it, you’ll be choosing the career path that will be yours for the rest of your life. Medicine is no different. As you go through the course, think about what you enjoy and what you don’t. Even if you don’t know what you definitely want to do, ruling out the specialities you definitely DON’T want to do is, in my opinion, much more important than anything else!
5) Set time aside for fun!
Goes without saying really, but enjoy your time at Uni. You don’t want to look back on your time at uni and think that you didn’t have much fun, so get out with your friends!