Frist Year Of Med School – My Experience

I started studying medicine in October 2019. In the beginning, I was terrified and excited because I didn’t know what to expect and whether I was up for it. 

It was hard to get a grasp of everything in the beginning; the amount of information and time consumption, but once I did, I managed to organize my time in a way that I had enough left for other activities and for myself. 
I spent most of my days in a semi-routine; waking up at 6 am, taking 7 am bus, be at school at 8, attend every lecture (they aren’t mandatory), get something to eat, and study in the library during breaks and take a bus home. That was pretty much the same from Monday to Friday. After I got home, I would usually go to my boyfriends, spend time with him, and study when I got back. 

In the first semester, I had anatomy, first aid, biophysics, biochemistry, chemistry, and Latin. Chemistry and biophysics aren’t exactly my strong suit so I struggled a bit throughout my first semester and had a bit of a “is this too much for me” and “I’ll never be able to do this” crisis. It’s not like chemistry and biophysics weren’t interesting, because they were, and I really enjoyed the lectures and the professors were great, it was just harder for me to get a hold of the topics of these subjects. Despite the struggles and insecurities, I knew this is what I’ve always wanted and did my best to pass all the exams with somewhat good grades + I loved all the other subjects and everything else about the school. 

In the second semester, I had anatomy, cell biology, molecular biology, histology, and genetics. I found all of those subjects super interesting and fun to learn so I didn’t struggle much throughout the second semester. The one really stressful thing about the second semester was the anatomy final that I’ve been terrified by the whole year, but more about that a little bit later. Overall, I don’t have a proper experience of the second semester since I’ve spent it at home having lectures over MS Teams due to coronavirus. I hope that we’ll get to attend lectures in person and do some practical work. 

The biggest challenge of the year was probably passing anatomy. For me, it was the first time that I had to memorize so many details and so much information all together in a way I wouldn’t have forgotten everything 3 hours after the exam. I spent about 8 weeks studying and preparing for the exam + I’ve studied the separate regions in detail during the year for the colloquiums that were mandatory for taking the final exam. I count passing the anatomy exam as one of my biggest achievements of the year. 

One of my biggest struggles was how to manage time because I spent a lot of time in school, had to take a 40-50-minute bus drive twice a day, study, and spend time with my friends and family. Some of my friends resented me for not having as much time for them as I used to. They were at colleges that they either didn’t like so much or didn’t have to study as much so it was hard for them to understand how important this was to me and how I wanted to take time for them, which I still did, just not as much as during the summer break. Sometimes it’s hard to make someone understand what a passion medicine is and how blessed we are to be able to study something that we love. Since I’ve started studying medicine, I feel like I’ve found my place and that this is something I’m supposed to be doing. It feels right and I feel like one of the greatest things in life is being able to improve or save someone’s life. 

Looking back now, I wouldn’t exactly say it was overwhelmingly hard, although it sometimes felt like. I think everything was manageable without falling apart but there still was a lot of work with the papers and presentations, a lot of time spent studying and worrying about exams, but I think it was harder for me to learn the subjects I’m not so fond of (e.g. history, geography, languages) in high school than for exams in med school.