As I finish up my third year, and feel my final year quickly approaching, there are some things I wish I had known when I started. So, for all the new students entering this Fall, here are several tips:
My number one tip, which I have mentioned several times in previous blogs, is to use an iPad with the Notability app for class notes! I know that you are also required to have a standard computer, but trust me, invest in an iPad!! The Notability app only works on Apple products, and while it would technically work on a MacBook, nothing beats the effectiveness of using an apple pencil to handwrite notes into the app directly.
Next, don’t buy the books until the Professor directly tells you to. There will definitely be a handful of books that you need, but you can hold off on many of them. Some of the books you only need to read a section from, so it is best to use the ones in the library. The books you use on a regular basis, such as your anatomy atlas, I definitely highly recommend purchasing to own (not just rent).
This one may seem a little strange, but trust me. Make sure you plan out your study breaks/free time. Even on the incredibly stressful times/weeks, make sure you take some time for yourself.
I wasn’t as good at following my own advice on this one, but when I did, it always paid off! School will get crazy! Sometimes you may be disappointed in your performance on an exam or assignment based on the level of effort you put into the preparation. Try to not get discouraged, always focus on the positives. Keep your head up!
And last, find some friends in your classes. Know that as you all progress in the program, some of you may move at different paces and you may be faced with the need to make new friends in new classes. Sometimes your friends will change, and that is ok too. But always make sure you have a person or two in every class that you can count on if you need something. Here is a photo of two (of the many) people I get to call my friends in class right now. Another dear friend is taking the photo!
We were getting ready for a practical exam this week, which I believe went very well for all of us. I’m thankful for my friends who help me keep smiling, even behind my mask. Can you tell we are all smiling very big in this photo? Every practical and exam we take is one step closer to Graduation and becoming Naturopathic Physicians!