Seeing as this is my first post as the new Florida DC program blogger, I thought it only appropriate to use this platform to share what I learned throughout my first year enrolled here at National University. I hope that as much as it attempts to condense three trimesters worth of acquired skills and knowledge relevant to navigating the rigorous demands of the program, it also yields a valuable insight into myself and allows you to get to know me better.
One of the very first realizations I had when starting my first trimester is how essential time management skills are. Coming straight from undergraduate, the stark difference in the level of the material, and the pace at which you advance through material in each course of the trimester, was intimidating at best, and daunting at worst. I was eager, but also terrified. Like every one of the members of my cohort, I did the best I could and took it day by day. I had to learn how to balance so many classes at the same time, and how to keep myself accountable for staying up on the material, as much outside of the classroom as in.
While I doubt this is news to anyone who currently or plans to attend National, it is still one of the most valuable skills to hone early on if you plan to do well in your classes, rather than just scraping by. It is clear that study habits differ greatly from classmate to classmate, and there really is no correct way to study as long as your method works for you. My first piece of advice is to learn how to study properly and effectively, and implement those practices early on, so you never feel like you are cramming at the last minute. Studying last minute for one class can be manageable, but with a schedule where exams from multiple classes often overlap, splitting your time between subjects can be overwhelming.
The second thing I believe to be vital for students is the use of all the resources available to support your academic goals. One of the aspects of our school that initially surprised me was just how much help was and still is available, designed to give us every opportunity to succeed. These resources are put into place for our benefit, and you would be doing yourself a disservice to not take full advantage of them all. The largest resource is simply our incredible staff! Every professor I have met has done everything in his or her power to support me when I have needed it, so never be afraid to attend office hours or just ask for help. Another great resource is peer tutoring. This is an amazing opportunity to learn from fellow students who have gone through the same struggles you are going through now. You can glean insight into both the subjects they tutor as well as how they handle the entire program. The worst thing you can be at this school is an island.
My final piece of advice for today is often overlooked. We are all here to achieve a common goal, to help people. Stop every now and again to appreciate all the hard work you’re putting in now and what its future dividends will be. We sometimes get lost in the day to day and would all do well to reflect and recenter ourselves with the big picture in mind. Each day brings new challenges, but they will build character, increase your knowledge base and make you a better person than you were yesterday.
This last year was a defining moment in my life, and I couldn’t be more excited to share my future experiences with you all!
For more information about NUHS’ doctor of chiropractic program, click here.