Let The Madness Begin {Old Post}

Hi everyone! So, here I am guilty of being a bad blogger! It is so difficult to find time these days….Sorry! I hope everyone had a relaxing and fun-filled Easter. I was lucky enough to spend time in Ann Arbor with family. We had an awesome dinner and made some homemade Kahlua! B’s stepmom was sweet enough to make us Easter baskets! She made B an awesome bar-themed basket and my little brother’s came with Coronas with bunny ears! How cute is that? I’m going to have to steal that idea for next year!┬áDuring my limited time off in medical school I always remember to cherish holidays because it means way more family time than normal.

Okay….I swear we don’t have a drinking problem….we just like to have fun! ­čśë

Updates:

  • We finished up a short behavioral science unit filled with information on developmental milestones and some more ethical based knowledge. I really enjoyed the unit and it made me super excited to work in the Peds unit in the fall.

  • We are halfway through another short unit, Psychopathology, which I have an exam for this coming Monday. Then, we enter dedicated time. For those of you who don’t know, dedicated time is a period in which I don’t have any classes and will be studying for my board examination. Each school varies on the amount of time they give students to study and when this period happens.

  • I’m excited for this weekend because one of my friends is coming into town for a bachelorette party! She is from CA and I’m looking forward to celebrating with her.

  • B and I are still going strong with our at home workout program. I’m starting to feel a lot stronger and can finally do pushups (ha!). If anyone wants info on the program, let me know!

  • I presented my capstone research for the first time and got my OSCE out of the way! Both were stressful, but challenging in a good way.

Okay, so why did I title this post, “Let the Madness Begin”…..Well, it’s no secret that board exams are coming up, which is a stressful time during any medical student’s career. Although my Step 1 study schedule looks like total madness, I’m ready to embrace it. I probably won’t get many other times in my life (if any), in which I can fully dedicate my time to something. One of our academic counselors at school said something that really resonated with me. She told all of my classmates to turn off their phones during study time, close down the laptop, etc. Obviously, this is to get rid of distractions during study time, but she told us to give ourselves permission to be fully available to studying. This is┬áimportant. How often do we allow ourselves to be free of other commitments without feeling guilty? I constantly find myself needing to check in on things. How are things at home? Do my siblings need anything? How are┬ámy friends from college┬ádoing? So, to fully clear my head I’ve decided to give myself permission to go on a hiatus from blogging, from checking up on things, and from other commitments. Selfish? Maybe, but it is well-deserved and much needed.

Because I may not be blogging for an extended period of time, I wanted to give you some things to look forward to for my return. And in the meantime, I will still be on my Instagram if you are curious as to what I’m up to! Follow me @aleahmch┬á­čÖé

What can you look forward to on Medicine in Michigan?

  • New blogging interface – I plan on moving from Wix because I’d like to get on an interface that allows me to do more! Any suggestions? Comment below!

  • I’m going to be taking an online photography class once I’m done with boards. So, that means better photos on my blog! Yay!

  • I’ll be writing up an intense study plan/guide for all of my favorite M1’s to plan for board studying. Then, you can see my excel sheet that shows all the madness.

  • Get ready for a peak into my daily life during rotations! This will help all of you get an idea of what M3/M4 year is like!

Last little thing from me….Many of my close friends know that things have been stressful for me lately. I wanted to encourage everyone to #1 know your worth and #2 stay true to yourself. Don’t let petty things run your life, and furthermore,┬ádon’t let petty people run your life. I say this because I know it is difficult to not listen to what other people are saying, but in reality, the people who ATTEMPT to bring you down are insecure and won’t get far in life. You aren’t always going to please everyone, but you weren’t put on Earth to do that (thank goodness!). You control your own happiness, not anyone else and you were put here to get a shot at being truly happy. Work towards that and the rest will fall in place.

Give & Take {Old Post}

┬áHi everyone & happy international women’s day! Is it just me or did I never know about all of these special “holidays” when I was younger? Regardless, this is one of my new favorite holidays. Today I got a chance to reflect on some of the people who inspire me the most! I’ve got so many close friends and family members who help teach me the ropes and remind me what is important in life.

On that note I wanted to do a few quick updates and chat briefly about what I’m deeming the “give and take” of second year.

 Updates:

  • We finished MSK yesterday! Yay for being done with the last large organ system. We only have behavioral and psych to go! I was feeling a little bit nervous about this exam due to the large amount of material, but I ended up doing better than I expected!

  • I’ll be presenting my current progress on my research project next week! I’m excited to share what I’ve been working so hard on and get one presentation under my belt. My research focused on the pre-medical students at Oakland University and their perceptions on applying to medical school. I was able to create three workshops all geared towards different aspects of applying to medical school and administered a short survey gauging their perceptions before and after each workshop.

  • I recently purchased the Fit Bit Blaze to help me track my fitness progress and keep on track with all of my BBG workouts. I’m super obsessed with this device. Just wearing it is actually a huge motivator throughout the day to keep moving and meet my daily goals! B and I were lucky enough to go on a few evening walks this week because the weather has been so beautiful!

  • I’ve got a busy month ahead of me studying, but I’m excited that I have a few fun things coming up. Some of our friends are coming to town to visit while on the way back from their vacation road trip and another one of my friends has her bachelorette party coming up! Who said med students can’t have fun?

“Give and take”

┬áSo, this past weekend I was studying at my local Starbucks and ran into an upperclassman. We got to chatting and I was telling him how sometimes I feel like I may not study as much as some of my classmates or could probably do better on exams if I put a little bit more effort in (don’t get me wrong, I definitely have to work my butt off to do well). But, I feel like I for sure could study more if I wanted to. Key word: wanted to.

Okay, so what’s the point of me telling you this? Second-year (for me) has been much easier than first. I’ve gotten into my groove, know how to study and consistently do well on my exams. I’ve had much more time to do things I enjoy like exercising, cooking and spending time with friends. The upperclassman said something to me that really resonated. He explained that as long as I was happy with my performance, that nothing else really mattered. Simple, right?

Well, not with most medical students! Many of us (including myself) tend to beat ourselves up when we think we could have done better. Sometimes I do incredibly well, but always have this feeling, “oh, I could have done more,” is something I often hear. Throughout the course of second year I’ve really learned to accept where I am at academically and just cherish the time I am able to dedicate towards other things. This is what I mean by give and take. This year I’ve learned to give up some of my studying time, settle for a great grade (rather than out of this world), and take that time to do other things. I know everyone may not be in the same position as I, but I strongly encourage those who are to not beat themselves up about it! Consider yourselves lucky. You can pass your courses (not an easy feat in medical school) and still have a life.

Remember that balance is essential to a happy life. Let me repeat that, balance is essential to a happy life. How do I know this? Last year I was doing way better than I ever thought I would in my courses, I mean really excelling. Was I the happiest person? Nope. I didn’t give myself the time I needed and I definitely paid for that in the long-term. By the time we got close to breaks I was literally dying for a break, begging for things to just stop and slow-down. This is a caution to not let yourself burn out. You don’t need to wait until a designated break to give yourself a break that you fully deserve! Furthermore, don’t spend the time you use to relax overthinking, “should I be taking a break?” or “am I slacking off?” EMBRACE IT!