Your first week of medical school is like a normal first week of school, only ten times more intense. This is a big week!It’s the first official step to donning your white coat someday. There are lots of steps you can take to prepare for your first week of medical school. But you’ll need to rely on the knowledge of others to know what to anticipate.
That’s where we come in. In today’s article, we’re discussing what to expect during your first week of medical school. Now, there’s no guarantee that all of this will apply to you. But we hope that, by sharing these tips with you, you’ll start medical school with more confidence.
Expect to feel way out of your league.
You’re a first year medical school student. Walking down the hallway toward your first class will feel daunting. You’ll wonder what year other medical students are in and whether they feel as overwhelmed as you do. It’s a lot to take in!
You’re going to feel like you’re way out of your league. But so does everyone else! The second-year students are nervous, too, but for different reasons. Everyone has something on their mind.
Expect to hear lots of terms you don’t understand.
On top of your nerves, you’ll also deal with learning a lot of jargon. Medical school has its own shorthand that you’ll be instantly immersed in. Don’t be afraid to ask what something means if you get confused. Chances are, someone else wants to ask, too, but they’re too scared to raise their hand.
Expect to ask for help.
Questions are welcome in medical school. In fact, if you don’t have questions, you’re probably doing something wrong. Don’t hesitate to ask questions. For example, you might need help finding a classroom. Some people might be in a rush to get where they’re going, but there will be lots of people who will stop and help you.
Expect to feel unprepared.
Medical school is full of information overload. No matter how much time you spend preparing for class, you’ll never be fully prepared. You’ll walk into your lecture hall to see students who have taken ten times more notes than you. You’ll earn a B on an exam you spent a week preparing for, while someone else aced it. One of the keys to getting through medical school is to not compare yourself to others. You’ll never feel adequate, no matter how much you prepare. Medical school is intense and difficult.
Expect to be considered a medical expert.
You probably know something about medicine. But you most definitely don’t know everything. However, when people hear “medical school,” they’ll assume you know everything there is to know about medicine. You’ll be asked left and right for medical advice. Most people have good intentions. But you’re not a doctor yet! You’ll have to explain this many times before people get the message. Try to be patient… they’ll understand eventually!
Expect to be lonely and to want to make friends.
We’re humans. We crave community and friendship. Medical school is a new chapter for you. You probably won’t know anyone. You’ll see advertisements and flyers for clubs, social events and activities to go to. You’ll want to go to everything and meet as many people as possible.
But you’ll also be exhausted from how overwhelming your first week is. Don’t feel bad if you don’t make it to any social events. Focus on getting through your first week and know that relationships will develop naturally. You’ll make best friends with a classmate who you sit next to every day or with a random stranger who drops their books. That’s the fun thing about friendship-—it just happens.
Expect to want to buy way more textbooks than you’ll ever be able to read.
Not only will you need to buy textbooks for your classes, but you’ll also have the urge to buy textbooks you don’t need. Why? Because you’ll crave knowledge, and you’ll think that buying as many books as you can will help you get ahead. The university campus bookstore will try to sell you expensive books. Local, discounted textbook retailers will also try to sell you books you don’t need.
Make sure you have the textbooks you need for the classes you’ll take. But don’t feel like you need to buy a bunch of additional textbooks. The only exception to this is if you are genuinely interested in a topic and find a good book that you have time to read. In that case, immerse yourself!
Your first week of medical school will be crazy, intense, exhausting and exciting, all in one. It will also fly by. We hope that these tips help you as a first year medical school student.
Is medical school hard? Yes, it’s hard for every first year medical school student. It’s a lot of material to learn and a lot to take in. But that’s why we’re here. International Medical Aid has helped thousands of students prepare for medical school. If you need help, contact us today. We’ll be happy to help with whatever you need. And good luck with your first week of medical school! You’ll do great.