Here’s a quick refresh of what to do and what not to do in your first year!
1. “I’ll leave all my revision notes till the end of term and do them all at once”
Inevitably you will miss the odd lecture or you’ll sit through 4 hours of Behavioural Sciences and have no idea what you’ve just learnt. Make the most of the occasional free hour and do a bit of work for stuff you find harder. Making the notes for the modules you find more difficult as you go along will make it much less tasking when it comes to the holidays and you will be trying to balance catching up with friends and fitting in all your work.
2. Suffering in silence.
You’re in an amazing new place, with loads of independence and lots of new things to get used to. You may love it and never want to go home but everyone has their tough times, things they find hard or struggles both at university and at home. If you need support there are so many places to go to. Whether that’s our welfare rep on Medsoc or someone through the university such as UNISON.
3. “I need to choose my house in October and the people I am going to live with for the lowest possible price as close to med school as possible”
Finding somewhere to live for second year will come around a lot quicker than you expect but don’t rush. Yes location is important but there are lots of things to think about when choosing a house from what you want included in your rent, to who you can put up with 24-7 to who’s a reliable landlord. Take time of the decision and if you can then wait till Unipol is released in January, (however there is no harm doing a few viewings before then or speaking to some 2nd-5th years about what they did/where they lived)
4. “I can’t go to medic events because I don’t know anyone and I’m only friends with people in halls”
Medic events don’t come around as often as normal nights out so use them. Get to know your year and people in older years. Some of the medic events, such as Meet Your Boss or even specifically there to help you get to know your year and people in older years.
5. Money Money Money.
Don’t spend it all at once! So your student loan comes in and the first thing you think is Ooooh time to go shopping. Bad plan. It’s easy to throw away all your money very quickly without even realising. Funnily enough most people have more trouble with buying a Starbucks every few days or doing that stupid thing of getting your card out in crisis. Try and limit yourself to a set amount in your student loan for “treating yourself” and stick to a budget as much as you can. This becomes even more important from the 2nd year onwards when you have to think about food…if you have no money…well you won’t be eating! Weekly transfers of a set amount from a different account is what seems to work best.
6. “That patient I saw on placement today was so disgusting I am gonna have to tell everyone on twitter/facebook/Instagram/snapchat #letmetakeaselfie.”
You will have been lectured on this several times already but it’s serious. Don’t take pictures in the dissection room, lose your patient recordings on a laptop on a train or share any patient information/history on public transport with your friends or on social media. In general as a medical student you need to be more wary and be careful what comes up on your social media.
7. Crisis without a photo in the photobooth?!?!
What? Forget the toilet selfie, a night in Crisis is not complete without a snapshot in the photobooth. Even better for piecing together who was the mess of the night and who spent their night looking as fresh as when they left halls.
8. Fretting about missing lectures the odd lecture.
Don’t make missing them a habit but if you miss one then it’s not the end of the world. If we’re being honest the university accepts students miss lectures sometimes, that’s why so many of them are recorded online.
9. Ordeing takeaways from random places that are conveniently cheap!
Some prices at takeaways are just too good to be true. From mouldy pizza or a 24 hour wait on delivery the last thing you want to do is miss your placements because of food poisoning! Stick to Dominoes and Nandos because they make such good food and you get discounted for doing the best course going.
10. Being friends with just medics.
There are so many opportunities to meet loads of people at university. Inevitably by the 4th year you will be spending all your time with medics so use your first few years to spread your wings, meet people playing sport, acting, going out and going to your halls events. You won’t regret it and you will be slightly less hated by all those nurses (that aren’t quite as good as us!)
—Becca Humphreys (Second Year Medsoc Rep)