One of the things about student life or studying Medicine in particular is that it can be stressful at times, there’s no denying that. With Medicine, I don’t think anybody fully appreciates the sheer extent of information that you’re expected to intake, until they’re actually there. I’m only in my fourth week, but keeping up and having so many resources and different aspects of the course being constantly thrown at you means that there is a stream of work endlessly slowly towards you. There’s a vast barrage of information and also a whole new way of learning to suddenly have to adjust to…

One of the things we were introduced to right in the first week of our course was the idea of wellness. We discussed the different stresses and strains the journey through Medicine may put upon us and ways we can ensure we are taking good care of and maintaining our wellbeing. I think this definitely a very important subject and something which I have been mulling over these past few days. I do think everyone should try to take some time out to think about how they can reduce the pressure of everyday life and find a way to simply enjoy their time studying. Here are the university’s 6 ways to well-being and my thoughts and personal reflections on each of them…

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This can mean so many different things. I suppose quite simply building relationships with your peers would hang under this category. This is one of the advantages of a PBL course, you’re surrounded by a network of people all the time, talking and interacting with others is basically unavoidable, it’s in built into the course. I’m also one of those people who literally takes up any opportunity to study together, it keeps you focused, helps you get through things and is probably more enjoyable too!

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This means I should take on a sport, right? Well I did go and give fencing a go, and I did genuinely really enjoy it, but unfortunately it didn’t fit so well with my schedule. I’m still on the look out for an appropriate sport to take up. It is a good thing to look outside of Medicine and consider all the other opportunities available to you beyond just the academics. That evening that I did go and try fencing, it left me quite good with myself, you could almost describe it as a ‘sense of achievement’ and that will surely only have a positive effect in helping me to refocus on my work.

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Look around yourselves, reflect, think beyond the norm. Keeping this blog is definitely keeping me on my toes on this. My mind is constantly ticking, reflecting on every experience, deciding whether this would be something suitable to sit at my laptop and tap away at the keys for. Beyond that, I bought a miniature 5-year diary specifically for my 5 years of medical school. I know it’s early days, but I can safely say that I haven’t yet missed a single day and I don’t plan on doing so. At the end of each day I just write a sentence or two summing up that day. It is a really nice thing to do: almost like a way of acknowledging your feelings, getting your thoughts out and it does actively get you to think about the unfolding of each and every day.

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Thats something nobody has to worry about not being done…there is a lot to learn after all! Putting Medicine aside for a moment, I suppose I could say I’m learning a lot of new things by figuring out the day to days of living independently. I’m trying to adjust to using the kitchen a bit more, even if it is just popping the odd pizza in the oven, or frying a handful of chips. But I suppose, I didn’t realise the effort that some of these simple tasks require until I started doing them myself. I could say then that I am trying to learn how to cook (not very successfully at the moment though I must be honest). Me and my flatmates recently decided that we are going to try to cook a full meal from scratch at least one day a week, we’ll see how that pans out then shall we…

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It’s really important to take some time out to give back once in a while. I’ve recently joined and been trained by Fastbleep Schools to deliver medicine workshops at state schools. These are designed to give a taster to Medicine by allowing children to try out practical activities such as: CPR, Suturing, taking blood pressure and learning Anatomy using models. My journey to Medicine was only successful with the support of many people and now from this position I feel we all owe it to share our experiences in a way that will benefit others, so this is something I do want to continue working on throughout my time here!

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Yes, that means setting out 20 minutes earlier to spare the time to walk to the university, rather than jump on the bus for the 5 minute ride. The fresh air is good for you too! That reminds me, I actually went to the effort to go out and buy a bunch of different salads, greek style cheese and salad dressing the other day with one of my flatmates and we both had salad for lunch. That was us experimenting, but you really can’t get healthier than that!