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So you’ve made the first step, you’ve successfully got accepted to study medicine in Europe in English. Now it’s time to prepare for your first year, which could be a bit overwhelming especially since you’re going to a new country. You’re going to meet a new culture, a lot of new people with different characters and last but not least – lots of obstacles and struggles on the way.
As a once medical student myself, I will present you with some do’s and don’ts for your first month and generally your first year at medical university in Europe. Having these in mind would be very helpful for new students. I wish there were someone to tell me about those back in the day.
Do Have a Life Outside Medicine
It’s true that being a medical student is hard, but this doesn’t mean that your life outside medicine has ended. Try to forge new friendships and relationships; I have some terrific friends from my course back in the day. Especially try to make friends with people from upper years. Those can give you firsthand information about how each subject and professor is. What to focus on and where to put the extra bit of effort. Having a mentor like this is extremely helpful.
Do Find Your Style of Studying
Finding the correct way of studying for each subject is essential for your success as a medical school. You will quickly find out that different subject require a different, and there is no universal technique. I spent a lot of time in my first year to develop a few different strategies for specific exams. Some require you to study form lectures primarily, other from textbooks, some are oral, and others are written. You should always strive to find what works best on a particular occasion.
Do Stay Positive
Don’t overstress yourself; it’s essential to develop ways of dealing with stress too. I prefer to do sports, others go partying, and you should find your own thing. Remember that it’s tough for everybody even if they pretend it’s not. The truth is if when you put the effort in it just gets easier and easier. That’s how humans are; we get used to everything.
Don’t Try to Learn Everything
Seriously, no one can learn everything about everything. Trying to learn everything was one of my biggest mistakes during my first and second year during medical school while studying medicine in Bulgaria. There’s so much to every subject; I don’t believe someone can learn everything for even one subject. Remember that grades are not a direct presentation of your knowledge. Study for yourself and try to remember the essential things that are going to help you during your clinical experience.
I have friends who study graduate medicine in Europe and still managed to catch up with the material from the first two years. It’s all about dedication.
Don’t Neglect Your Health
Health is of utmost importance in every case. You should never neglect it not even for essential exams. I’ve seen people who stop eating and drinking water and study for whole days without having a rest. Have you seen those before and after medical school memes? When in the first picture there’s a happy student, and on the next one there’s an old person with white hair? This happens to students who neglect their health.
Both mental and physical health is essential for your productivity. Make sure you eat and rest properly.
Don’t Compare Yourself to Other Students
While it’s good to have competition and always strive to be a better student, it’s essential to remember that we are all different. Some students are stronger and more keen on a particular subject and weaker in another. Don’t let yourself be dismayed if someone is doing better than you. In the end, it only matters that you are going to become a successful doctor nonetheless even if you’re not first in class.
If you follow these tips, there’s no way that you won’t succeed in studying medicine in Europe!