Its that time of year again, the little kiddies are heading back to school, college students will be back in school also and so many scholars will experience the illustrious first day of their new school, new program, etc!
I start school in less than two weeks and I am spending the remainder of this limited free time getting my son prepared for his first day at a new school (starting next week) and my first day as a 2nd Year Med student.
How I am prepping (Him):
Organizing all of his school clothes
Buying school supplies
Registration/Tour of the New school
Starting our morning routine a week early
Finding/registering for after school care
Random reading, vocab and math quizzes
How I am prepping (Me):
Reviewing my school schedule and planning all his medical/dental visits
Handling all/most of my Non-profit work now
Buying school supplies, books etc
Calculating my yearly budget
Finalizing my scholarship applications
Looking for other streams of income
Running endless errands for my grandparents while I still have free time
Reviewing pathology, microbiology, and pharmacology material
And did I say resting
In actuality resting comes far and few in between but I am definitely getting more rest than I would if I was in class Mon-Fri and when my son starts school next week I will have more time to rest and work on my projects.
ADVICE TO 1ST YEAR Professional School students:
Whether you have started already or will start in the coming weeks or days:
Review your financial aid information, make sure everything is accurate and never be afraid to ask for more free money (grants, scholarships etc). Also Do you know how much debt you have entering school? If youre like me an have a few degrees and have dabbled in federal pool money quite a bit, this is need to know information because there is a lifetime cap on federal education funding.
If you haven't already apply apply apply for as many outside scholarships as possible, money matters. Yes we are all(majority) going to leave school with some type of debt but thinking about debt in school can be burdensome, especially if you have family or extra unexpected bills.
Make a budget, the frequency/timeline of your budget should depend on when you anticipate a refund check from your school. Its better to over estimate expenses than underestimate, by over estimating and moving my scholarship money to separate accounts, I never find myself in a position needing to request more funding.
Academics (keeping it simple because everyone is different)
Pre-read before class, this doesn't mean you have to read the whole chapter but as least scan through majority of it, pick up on new topics and graphs/pics, after lecture if you notice one topic was more stressed than another and its unfamiliar information for you, read that chapter, watch videos on it or whatever works best for you.
Its better to keep up than to play catch up. Our school Psychologist said this during orientation last year, and it didn't really hit me until I was knee deep in old material that I was seeing for the first time. Try your best to keep up with the class material each day, review and read, take notes or whatever works for you, each day after class. I know sometimes we get tired after a long day of being in class but try to at least review something before dozing off, that way it leaves less for you to catch up on. If you plan according Mon-Fri and stay on track, you have less work to review on the weekends and you are able to review some/all of the material for a second time (repetition is key) and when your exam nears there will no (or less) material that you are seeing for the first time!
You are human and you body needs care just like you brain! Schedule time to enjoy life, whether it be an hour or 1 day a week!
These were some of the hard lessons I acquired after struggling a bit to find what study methods worked best for me. I found myself always fighting to catch up, give it a try and let me know how it works!