Second year growing pains

Kristina, Second Year Medical Student

First round of tests for second year is finished. I’m not going to sugar coat things. This year is a pretty big step up from last year, and it is taking me a little while to get used to things.

My summer was absolutely fantastic. I went to Europe with my family, volunteered with Dr. Appel in his clinic in Chad, Africa, hiked Half Dome, explored San Francisco…it really was more than I could ask for in the almost last summer break of my life.

The first day of orientation didn’t hit me, but the first day of classes sure did! I thought initially that I would try out different methods of studying to try and improve from last year. I used a lot of flash cards for my studies last year, so this year I thought about trying to read more and flash card less.

On I went. Week one, I was a mess. Week two a little less a mess. Week three a little less a mess. Week four – not sure what happened but it was a combination of that I lost my groove and family came to visit the weekend before tests. It’s incredible how such little things can throw you off your balance. To compensate for the time lost with hosting family, etc. I made myself study absolutely alone in my house for 2 days straight right up until the tests.

This test week has probably been the shakiest one for me since beginning medical school. I’m actually a little frustrated with myself.  For the first time in my career as a student, I’m now setting up meetings with some teachers to discuss how to improve my grade in a couple classes. Although it is a bit discouraging, I learned several things about myself and my studying.

  1. Don’t study alone. I am an extrovert. So much of my energy comes from people around me. Shutting myself away was absolutely terrible for my attitude, my outlook, and my studying.
  2. Back to my old methods! Obviously my new methods of studying in the classes I did poorly are not working. I should just stay with the habits that got me through last year! Lesson learned. Pulling out my flashcard program as I type.
  3. It’s ok to ask for help. I’ve always had the tendency to not want to ask for help. When I was little and my parents offered me help, I would shout out “NO! By myself! By myself!” My pride and stubbornness have been quite strong since an early age. I think this is a good experience in humility and accepting the advice and careful criticism of my mentors and teachers. Now it’s time to practice my listening

Even though it makes me feel like a crazy person, I really do love medical school. I have learned more about myself here than in any other experience in life. Loma Linda in particular is also my ticket to becoming a great doctor, and I wanted to take every advantage of my opportunities here to become just that. Time to get back to the grind to gear up for the next test set! With new advice, God by my side, and a newfound motivation, I’m sure it will be a much better experience than this last one.

– Kristina, MS2

One thought on “Second year growing pains

  1. What an honest and insightful post! Kristina, I think you’ll be an incredibly thorough and conscientious doctor. I know God will continue to guide and bless your schooling as you put in first in your life!

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