I guess my experience was what I conceived; constant work and very little fun. I'm older so had to apply a lot of discipline. My advice would be to avoid partying, except maybe at block end. Expect initial anxiety to be anywhre from mildly increased to raging insane. You're in an enclosed environment, away from home and relational comforts, and the pressure's on. Some people simply melted down over a week, or months. The Island is really fun, and I would reserve at least 1/2 day on a weekend to do no studying and simply relax, drive around, eat some good food, go swimming, hang with friends (or family in my case). Go to bed at the same time each night. Do not fall under the fantasy that studying when you're exhausted is helpful. Exercise several times a week so you can sleep well. Do not neglect your basic needs of friednship, exercise, nutrition, and sleep. Sounds silly but it's the baseline stuff that makes a difference. Keep a very dedicated business side. Keep yourself on track for USMLE exams, getting rotations. 99% of your time is spent studying so that's all you have to plan. But you need to be aware of the professional side of things. Keep relationships with professors and admin respectable and professional. Avoid venting frustration you'll feel at them and fellow students. It won't really be forgotten. On this small Island, in the even smaller community of MUA, your behavior is remembered and effects you when it's time to get clinical rotations, reccomendations, ECFMG certificates, and just lots of little frustrating things along the road when you need cooperation and it may be slow in coming. This includes the Cafe staff on campus, and the often negative and unnaceptable behavior of islanders who work on campus. It would never pass American standards for customer service, but its' just their way. Be respectful to Islanders, even though they rarely smile at you. That also is just their way. No mistaking, they may not like you, but so what, it's their home, not ours. These last things have little effect except the times you go to shop or dine. Just keep your head in your work, and have some fun time each week, and you'll do well. It really is a long, long road and expect panic, anxiety, and feelings of defeat at times. Feelings are not always real so feel them and ask for support and move on. Just keep studying even when you feel it's pointless. This is a whole other topic, but Learn effective study methods. Do what works for you, not what works for someone else (such as some people will say you have to read the textbook, but it may be the biggest waste of time for many students). Do what works for you on a daily basis. Don't get behind on daily reviewing the material. Take care.
Last edited by SPODAT; 08-19-2012 at 09:56 PM.
STEP 3 - PASSED