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Thread: Some Advice

  1. #1
    Sideswipe is offline Member 510 points
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    Some Advice

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    It seems its almost tradition for people on here to offer their words of wisdom once they get done with the island. I thought I would give my 2 cents too.

    Instead of talking about the academic portion of school, which so many others have talked about at length, I decided to focus on another topic. Health. Yes, we are all in medical school so we can help others get better but a LOT of people have to realize that Ross and Dominica is going to do a number on your body and mind. This was what I thought was the biggest obstacle to succeeding. I honestly didn't try anywhere near as hard as where I could have - and I still passed without repeating - so don't worry about the material or tests being hard.

    First, keep your mind sane and calm. Don't get stressed - that itself will lead to many problems. Excess makes you gain weight, get sick, get stomach issues, etc. Try and find something to do every day that will clear your mind and put you at peace. Whether that is meditation or yoga or playing a musical instrument or working out. Keep you mind calm and stress free.

    Second, keep a positive outlook. Life is what you make of it. And if you get caught up in the negatives (and believe me there are a TON of negatives in Dominica), you are going to make it that much harder on yourself to succeed. Keep a happy heart. Obviously you aren't going to be ultra chipper, but try to remain as positive as possible. Hang out with people that have the same values as you. Stay away from drama. Ross is KNOWN for drama and that could easily be the downfall for you one semester.

    Finally, protect your body. You are going to be in a crowded campus with 1000s of other people from many different parts of the world. If one person in class sneezes, most likely a lot of the people around him will get sick. Some of that you just can't avoid. Be sure to be stocked up on all the meds you need in case you ever do get sick- NyQuil to get to sleep, Advil, Tylenol, cough syrup, decongestant, allergy meds, antibiotics, etc.

    You will be on a much different diet than what you are used to and your body might take a while to get adjusted to that. Most people aren't used to a diet of rice and lentils/beans. A lot of the stuff you normally get might not be found in the same way on Dominica. I personally found it hard to get a lot of folate. Usually you get that from spinach and other leafy greens but you often don't find leafy greens at the shacks, unless you cook it yourself. Be prepared for things like that.

    Obviously, the sanitary conditions are much worse at Dominica than in the US. The food sometimes is prepared very poorly with unhygienic methods. Thats going to take a toll on your body too. I know of NO ONE that didn't have more than one episode of diarrhea.

    The climate and the environment are totally different too. Its humid and ridiculously hot. The AC in the apartments are nothing like the AC in the US. Often its poorly ventilated unless you open the windows - which then defeats the purpose of having AC. There are all kinds of insects and what not to bite away at you and give weird diseases like Dengue Fever.

    All of these things can severely take a toll on your health. Be smart about it. Control your environment. Try to prevent anything bad from happening. Keep a regular schedule - go to bed at the same time and wake up at the same time. Wear insect repellant.

    To me, the above is much harder than anything academic about Dominica.

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    TheMedStudent's Avatar
    TheMedStudent is offline Member 510 points
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    I can't agree w/ the above poster more. My first semester took such a toll on my health due to the lack of protein and other healthy food, my hair started to fall out. I realized that you can do well, but you can do even better if your health is in tact.
    Nothing worth having comes easy.Hidden Content

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    Closter is offline Senior Member 514 points
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    My Gallbladder feels the pain
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