I’d like to be…

australie-2008-nr-2-202 …under the sea. In an octopuses garden. In the shade.

I am, however, above the sea. In my study. In the heat.

I know there is a floor, as something must be holding up the piles of clothing + boxes I’ve strewn everywhere in a mad fit looking for something that seemed very important at some stage. I know I have a desktop, otherwise my piles of paper + textbooks are simply levitating. I know that being here, in my paper-filled, chaotic study is good for me, but it doesn’t have the same immediate pay off that guerilla gardening does.* 


As this is supposed to be my journey through med school I will start actually blogging re…er…med school. 

So here be it. My 10 tips for a non-science students:

1. You are not what you are not. By that I mean, do not start defining yourself by what you don’t have. I had never thought of myself as someone with a deficit before, yet nearly everyday I’ve been reminded by other students that I am from a non-sci background. Sure, it’s an excuse to ask stupid intelligent questions, but I try not to say “non-sci”. Instead I’ll say “my undergrad was advertising” or “I haven’t studied that before” or just ask the damn question without a precursor. Chances are a few other people in the room with science undergrads haven’t touched on it either. I am NOT a non-something person! *empowering music crescendo* Rather, I am a person with a broad depth of experience in other fields. This depth of experience is evident when I help other students to use the binding machine…or the guillotine. 

2. Which reminds me…BIND. Everything. It will make you feel like you are in control of the paper mountain that is steading increasing at an alarming rate. My undergrad was all online media. This course is all about printing millions of trees. For every PBL case I have a thick wad of bound notes from that topics lectures, readings, notes + learning objectives. I have more notes in six weeks than I’ve had in four years. Also, the binding machine makes a soothing, crunching noise which is a quite nice pick-me-up at 8am.

3. SOCIALISE. Go to every social event possible. Make friends. Get very drunk with friends. Take incriminating photos. Then friends will be obliged to help when you need to understand physiology. or pharmacology. or histology.

4. ASK for help. People do go out of their way to help you understand a concept (even without photographic ransoms). Ask the guy sitting next to you to explain the drug mechanism diagram. He just might turn out to be a pharmaceutical science undergrad. 

5. Do a vocabulary list for each topic. Your course code may say Medicine but you’ve actually just signed up to learn four years of Latin + Greek. 

6. Ebooks.  

7. YouTube. There is a guy called hyperhighs who I would like to bear hug. His clips are clarifying. Much more, than say, a lecturer talking a high speed on a Friday afternoon at 5:3opm. 

8. Fun + learning = Flearning. So Flearn. Make nerdy jokes. Write dirty acronyms. You’ll remember the concept better if you can use it in some way to insult someone. 

9. Embrace the visual aspect of anatomy. Weirdly, I’ve found anatomy to be great. Colours, textures + relationships. The human body is an intricate sculpture. If you think of physiology as it’s narrative it all becomes clear to the humanities brain. You can start to deconstruct the topic in a way you’re trained to. Art + narratives. Simple. 

10. Study groups. Uber nerdy. Uber necessary. 

* on Sunday night I replanted my ailing herbs from their balcony pots into the shared back garden of my apartment building + am hoping the body corporate gardener guy doesn’t notice or mistake them for weeds…shhhh


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