New Year, New Me

I’m currently curled up in a bean bag next to the fireplace at my parents’ house while an episode of Chopped plays in the background. I’ve been home for winter break for exactly 3 weeks now and relaxation has never felt so deserved.

I officially finished my first semester as an Opt I a few weeks ago. The last few months were riddled with some of the biggest, yet most rewarding, challenges I have ever faced. Although finals were incredibly stressful to study for, I found myself being impressed at the volume of material that we had learned. Just four months ago, I would’ve struggled to put into words what exactly the retina was. Now, I could tell you about the ten layers of the retina as well as a thousand other things about the anatomy of the eyeball. When I watch old reruns of Grey’s Anatomy, I know what exactly Lexie Grey is talking about when she concludes that a patient feeling extreme pain is a problem with his ethmoid nerve. The other day, someone was talking to me about her hypothyroid problem and I was able to make an educated guess about the etiology of her specific problem. Although I still have so much more to learn, I am amazed at how much I have learned in such a short amount of time and am excited to only become more knowledgeable with each passing semester.

With the new year beginning, I’ve been thinking about what I want my new year resolutions to be. I thought I’d share with a few of my school-related ones.

1. Treat everything as a learning experience–be constantly paying attention to what worked and didn’t work.

For example, if I do well on a test, I want to make note of what caused me to do well and repeat that for the next one. If I didn’t do well on a test, I want to make note of what didn’t work for me. Or if I realize that a study strategy I’ve been employing is taking up more time than it’s worth–I want to ditch it. Essentially, I want to celebrate my wins and grow from my losses.

2. Make more time to do non-school related things with my friends and family.

It was easy, last semester, to get bogged down in studying. However, the times I did take time out to grab food with friends or make a run to Target or make a trip home for the weekend, I felt my stress reset a little bit. Not only will this be good for my stress, but I want to make the most of my experience living in a great city like Columbus!

3. Study with friends more.

Sometimes it’s hard to coordinate group study times when everyone lives in different places and studies on slightly different schedules. However, I’ve found group study to be helpful in the last semester and I would like to do it more. Not only is it easier to recall information once you’ve physically discussed it with someone, sometimes studying alone all day can make you feel crazy and studying with a few friends makes it more enjoyable.

I can’t believe that the first semester and winter break is (almost) already over!  I saw this quote in a book I read this break: “Time seemed, as it always does in adulthood after a particular stretch has concluded, no matter how ponderous or unpleasant the stretch was to endure, to have passed quickly indeed.” I thought it was a perfect way to describe the last few months of my life. I know the next semester will fly by before I know it, but I’m ready to bring back a refreshed and recharged me to tackle it.