I know… that is a scary topic and everyone probably fears failure like the plague. I started with amazing grades throughout elementary school, middle school, high school, undergrad and even my master’s. I pretty much was at a 4.0 for most of my life or as close to it as possible. I never worked that hard before and I felt that I had never developed study habits for the success I previously accomplished. Maybe I wasn’t quite deserving before. I mean… I “studied” by cramming regularly and I procrastinated for everything, but it worked out. I started med school with the mindset that I just need to pass which lead me to believe I didn’t have to work hard, just like my previous academic endeavors. I was WRONG.
The first round of tests came around and I passed 1 out of 4. The other ones I barely missed the mark, but either way it opened my eyes to a realization that I couldn’t just breeze through school like I had in the past. Failing the first ones made sense to me… I was not focused, I spent less time and I didn’t have a goal when I studied. I had to look back at why I wanted to do this in the first place to see that I need to study far more and put in way more effort, not for my grades but for the future patients and populations I will have direct contact with. I’m very grateful for the fellow classmates that helped me see that and I not only feel privileged but honored to be in my position. I really do “GET TO” study and I don’t “HAVE TO” do anything. For those of you who might also be struggling with the volume of material in medical school, I challenge you to take a step back and remind yourself why you chose to take this path in the first place. For those of you looking into medical school as a path, know that it is hard and understand that your will is constantly being tested. I encourage you to go for it and use the determination in your studying.
Study with a purpose and a goal in mind. That goal can be small like “read through 1 lecture in the next hour and explain it to yourself” and you should also have the big picture goal in mind “treat patients to the best of your abilities.” So I suppose this post is not about failure but more about turning myself around and my own plan for the future. I am always hoping to be optimistic since I learn from the past as much as I can. I am also willing to accept criticism and advice from others who want to help. I did not fear this failure, I embraced it as a learning opportunity. I know what I need to do in order to become more successful for the future.
On the other hand, exercise regularly, don’t skip meals and make some time to pamper yourself. There is time for that, I swear.
Good luck! Thank you for reading, I hope you found this encouraging and leave comments on what your favorite study mantras are. I would love to hear from you.