What’s the most important thing to do before you start school?
As someone who talks about medical school online, I get asked “What should I do to prepare?” a lot. It’s probably the questions I answer most frequently.
Of course, if you’re on OzTREKK’s page, that means you probably have a lot more to prepare (especially in this current COVID world) this includes figuring out student visas, finances, quarantine (should you receive an exemption!) finding a place to live, plane tickets, plans for family to visit etc.
But all that aside, most students of all professional degrees (med, dent, vet, law etc.) feel the need to prepare. We have strived for this for so long the worst thing we can imagine is stuffing it up in Year 1!
But I’m here to tell you the absolute most important thing you can do before leaving (or starting online) is… relax.
Relax and soak up time with your friends and family. The amazing thing about school is that they are there to teach you, so they will ensure in the first couple weeks that any “catching up” you or other students have to do is done. Aside from any life sorting or prescribed material from your school, take this time to just breathe.
For most of us coming to Australia the time before school starts is the winter holidays. Spend some time getting the last boots full of snow and a cold nose. It’s the last real cold you’ll feel for a while. Arrange time to see all your friends and family, celebrate the holidays, and celebrate that you got in!
Personally, I was really nervous about anatomy when I started medicine. I knew it was not my strongest point given the structure of my undergrad. I tried over the time between acceptance and coming to Australia to study, but I just stressed myself out. I didn’t get through all the material I wanted, I felt even more so that I was starting behind my peers, and I didn’t need it! Yes, there was more work for me with anatomy than for other students, but I had a stronger background in physiology than others, so it all evened out.
Learn from my mistakes, and just spend the time soaking up home and love—the studying can come later. Even if you aren’t travelling (yet) for your degree, take the break between acceptance and starting to relax, celebrate, maybe set up your study space but don’t start pushing yourself yet!