So I apologize for not updating sooner, but PA school is high speed! I can't believe we are already into our fourth week! Our first semester keeps us very busy but everyone keeps telling us to make it through this semester and it will get better. (Thankfully!)
The first week was funny, lots of introducing of the course and getting into the lecture schedule. Which is basically M-F 9am-5pm with a 1hr lunch. That is a lot of siting and the teachers know this, so we get a little 5 min break about every hour.
The second week provided more lecture and more lecture and ...
The third week was a difficult one for me because our first test was looming and I was finding that my studying was not organized. I attribute this mostly to being new to the whole PA school thing juggling all the lectures, taking notes on an iPad, objectives, reading guides, 18 units, commuting school, my first USC football game etc. By Friday I have been able to put my nerves to calm and had figured what my approach was going to be.
Now after our first test, I don't feel like I failed and I learned a lot from it. The main thing is pharmacology and all the various names of drugs. I am working on figuring out a better system of how to get them in my head and organized. I am currently working with Evernote and a style that a fellow student showed me, which is working really well so far. If you have time I encourage you to check out the program (its free!!!) and see how it could help you as a student.
Just to give you a little perspective on the number of tests and amount of studying that goes on here is a break down of our next few test:
- 4th week: Psych test on Monday (including intro to pharmacology and psych pharm)
- 5th week: Basic Medical Sciences test (The first of 4 this semester)(This class is like all of our pre-reqs in one semester)
- Also a group paper and presentation
- Quizzes every wednesday
- 6th week: Hematology Test w/ Pharm
- Paper and quizzes
- 7th week: just quizzes
- 8th week: Dermatology Test
The days and weeks are flying by, and the best advice I have is to take it one day at a time, and once you feel comfortable with that look at one week at a time and progress from there. Don't forget to exercise, eat smart and go outside once in a while.
Other helpful things:
- Quizlet- lets you make flashcards and share them with others
- Evernote- just check it out!
- iPad- I am not saying you have to have one, but it makes somethings easier. Our class is the trial class with going paper less and it has not been to bad.
- If you commute- record lectures and listen to them on the drive
- Be a reader if you are not already
- Steady review of notes every day! It will save you in the long run
- BE FLEXIBLE!!!!! Roll with the punches and enjoy the ride.