Let’s be honest, we all go in guns blazing thinking we can study 24/7 and survive on coffee alone. This could not be further from the truth, let me help you get a jump start on everyone in your class with some quick advise!
We do a lot of sitting in PA school, finding a way to blow off physical steam helps break up the study process and give yourself a mental break from the books!
2. Go have fun.
See your friends, boyfriend, girlfriend and do whatever it is you do for fun. Movies, drinks, dinner, etc. Make time for balance in your PA school career. I promise a few hours a week will not make or break your GPA (btw as long as you are passing no one really cares about your GPA when you graduate unless you’re applying for a residency)
3. Rest Days.
They aren’t just for your workout schedule anymore. Just like muscle needs time to rest in order to re-build, so does your brain! Friday nights became my “rest days” from studying. It gave me time to relax, see my friends and spend time away from my books! Let your brain recover and come back strong Saturday morning.
4. A little bit goes a long way.
Chip away at your work each night. Review the days lectures when you get home. This prevents the need to cram which is stressful and stress contributes to burn out.
5. One bad grade won’t kill you.
Listen, I hear you–we are all type A people and want to perform well in school. However, let me be real with you…in 5 years this will not matter. No one will care that you bombed one of you Anatomy practicals. In fact no one will likely even find out. I am in no way advocating failing exams. I’m just suggesting perspective. Work hard and learn, but likely you will have one test that “gets you” in PA school and I’m here to tell you it will be ok. In athletics I was always told: “The best athletes have the shortest memories”. You had a bad performance. Shake it off and kill it on the next exam 🙂
6. Take one week at a time.
Concentrate on the week ahead of you, it gives you small goals to work towards and at the end of each week you can feel good about crossing part of the semester off your list!
7. Enjoy the Journey
Not always the easiest thing to do I realize. However, go back and read your personal statement. Remember why you are doing this. Remember how many people wanted to be in your shoes and you got lucky enough to be chosen! Time flies so learn lots and have fun with it!