5 Things You Should Know Before Applying to Med School

Applying for medical school is a huge leap. You can think of it like going from a warm, shallow hot tub to an enormous icy cold pond – at least that is what it will feel like when you go from your four-year university to medical education training. Everyone always says that the first few years are tough – really tough, but the truth is that it keeps getting harder and harder. Get used to multiple nights without sleep and lots of missed social opportunities. However, after all your years of hard work and studying, it will all pay off and you will be glad you put yourself through it -really glad. Here are five things you should know before applying to med school.

  1. Manage your time. With poor time management, you probably won’t have any chance of a life outside of medical school. Socializing with friends and going back home to visit the folks are all crucial elements if you want to be a balanced, successful, and thriving adult. If you let medical school consume you, you will increase your chances of leaving or becoming completely disillusioned. So, know when it’s time to take a break. After sixty hours of non-stop work – it’s healthy to take a break.
  2. Prepare to make a few sacrifices. Medical school is incredibly expensive and it is very emotionally taxing. If you want to survive, you need to let a few things go. For instance, you will be stressed out 99% percent of the time -that is just a given. So, you might have to give up a few things, like weekends, in order to get through some of the hardest parts, like midterms or finals, which can be equivalent to torture. Yet, as you get used to the stress, it will be easier to deal with.
  3. Don’t expect to get insanely good grades. Getting a B is hard enough, so don’t let those over-achievers with their 4. 5 grade point averages get into your head. All you can do is try your hardest. If you combine disappointment with your stress, it can put you in a very bad place. So, make sure to not be too hard on yourself if you get one bad grade – steer that frustration into studying more for the next test. It isn’t so much about the grades, but how hard you tried.
  4. You can take time off before you head into medical school. If you were just accepted into medical school, you don’t need to take the leap right away. In fact, before you take that very committed leap into medical school, you might want to defer for at least six months or even a year. Not only do you want to get your bearings, but you might also want to spend some time in a hammock on a beach somewhere reflecting on your life.
  5. Don’t wait until the last minute to study. Medical school is no place for procrastination. When it comes to the amount of work and studying you have to do, it is recommended to start reviewing for exams even during the first week of school. The more prepared you are, the less stressed out you will be, and the less stressed out you are, the better you will do in med school.