MCAT, new major, what I did in May & June

Hi Blog Squad readers,

I have not written a new blog post in a while but I am still alive. I’m juggling work, studying for the MCAT with some other stuff. The rest of my time has been devoted to doing things to keep my life functioning and taking real offline breaks to spend time with my family and friends.  It’s been so busy that I’m amazed that it’s already mid/late June!

What’s been happening

  • My last final exam was not until the very last day of finals so summer break has started pretty late.
  • I gave a research presentation to the entire department the day after my last final.
  • Then that weekend dove straight into studying for the MCAT! Which to be honest, I enjoy studying for! There are a ton of reasons why I enjoy studying for the MCAT, including the fact that my learning is all self-directed and the content and questions are genuinely interesting! (And I got to make a new friend/study buddy!) I hope to write a full length post on tips after I write my exam but for the meantime
    • Disclaimer: I highly prefer self-directed learning and learning from making mistakes so these tips are most suitable for someone with a learning style like mine. I’ll try to ask a good friend of mine who did take a class and recommends taking the class to lend her perspective some time.
    • Don’t take a class. Just study on your own.  Given the choice between didactic lecture and self-directed learning, I would much rather learn on my own. I love professors and they offer fantastic perspectives on material but I honestly retain not too much when I just sit passively in a lecture hall. So I knew that paying for a $9000 class would not be the most effective way for me to learn. On that note, I also did not want to spend $9000. That’s 1.5 years worth of tuition at UBC for only 2 months of class!
    • Questions, questions, questions. I jumped into doing questions and got most of the questions wrong and then learned from my mistakes
    • Keep switching your study routine up. Don’t let yourself get bored and burned out. Studying for the MCAT is a marathon not a sprint.  Make studying feel like an adventure!
    • Switch up your study location
    • Switch up your study music
    • Study alone, study with friends, study in crowded places, study in isolation.
  • Work all day every day during the week – busy but very fulfilling
  • Got to see my cousins and have a good time
  • Fell in love with the healthcare field all over again with the most incredible hands-on clinical experience I have had so far and met amazing people
  • Reconnected with one of my best friends who I have not seen for years and had fun adventures in Toronto
  • Reconnect with other old friends
  • Presented at a conference while soaking up the sun in Florida
  • A new parttime that I started in February has become second-nature to me now and I finally got to meet all my co-workers at our summer potluck. We always work alone on our shifts so we don’t get to meet each other.
  • Go on food adventures with fellow food bloggers – follow @indecisiveeaters on Instagram 🙂
  • So thrilled that I’ll be joining the Integrated Sciences program in the fall! As I took classes this past year and gained cool experiences outside of school, I realized that I loved Pharmacology and Neuroscience/Psychology and I went through an extensive process to create my own custom degree! I found and got guidance from a faculty member who was generously willing to back-up my proposal to create this custom major (thanks Dr. H!!), wrote up a statement on what my educational and career goals are (lots of thinking about what I want to do with the rest of my life -eek!), and rationale for why each and every one of the courses I plan to take from now until I graduate is important for achieving my goals, and checking and double/triple/quadruple checking that my custom degree fit all the graduation requirements and Faculty of Science of requirements and all that jazz. Lots of fun but I am beyond excited to part of a program of such supportive staff and faculty and of older students willing to mentor (special thanks to Kristen, Campbell, and Cody) and of other students like me who took the initiative to build the major of their dreams!
    • This program is so sweet that they have courses where you and your class can travel to Iceland or Hawaii for course credit! Y’all should rush to apply.
    • The Integrated Sciences program is all about combining different science disciplines. If you are more interested in blending Arts and Sciences, check out this post by my fellow Blog Squad writer on her cool blend of Behavioural Neuroscience and English! http://blogs.ubc.ca/reveries/2017/04/29/pursuing-a-double-major/
  • highly recommend a book I bought in May called “You are a badass”. I literally keep this on my desk where I can see it so I can look to it when I need a 1 second shot of inspiration. 10/10 best book I’ve read so far this year.
  • Misaki’s birthday party – we hand made panda themed planters and ate too much food and had fun

I’m looking forward to my upcoming weekend and next week!

 

Picture perfect until S & T & P started talking about the Zika virus (haha)
We tried to look like adults. I don’t think we fooled anyone though.

 

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