Advice, Current Students, Life at UBC Pharm Sci, Prospective Students

Advice for Incoming First Years on Studying, Adjusting, and More

To the Class of 2021: Welcome to the Faculty! We are looking forward to seeing you in September, and we hope you’re feeling good about this next chapter. It’s helpful to hear other people’s experiences and tips when starting something new, so we’ve asked second year student, Sam Chu, and Year 1 instructor, Kathy Seto, for their insight and advice.

Above the Student Nest. Image: UBC Communications & Marketing.

As Year 1 progressed, how did you adjust your studying and learning style?
At the start of the program I put a lot of effort into trying to achieve perfect results in every assessment that we had. I soon realized that with the amount of material and the rate it’s delivered, this would be a very challenging route to take. I started to take the small assessments as more of a check point of where I should be. I also began to study a lot more with classmates and upper years. Being curious is a big part of this program, and my curiosity has helped me to make many like-minded friends among classmates and upper years!

What’s one tip you wish you knew at the beginning of year 1?
“The program is very short, enjoy every moment of it.” I was very lucky to have made the friends that I did very early on into this program, and they have taught me to be grateful for every second I spend here. It will be hard, it can get overwhelming, and it is stressful – without a doubt! But you will never be alone, and that’s one thing that I’ve really enjoyed. The best tip I can give anyone coming into the program, or even still going through pharmacy school, is to take the moment and make it into what you want it to be, so that you can enjoy every last second of it.

How do you think studying or learning in PHRM 100 differs from the pre-requisite courses students took?
In pre-requisite courses, I think students tend to focus mainly on memorization. In our program, I would encourage students to try and shift their study strategy away from “memorize and regurgitate”, because that usually doesn’t work very well in a professional program. Students should try to focus on making connections between what they are learning and how they can use this knowledge to provide better patient care in their future practices. This really is the best way to learn and retain information in a meaningful way!

Do you have 2-3 tips on how a year 1 student can make the most of the Integration Activities (IA)?
Do your homework and make sure you’re prepared for your IA sessions! You will learn better if you are thoroughly engaged in the moment, rather than spending the session trying to figure out what is going on and just trying to stay afloat. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes and try not to obsess about marks. Shift your mindset by asking yourself, “what can I learn from my mistake so that I don’t do this again in practice?” and “how will learning this make me a better pharmacist?” And lastly, relax and have fun! You’ll take away so much more from the session if you are calm and enjoying what you’re learning.

If you need support during this transition, or any time over the next four years, you can drop in to UBC Pharm Sci’s Student Services office. We’re open Monday to Friday, 8.30 a.m. to 4 p.m., and we’re located beside the East entrance to the Pharm Sci building.  You can also check out UBC’s Student Services website for interesting information on health and wellbeing, careers, studying, resources across campus, and more.

Enjoy the rest of your summer and we’ll see you in a few weeks!

Contributed by Karie Hanson, Program Advisor and Manager, UBC Pharm Sci.


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