First Year Progress Report (so far)

Hi everyone!

I do realise that it has been 3 months since my last blog post, and I think they key message to take away from this is that the course is getting difficult. In fact, I think the main reason I am writing this blog post is out of pure procrastination - I would rather not think about how much work I have to do.
This year, we have had the pleasure of starting anatomy, and although this brings the benefits of dissection, the memorisation of hundreds of anatomical structures is certainly something that you will probably not look forward to!

Right, so that's the explanation over. The rest of this blog post is going to be covering my experiences of medical school so far. I hope you enjoy reading about this and hopefully it will wet your appetite for what may come after the whole 'freshers' thing ends.

Like everybody else will be telling you, the workload is very high at medical school. I mean, its not like we are learning quantum physics or anything, but the sheer volume of work is the main killer.
So far, we have completed two modules (Foundations of Health & Medical Practice and Infection & Defence), and we are not too far off from completing our third one (Circulation & Breathing). The topics we have covered are actually really interesting. The course is very well taught here at UCL, particularly in the Infection & Defence module.

Dissection is also another brilliant opportunity that we get. I think that most people would agree that it is a great way to help with our anatomy learning, and ultimately in the future, we will be dealing with real people and so it is helpful to see what the human body looks like in real life - there may be a few surprises! Although you need to be on the ball to make the experience count - it is important that you pre read for the sessions, otherwise you won't really know what you are looking at. Although this seems like a chore, it is definitely worth the effort, and I really appreciate this amazing opportunity that I have been given.

Sport at UCL medical school is just excellent; we have medics teams for a lot of sports and I am fortunate enough to have ended up playing for RUMS Hockey. Overall, I am proud to be part of such a great club - we play competitive hockey, and the club in general has a great team spirit and has really good socials. We play in two leagues (BUCS and London Universities Sport league), so we have games on Wednesdays and Sundays. In addition to this, we have training on Thursday evenings, so it does require some commitment. Especially now, it is getting more difficult to fit all of this in with everything else, but overall it has been a great experience.

I think the biggest change throughout the year has been my social life. At the start of university, there will always be something going on and you tend to have more energy. Now, it is much more draining and I definitely do not go out as much as I used to.

A typical week in the first term would probably consist of 3 nights out: Monday (usually Moonies or Penthouse), Wednesday (sports night) and Friday (ULU). Of course there are other things on on these nights but the main ones are the ones I have listed. The weekend pretty much consists of catching up on the sleep debt accumulated over the week.

A typical week changes quite a lot in the second term, after we realise that if we don't start working, we may just end up at job centre. I would say that on a typical week, I'll go out maximum twice, but usually once (ULU on Friday). There is just not enough energy in my body to continue the same routine as in the first few weeks, and on days where we do go out, the next day is also compromised as it is pretty much reserved for recovering from the previous night.

OK so there is a snapshot into what a life as a UCL medic is like in the first year. I think I am going to end it here; I feel as though if I continue any longer, I may not make it into next year! I hope you all enjoyed reading it, and for those of you who are yet to go to university, I wish you all the best in reaching what will be the best time of your life!


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