Advice to 1st Year: Friends, Family, Activities

How do you keep yourself motivated during medical school during tough times? What advice would you give to an entering 1st-year podiatry student?

The hardest part of medical school is not always the classes. Sometimes, it is the lack of will or the self-doubt that can slowly creep in when things do not go the way they were originally planned.

It is when things start to get tough that people stop doing things that would otherwise help them get through it.

It is when things start to get tough that people stop doing things that would otherwise help them get through it. Those of us who normally workout every day to have a break from the long hours of studying will no longer go to the gym when we realize we are struggling to manage all of the tasks being thrown at us. It is then when finding space in our schedules for activities is the most important. These activities take us away from the stress and help us take care of our bodies so that we do not find ourselves struggling to keep afloat.


One thing I did in order to stay motivated is to call my family at least once during the week. This small but meaningful act helped me remember why I applied to medical school in the first place. It grounded me and helped me release some of the inevitable stress that built up during rigorous weeks of school. My family was always supportive and would always give great advice whenever I was struggling. I also continued to workout every morning before my classes so that I had a schedule to stick to, and it helped when everything started getting overwhelming as they sure will in medical school.


For 1st years, the best thing you can do when you start to feel overwhelmed is to find someone to talk to that will help you vent. You may not realize it, but sometimes simply talking to someone about what is going on can help tremendously.


Also, if there is an activity that you have been doing or one that interests you, don’t hesitate to start doing it even though you might be busy. Simply taking an hour out of your day to destress with this activity can help with your mindset and help you stay fresh. There will certainly be instances when you really do not have the time to do these activities, but, when you do, learn to take advantage of your free time.

the best piece of advice I can offer is to always remember why…

It can become easy to think that you need to study constantly, but there are definitely times when you can overstudy and, ultimately, not do as well as you had anticipated. Therefore, it is imperative to learn to recognize these instances and find outlets that will help. At the end of the day, the best piece of advice I can offer is to always remember why you started your career in the first place and use that as a primary motivating factor for navigating through the strenuous moments of medical schooling in order to reach your goals.


by Janae Pickney

School: Western University School of Podiatric Medicine


1st Year Advice: Friends, Family, Activities

Creative Writing, 1st year

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