Life, Pre-med

Self-care

Hello everyone!

Wow, this week has both gone way too fast and dragged! It was a tough one; the boys completely switched and didn’t seem to want to nap and kept fighting. My study time has significantly gone down this week, but I still managed to preview, review, and do some MCAT prep. It wasn’t perfect, but something is better than nothing, right? That’s what I keep telling myself anyway. 🙂

This week has been particularly difficult in terms of self-care. I haven’t gotten nearly enough sleep, even when I tried to go to bed early. I felt pretty burnt out… so this is what I did to try to help me through it.

After taking care of my favorite alarm clocks, I made some tea. I love tea, it always helps me relax. I opted mostly for black tea so I could get my caffeine fix too, which helped me wake up.

After the boys nap, if they napped, I put on some makeup. I realize I always feel better after makeup, so I made it a point to it even if I was too tired. It made me feel so much better; I felt pretty and I ready to take on the world! (I can’t be the only one that feels this way, right?)

Finally, once I got home, I waited to study until after I was done working out and showering or after I watched 30 mins of TV. This made my night a little longer, since I still needed to get studying done, but it was so helpful in the long run. I was able to concentrate more, and even though my sleep wasn’t as great, I didn’t feel like I had done everything for everyone except for myself. Once I was done studying, I did some guided meditation before bed to help me relax.

Here’s some other ideas for self-care that I try to do when I have a bit more time:

  • Bubble bath
  • Dance
  • Hang out with friends
  • Watch a movie
  • Listen to music
  • Read
  • Go for a walk
  • Get my nails done
  • Grab some coffe with the hubby
  • Visit the animal shelter (it’s been a while since I volunteered there, but this is by far my favorite thing to do!)

Here’s hoping I can get a better night’s sleep this weekend! Just not tomorrow because I’m forcing myself to take a practice MCAT under test conditions. 🤤

Have a wonderful weekend!

Andrea.

PS: If anyone is wondering, the movie from the picture is called Sing. I love it, it’s one of our favorites!

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Pre-med

Studying for Organic Chemistry

Hi everyone!

I’ve had a few people ask me how I studied in order to do well in O-Chem. I figured I could write it all down here for any who might find it useful. 🙂

First, a little background on my learning style. I learn best by watching others do whatever it is I’m learning. Once I’ve seen it, I practice a lot. Having visual cues as well as auditory ones are important for me; if I can’t see it, I don’t remember it well. Reading the book helps me a lot, but this won’t work for O-Chem! You HAVE to practice. Practice so much that you dream about O-Chem! This isn’t necessary, this is just what happened to me! It was pretty funny but also scary.

So, with that in mind, this is what I did to do well in O-Chem!

1) Go to class. The best thing you can do is to go to class! This is great because you’ll learn exactly what you’ll need for your quizzes or exams.

2) Go over your notes. I read over my notes and re-wrote my notes at least twice. Most of the time, I would re-write them three times. This helped me remember the theory part of things, which does involve some memorization.

3) Practice questions. We got lucky with this, because our professor would pick book problems that he felt were useful for us to practice. Besides that, he would post old quizzes and exams for us to do to get more practice and get used to his exam style.

4) Watch videos. This probably saved my grade. I watched a lot of youtube videos! The ones that helped me the most were khanacademy, Leah4sci, and theorganicchemistrytutor. Theorganicchemistrytutor has really long videos, but it’s worth it to watch them all the way through. Khanacademy videos are always free; Leah4sci runs a tutoring service, so not all of her things are on youtube; theorganicchemistrytutor has some videos you can pay to watch, but I’ve never watched those.

5) Tutoring. At our school we have something called supplemental instruction. A student who has done well in the class holds sessions 3x a week to go over the material and help you understand it better. I went twice a week, but if my schedule would’ve let me I would’ve gone 3x. They also have one-on-one tutoring, but that doesn’t help me as much as group studying.

6) Study group. My friend and I would meet every Saturday morning to study for our quizzes or exams. This was very useful because if one of us didn’t know something, the other could explain it in terms we could understand. Plus, if you can teach it, you will learn it better.

7) Read the book. This one was my least favorite thing to do, but sometimes it helped me a lot more than asking my professor. It helps if you read before class, but for me, I had to read it after so I understood the material better.

That’s it! I hope those will help you! If you can’t really sit for long while studying and need to be constantly moving, I heard that recording lectures and listening to them while doing another activity can help. One of my psych professors told us of a girl that would record lectures and listen to them while running. Apparently, this helped her learn and do well in her class!

Good luck with O-Chem!

Andrea.