Say hello to medical school and goodbye to the life you had before orientation. Med school requires a new lifestyle that will take some adjustment, but you’ll get the hang of it. Here are a few, somewhat strange, things you’ll find yourself doing as a med student:

1. Discover Study Time has Become Your Favorite Nighttime Activity

“Oh, hey, Sharknado 2 is on tonight, maybe I should—“ Nope. That’s not part of your life now. You’re essentially learning a new language and the only way to master it is to completely immerse yourself in it. By studying. A lot. Forget the next episode of True Blood, your new primetime shows will be found on AUA’s Echo360 lecture capture, where you can watch your lectures again. And again. And maybe a few more times for good measure. Then, when you want to get in bed with a good book, you’ll end up tucked in with another chapter of Gray’s Anatomy.

2. Acquire a New Sleeping Pattern

At first, six hours of sleep sound fine. Then six hours become five hours. At some point, you’ll wonder how long you can keep this up and find yourself scheduling naps to avoid crazy. Yes, you’ll need sleep and, eventually, you’ll settle on the right amount so you don’t stumble to campus. Just make sure to get sleep. It’s a priority and it’s good for you.

3. Spend More Time at the Library Than at Home

Have you heard about the latest and greatest social media app for med students? Trick question: it’s the library. Ha! See? Clickbait! Never mind. Anyway, the library will become your new social space. Study group sessions will be your new Friday night out. Together, you’ll find staying one step ahead of the game will make you feel well-prepared before your next lecture even begins. Seriously, the library is where it’s all happening and there’s no cover charge.

4. Develop Med Student Swagger

When you get back home, people may comment on the new way you carry yourself. They’ll probably say “Hey, what’s with that awesome strut? I want that.” Or they’ll just ignore it and move on with their lives. Being in med school will simultaneously boost your confidence while bringing you back down to earth. Think you’ve got every human bone memorized for that Anatomy exam? Well, BOOM most of the questions are about vital organs. You’ll have to be prepared for anything and that’s the kind of thing that builds confidence. After you study, just remember the immortal words of Han Solo: “Great, kid! Don’t get cocky.” And don’t trip on the way to class. That would be embarrassing and not Han Solo-like at all.

5. Ask for Help – And Probably Receive It

Med school students are, typically, pretty awesome. When things get a little bit tough, your colleagues will be around to help you out. If you attend AUA, you’ll know we have a close community on campus, where the faculty is invested in your success. AUA even has a department that will help you with your studies. Remember: we’re all in this together.

6. Learn the Difference Between Studying and Practicing

Med school isn’t contained within a textbook. Clinical Rotations bridge the gap between studying and practicing. In the meantime, you might feel awkward applying knowledge that you’ve only found in print. At AUA, you’ll have opportunities to apply that knowledge early on. The Center for Simulated Learning will have you practice on realistic robots – think Operation in the year 3040. This way you’ll feel more comfortable practicing medicine when you move onto clinical rotations. With everything, there’s always a learning curve. Luckily, med school and discipline will shape you into the amazing doctor you always imagined yourself to be, like the one you wrote about in your Dr. House fan-fiction or like Dr. William James Mayo, co-founder of the Mayo Clinic. That’s right, we have residents there. Not too shabby either way.

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