New Year’s resolutions are tricky. It’s good to start the upcoming year with some goals in mind, but by the time January rolls around, you’ve either made too many resolutions or made unrealistic ones. Here are some resolutions that are perfect for Caribbean medical school students.
Explore Your Island
You’re so busy with medical school, have you had a chance to appreciate your island? Most people take vacations to a tropical paradise, but you get to live in one! Make a resolution to make the most of your time there. You’ve probably scheduled study sessions around all your classes, why not block out some time for island adventures? If you’re an AUA College of Medicine student, you could visit any of Antigua’s 365 beaches. Maybe you’d rather explore English Harbour, the island’s historic district, or take a zip-line canopy tour. Whatever you choose to do, don’t forget there’s a beautiful island beyond your campus.
Getting more exercise is the staple New Year’s Resolution. When you live on a Caribbean island, you have tons of ways to do it. Since the weather is warm year-round, you could jog along the beach, swim in pristine waters, or join a cricket match (AUA’s cricket field is approved by the International Cricket Association!). These are just a few of the things you can do to burn calories. For more tips, check out our blog on ways to exercise while studying.
Refine Your Study Schedule
Just because your study schedule worked this year doesn’t mean it’ll work next year. Each year brings a new set of challenges and you’ll have to account for that in your study routine. If you’re on your last semester of Basic Sciences, you’ll have to add tons of USMLE STEP 1 prep time. If you’re going into clinical rotations, then you’ll need to add STEP 2 prep to your schedule. Based on how much studying you actually did this year, you’ll have a better idea of how to accommodate these additions.
Submit to (at least) One Medical Conference or Journal
Even if it’s not on your syllabus, you should be doing some independent research. It may require time you don’t have, but it’ll ultimately give you a stronger residency application. If you decide to do your own research, you’ll need to get it out there. Since it’s tough to get published on your first try (even for U.S. medical students), start small and submit your research to a medical conference or journal. If you get rejected, then submit to another. Lather, rinse, repeat. You know the drill.
Set Very Specific Goals
Make a checklist of what you want to get done – but be really specific about it. For example, read x pages from your Anatomy textbook. It’s not just for studying. If you’ve been meaning to go to that ice cream place downtown, put it on the list. Want to watch all the movies in the Criterion Collection? Well, that might be a little too ambitious. By the end of the year, hopefully there will be a lot of check marks on your list. Or, if you didn’t check anything off, at least you already have a list made for 2016!