It only gets harder

I've been asked many-a-time since starting medical school, how am I finding it? Is it really hard? There's no short answer. Everything is harder when you're in a place you don't know, surrounded by people you don't know (and therefore don't trust) and you have somehow got to get on with it, love it and make it look easy.

I imagine most medical schools won't spend long faffing around and will just throw you into it as mine did. It's a lot to get used to. I know a lot of applicants might be reading this and will be thinking, "Yeah yeah, but how is the PBL?". You all know I had my reservations about the PBL course but so far and please bare in mind I've only been doing it a few weeks - I am praising the lord I am not on a lecture based course. Imagine, sitting in a stuffy, warm, cosy lecture theatre with 350 people sat in the rows in front of you and you have barely had what feels like a wink of sleep... yep. You fight your eyes to stay open for the first 10 minutes and then you give up and put your head on the table and promise yourself you're still listening but giving your eyes a rest.

We do still have lectures and i'm ashamed to say the above has happened on more than one occasion. There are times I wish we had more lectures to really outline "what we need to know," but then I guess that's the whole point - you can't know everything about everything.... It can be a bit confusing when you're course learning objectives is different from your learning agenda (which your tutor should be making sure ticks off all the objectives...which naturally I don't trust him to do) and then you have a lecture on something entirely different. You do end up doing what feels like 3 times the work, you'll answer everything on your learning agenda relevant to the case that week to keep your PBL happy, you'll go and learn everything the ILO's suggest simply because you can't afford to skip any in the knowledge you'll be tested on it and then you'll go and make sure you've got enough context / depth from whatever the lecture was on... because they must be lecturing you on it for a reason right? They do all overlap a little bit which is your saving grace but other than that it's a bit like doing 3 different modules all with a fire hose of information.

But, all in all - I am loving medical school. I'm loving being back in education, meeting new people and trying to grow as a person. Despite only having a gap year between us, I do feel a lot more mature than the fresh-out-of-school-leavers, whether they're fellow medics, or from other courses. It's surprising just how self-involved they all are... I can't quite get over it and quite frankly I don't have time for it.

Medical school aside, it's still hard. I came home for the evening today and never before have I realised just how homesick I am. Sometimes I think, I could never see the people i've met again and not bat an eyelid (bar my only flatmate keeping me sane). No-one gives a shit about anything but themselves up there. I don't feel at ease within my flat, in fact I feel like I'm getting more and more solitary as time goes by - that's a mix between me being disgusted by the hygiene of boys that I live with, exhausted by their immaturity (oh let's steal so and so's food, let's hide so and so's shit - get a grip man) and drowning in all the work I have. And to think, the work only gets deeper and harder and more isolating argh. Finding a way up!