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Happy New Year! 2018 was truly a year of growth and self-discovery and I’m hoping for that and so much more in 2019.

I just wanted to share a lesson I learned in 2018 that may seem simple, but was definitely a challenge for me. When we started second year, the realities of Step 1 became all too real. You could not have a conversation with a classmate without people freaking out about the exam – this was in August guys! I struggled with focusing on what other people were doing and let it distract me from my path. After speaking with my mentors about my anxiety and stress about the neurology block and Step, I was finally able to stop listening to the buzz going on around me. I started purely focusing on what I needed to do and what worked best for me. Some of the best advice I received was from one of my mentors who put it straight for me, “Stay in your lane.”

With that advice, I started doing what I had to do to improve my grades and keep my sanity. I kept my conversations with people that stress me out limited. I had to be honest with myself about my learning style and that it takes me time to draw things out or watch videos slowly to make sure I actually understand topics.

We’re currently in the Neurology/Psychiatry/Biostatistics block and let’s just say I likely will not be a neurologist or neurosurgeon. I started off the unit rocky with the passing of my grandmother affecting my ability to study and it was evident in my first exam grade. Even with a clearer head and more energy for the second exam, my exam grades are still not where I would like them to be. What makes me nervous is that my colleagues in the year above me have emphasized how important it is to learn this material well as it will save time during my dedicated Step studying period. We have 3 more exams so there’s still time to get a better grasp on the topics thank goodness.

I tell you guys all about my challenges to remind you that you also need to “stay in your lane.” If you’re a pre-med reading this, stop listening to other pre-meds who are in the same boat as you and have never taken the MCAT or applied to med school. If you’re a first year med student, learn this quickly! You will need time to adjust to how to effectively study the high-volume of information. We all have our strengths and weaknesses- neurology is one of my weaknesses. Just focus on what works for you, adjust to find ways to be better, and do your best. Oh and don’t forget that it’s okay to ask for help! I have a few friends that have been lifesavers in suggesting Youtube videos or helping explain topics that really just didn’t make any sense to me. At the end of the day, DO YOU BOO!

2019 is for focusing on your goals, staying in your lane, and refusing to let anyone distract you from getting to your destination.

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