Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Term 3: A tale of two terms

I arrived in Grenada with something less than rampant enthusiasm for class. Starting a term at the end of June just felt too much like summer school - even though it is summer weather here all the time. My concentration wasn't where it needed to be and I slept late, played on facebook, and generally didn't get a lot done (adjustment disorder?).

Given this, I got the grade I deserved on the midterm... :/

Then another deadline crept up on me: my Review paper was due August 1 (more details about this later). For a long time I've wanted to switch to a morning schedule, but have always stayed up until around 12-1 and woken up 8-9, despite knowing my best studying is in the morning.
So I decided to use this to get it done - I started waking up progressively earlier over the course of the week. Putting the alarm clock in the other room helped and leaving the shades open helped with this. Once awake and after exercising, I would then go to campus to write the paper in free AC. This was a tough adjustment at first and I had to force myself to bed initially. For those considering such a switch you have to really plug through the first two weeks and do it gradually.
But by the end of week 1 I was waking around 6:30-7:30 (compared to 9am before). After another two weeks of this I am on a 6am schedule (as evidenced by writing a blogpost at 7:15am). Wake up, workout, make breakfast, pack my lunch and hit the books usually by 7:30 (when not blogging).
Another impetus was that the Term 4 Pathology class lectures will not be recorded online (audio only, no slides) - so going to class is now quasi-mandatory. Combined with the rampant rumors that Path is insanely difficult, that certainly helped.

My second exam was my highest score at SGU. Maybe the material was more interesting or I took it more seriously to avert a GPA disaster... regardless, I study more and feel better from waking up early and exercising. I hope I can keep this going for Term 4 and keep my brain and body tuned through Step 1.

Anyone else have stories of exercise/sleep schedules helping them in med school?