Incantations and their magical effects
Survival tips for incoming med school freshies (an article in the UPCM 2019 FOP Primer)
Much has been said about the reality of being in med school. Part of your adjustment in your first year is activating the spells and charms you could use for your whole stay in the college. You could access all of them in your spellbooks, but here is a preview to some essentials.
Feather-light Charm: I need to take a break.
As you go through all the hurdles in med school, learn to make things more lightweight. Make it a habit to take mental breaks in between studying your transes and books. Giving your brain a rest is more productive than fooling yourself studying without absorbing too much information. In between exams, you can invite your cadmates for a chill museum tour or an adventurous trip to La Union. When the weight of life begins to fall, remember that activating the Feather-light Charm is just a snap of your fingers.
Gripping Charm: I am not okay.
Sometimes we allow things to be more easily gripped by letting go of some of them. Med school will be a daily encounter of subtle failures that oftentimes lead to doubts and questions. Recognize that you do not need to try to have control over everything. Some professors are like Dolores Umbridge, and some concepts are just hard to understand at your level. I must let you in on a secret: being grounded on the fact that you deserve to be in med school is enough reason to push through. Gripping Charm simply comforts you that it is totally okay not to be okay.
Cheering Charm: I need help.
Knowing your limitations comes with accepting that you need help from others. You might be the solo-going type of student in your undergrad years, but trust me, when I say that you will still need any help from others. You are not alone in your journey. Cheering Charm activates the antidote to all the toxic elements. Through its magical work on your support system, it brings you to a world of happiness and sanity.
Unlocking the magical support system
The college admin offers support through the Office of Resiliency and mentoring program. If you have mental health concerns, you can set an appointment in the UHS or with the Office of Resiliency. Counselors also periodically visit the college. If you have pressing issues and in need of help from a more experienced and trusted one, your mentors are just one call away. Two mentors are assigned to ten students, and you meet with them twice a semester. To make your mentoring sessions more fun, you can suggest chillnuman or Friday sleepover with the mentoring group.
If you deem that this survival guide is lacking, you can ask for more spells and charms from the upper-class. One way to get acquainted with them is through the buddy system. Do not hesitate to reach out to your upper-class buddy. Interestingly, our college houses almost every type of person — from sports enthusiasts to music lovers. Find your home in the college by joining organizations.
Your cadmates and blockmates will be your consistent support group in med school from your first SGD to your last clinical work. They are the most understanding people you will encounter. Just a caution to not abuse their kindness. Invest in your relationship with your other batchmates by participating in class events and council committees. Here’s something you probably don’t know about: every batch has their own mental health committee. Wouldn’t be exciting to organize your own, too? I heard that the members of this committee randomly initiate and always accept invitations for a coffee and conversation.
Meeting new people does not mean forgetting the old ones. Do not forget to reach out to your besties outside med school, every now and then. Certainly, they will be amazed at your stories and rants about your smell after every dissection, your first patient interaction, your first failed exam, and your med school crushies.
Your family has always got your back. They are your top fans in every stint you do. You can send a lovely “good morning” message to them before you go to school. And if you need to vent those baffling thoughts and feelings, do not hesitate to call their numbers.
While it takes a village to build a six-star wizard, it takes a reliable support system to develop a resilient six-star wizard. Sure, you are now equipped to undergo intensive training; but just a good reminder: humility is the key to unlocking this magical support system.