What is it like to be a Second Year?
Katy, Swansea, 20
Why did I want to do medicine?
I always enjoyed science and maths at school, I was pretty nerdy but still enjoyed socialising, sports and music. I guess I never wanted to do any boring office jobs, and I always felt sorry for teachers at my school so I could never go into teaching. Medicine was the only career I actually considered, I'm not even sure why. I didn't have an epiphany where an angel in the night told me to become a doctor, neither did my parents push me into it. It was all my decision.
What's the best thing about student life?
Independence. Especially if you're away from your hometown. I like being able to go out in Southampton and not worry about my parents stalking my every move. Also living in a student house with friends is probably the most fun I've had at uni. Although there is a lot of cleaning, washing up and cooking for yourself, you really do get a sense of achievement being able to live without someone waiting on you 24/7.
My typical week.
Lectures take up the bulk of the week. Rarely do we ever have lectures that don't start at 9am, but it does prepare you for placement and a job in the future. So on this is what I tend to do every day:
Monday - 9am lectures until 1pm. Then we have either GP or hospital MIP until 5pm. Medicine in Practice (MIP) is definitely the academic highlight of the week. You really feel like you are learning a lot (and you get to walk around with a stethoscope around your neck).
Tuesday - this tends to be 1 of 2 days when we have tutorials. Again, usually starting at 9am, but Tuesday's we tend to finish a bit earlier unless we have anatomy labs. In the evening there a lots of MEDSOC sports to take part in. I train with the medics cricket team (the panthers), but lacrosse (the Falcons) and Netball (Bluetits) also train this evening.
Wednesday - HALF DAY! Finish lectures at around 1pm and then I head off into West Quay for retail therapy to get me through the rest of the week. Also Wednesday is the food shopping day, but be prepared, it is food shopping day for like every student out there.
Thursday - depending if we have tutorials or anatomy on Tuesday, we have the reverse on Thursday. Anatomy once a week is great, especially neuroanatomy which is taught by students. Then the best hour of the week, GOPHERS. Yay! Gophers is mixed medics hockey, completely mixed ability and the most fun you'll have.
Friday - the week is over. Friday is full of medical statistics then in the afternoon a 3 hour symposium tends to be the norm. Sounds awful but actually interesting and definitely worth going to!
Saturday - have a lovely long lie in and stay in your pyjamas all day. I tend to catch up on lectures on Saturdays and then go out for socials in the evening.
Sunday - Chill day. nothing else needs to be said.
The highlight of medical school?
I have no idea what the highlight is. There are many things that have been amazing. I'd probably say the feeling when you pass exams and the world is on your side, spurring you on. One of the best feelings ever!
What am I looking forward to most?
Definitely 3rd year. Apparently it's 'proper medicine'. I'm excited to start my research project and have a semester without having to revise for exams, how lovely. Also placement after Christmas, which everyone seems to be loving. I can't wait to get on the wards and actually practice clinical skills!
Advice to a younger me?
Don't be put off or scared by the people around you. Yes their parents may be consultants. Yes they may have gone to the most expensive private school in the country. Yes they may live in a mansion, with a pool or own a villa in Barbados. But it's highly likely that they lack passion and are doing medicine for the right reasons. You've got your GCSEs, A levels, UKCAT, interviews, and offers. You deserve to have your place if you work hard.