23 Mar 2017

how I acquired so few stationery additions in 2016

In 2016, I bought very little stationery and I did this buy just using up the stuff already in my stash. I made a few impulse purchases but nothing major and when I think about how little I bought over the last twelve months, I actually feel content. There's something very fulfilling about using up the stuff you already have and I probably have enough notebooks and ink to last me another good year or two (ok, maybe more).

A few of the purchases I made in 2016.
My goal for this year is to not make any new stationery purchases (aside from a 2018 planner towards the end of the year) and with the way things have gone, I think it should be quite easy for me to stick to this.

Do you have any stationery goals for this year?

21 Mar 2017

finals revision: how to cope!

This is my second time of doing finals and it has to be said, the first time was a walk in a park compared to this one. Having wanted to be a doctor for so many years, it is now within touching distance and the fear of messing up is so real. To get me through finals revision, here are the things I'm doing.

1. Food

The last thing you want to do during revision is to get ill so eating a balanced diet where you get your five a day is a must. Add in some exercise and it's the perfect combination for staving away those viruses that may knock you out for a few days. A few days you can't afford to lose. I like to batch cook things like cottage pie, divide them into portions and then freeze them. They are perfect for those nights where you just don't feel like cooking but want to stay healthy.

In terms of snacking, I like dried fruit and nuts. Salted cashew nuts are my current love but I am also known to substitute these with pistachio nuts. Though they are on the more expensive side, I think they are slightly better than crisps, sweets and chocolate (though some of these nuts have quite a formidable salt content!).

2. A Timetable

The best way to ensure you cover as much subject matter as you want is to have a revision timetable. Mine is pretty rough - I dedicate sessions to medical or surgical specialties and then try and get through as many practice questions/chapters in the Oxford Handbook I can during that time. I often have post-it notes on my desk of things to look up later and I factor in revision sessions for these too.

3. Time To Relax

As tempting as it is to keep ploughing on with revision even after a mammoth eight hour day (with breaks of course!), sometimes a day where no revision is planned can also be good. At least for me it is. Choose your weapon - a book, Netflix, a workout, anything that does not have any link to your subject matter :) I like to mess around with my Instax and taking a walk because it kills two birds with one stone for me (leaving the house and doing something fun!).

Remember to factor in breaks during the days you do revise too!

4. Sleep

Chugging down Red Bulls may seem tempting to try and maximise the number of hours in the day but sleep is essential for memories. I try and sleep as much as possible but not too much so as to negate the learning I've done during my study sessions. For me, 7-8 hours is a good amount.

5. Environment

Consider your desk and tools! If you dislike clutter and find it counterintuitive to your productivity, then tidy up before studying. I tidy away everything at the end of each session so I get a fresh start. I also like to ensure I have my favourite pens nearby :)

Good luck to those you with exams in the next few months :) I'm sure you'll do great!

19 Mar 2017

my week #257

So... My last clinical placement at medical school has now finished (hopefully!) and it was the one which I enjoyed the most. Intensive care and anaesthetics is definitely a career that has jumped all the way to the top of my list because it has all the features needed to keep me interested: variety, practical procedures, the need to understand anatomy and physiology and also people contact! The worst bit is that the last placement I ever do turns out to (possibly) be the career path for me. This means I have a lot of catch-up to do in terms of the old CV...

How has your week been?