hello all! I have throughly enjoyed everyone's response regarding the "rough times" and how they too have struggled and what they have done to pull themselves through. Now, I have a question... I will be starting med school in the fall and being a mother and wife am trying to do all I can to relieve any undo stress during the first year. I realize everyone has to develope a study technique of their own but what else have you done to smooth the transition. For example I hear quite a bit of mention about a housekeeper.. is this a good idea? What about studying for biochem or anatomy before school starts? What kind of routine have you paved out at home? I will not have family in town, (but they are close)my kiddos are school age and my husband is very helpful. He is trying to rearrange his working hours so he can be home when the kids get out of school. BUt we will see. Another idea I was given, that I thought was good, was to find and get to know someone at your church that is retired and could come to your house to stay for a couple of hours after school-they can always use a little money and they tend to be responsible (realize this is a generalization). Nonehteless, I would greatly appreciate any insight from those who have or are going to be traveling the same road.
Hats off to all those headed back for 2nd semester and lots of admiration for those who are sticking it out regardless of the route :grouphug: .
1. DON'T study for med school before you get there. It won't be efficient use of your time. Instead, take the summer off completely and enjoy time with your kiddos. You'll spend plenty of time studying later.
2. Yes, I think a housecleaner is a great idea and worth the $$. Mine comes weekly & is paid for with my student loan $. If you are going to hire one, get things lined up early. I went through 2 that didn't work out before I got the one I have now. It was really good that I had started out before school actually started.
3. Cook food in advance. I cooked 30-40 meals, packaged them in family serving sizes (ziploc bags), and froze them. It saved me from having to cook every night & allowed me to study late without leaving my family scrounging for food or going to McDonalds. When I did cook during the semester, I doubled the recipe & froze the leftovers. Right now I'm doing this all again to get ready for the spring semester.
4. Work out the afterschool arrangements for the kiddos in advance. You have plenty of time, so if your husband's work schedule doesn't work out for this, then you can look at other options.
5. Realize that the best laid plans don't go flawlessly, so be ready to adjust as necessary. I had planned to do my studying at home (had set up a nice, secluded study area), but discovered that studying alone @ home didn't work for me. I needed someone to talk things over with & I was waaaay too easily distracted at home. Once I figured that out, I changed what I was doing. No use is delaying the inevitable and risking your grades.
6. That said, don't get too hung up on grades, as long as you are passing. You will sacrifice some percentage points so that you can be a halfway decent mom & wife. It's definitely worth it. You will have classmates who have no commitments outside of school--you cannot compare yourself, your study practices, or your grades to theirs.
Hope that is helpful. I'll add more if anything comes to mind. Feel free to PM or email me anytime.
I might add that you might consider hiring an au pair. This can be worked into your financial aid. It costs about $12K per year, but that is basically what I paid for day care anyway. That way, you relieve yourself of the stress of worrying whether your children are being well cared for. The au pair will not clean your house for you, but will babysit 40 hours/week, cook for your kids, wash their clothes, and clean their rooms. Well worth it. To think all those years I paid 12k/year to drive those kids back and forth to day care! :no: When I could have had a reliable person in the home to help so much.
I agree with the advice about not getting too anal-retentive about your grades in med school. My program has a three-tier system, Pass/Fail/Honors, and I have not honored yet :boggled: But I tell myself that I am passing, and usually passing "ahead" of classmates who have no other responsibilities. I figure that given my situation, "average" is really more like "exceptional", and I am content with that. :rotfl:
I had to make some major adjustments this year, since my husband and daughter moved down in July. First year, I was one of the ones with lots of time, Second year is quite different. We've worked it out, though. Here's a sample day:
6 am: Hubby gets up and goes to work
7:15 am: Get up, get Boo ready for school,
8:05: Meet bus on the corner
8:30-12: Study either at home (distractions!) or school
Hubby picks up Boo from daycare on the way home. we all get home around 6.
6-7: Cook dinner/supervise and/or check homework
7-8: Eat dinner as a family
8-9: Chill/supervise shower and getting ready for bed
9: storytime and bedtime
9-?: personal time with hubby/chill out time/ cramming time for exams
I rarely study on weekends, except for the weekend before the test. HOw much I study also depends on the class I am in (we have a block system). So...weekends are used for cleaning the house, doing laundry, gettting stuff that we need (clothes, etc), and doing fun stuff like movies.
See where you fall in the class continuum, that will tell you how much you need to study. I underestimated the time required for Renal and consequently ended up passing only by the grace of the Gods and the course directors. :guilty: :guilty:
It CAN be managed. It just takes awhile to find the groove.
I'm a Med I and remember how stressed I was last summer trying to "organize my life" before med school. My advice is just to enjoy the months leading up to med school and then dive in full force. I agree - studying the summer before is not worth it.
I have a 4-year-old son who is in preschool full-time. We have our house cleaned every other week. It is well worth the money to alleviate that stress from your life (if you hate cleaning like I do).
Realize that med school studying is a full-time job, requiring 4 hours a day at least. I started taking the bus to school instead of driving (I live 45 minutes from my school) and found I was able to add an extra 2 hours a day of study time (it's an hour bus ride).
I was a real crammer before med school and quickly learned it is impossible to do well on med school exams if you wait until the last minute. Stay on top of things!
And lastly, and this is a personal choice, but for me it works better to pick and choose what lectures I attend. Some lectures are just a regurgitation of the course book, and I find my time is better spent studying independently during that time. My school also videotapes lectures and the power point lectures are on line as well. It depends on the class. The bottom line is we are responsible for every sentence in the course book (notes given for each module). Some people learn well by hearing it, while others of us start zoning off!
Please feel free to contact me if you need any more advice!