I just wanted to mention a little about a student's mindset. I'll be the first to admit that during my first term, I was physically here, but mentally, I was everywhere else but here. Arriving on the island felt like a bad vacation, or summer camp that never seemed to end. I mean, my first day here, the bus had dropped off my roommate and me on the side of the road, a good half a mile from our new dorm...with 40lbs of books in tow, each. Not exactly a warm welcome. I'm also not the biggest fan of warm weather, but that's a whole other story.
I didn't start this post to bitch about year 1 or anything, I just wanted to make the point that a student's mindset can make all the difference. I found things difficult that actually aren't difficult. I couldn't make myself do simple things, or even figure out any good ways to study. I was dragging my stuff around, switching rooms, figuring out my way, and all of a sudden, classes began at full swing. Of course my situation wasn't unique, I can probably say it's similar to a lot of people's experiences when they get here, but for one reason or another, it affected me. To put it simply, I wasn't mentally ready to start medical school. But I kept going.
If I had the choice to start the process all over, I would put in some more thought. Really think things through. At the time last year I figured I would just start (my acceptance letter came a little over two weeks before the start of school). Take the opportunity and jump in! It could be argued either way whether or not that was a good idea. I do make rash decisions once in a while, but never of this caliber. Usually it's about chopping off 10 inches of my hair, or booking a last minute getaway. I'm happy that I begin when I did, but I will say that medical school is not a last minute getaway.
I'm not trying to deter anyone at all! Just putting forth that starting school is the last step of your "getting-into-medical-school" process, and it's not one to be taken lightly. We all put so much effort into essays, grades, applications, interviews. Why rush the last part? Put in all the thought, make careful decisions, and really prepare yourself and you'll get the best results.
To everyone starting school this January, congratulations! You have great things to come.