Warning: This is a very personal entry. I’ll be talking about my grades and look like a very grade-conscious person. Hahaha!
In first year, I only had one goal – to maintain my scholarship status. The cut-off grade is a GPA of 2.5 (79-80), so I made sure I got at least 80 in all of my exams – even the surprise short quizzes! In one major subject, I always got shifting grades like 79.7 or 79.9, which sometimes hurt my self-esteem when it shouldn’t have.
All that pressure paid off as I somehow ended up in the top ten at the end of the year. (Operative word is somehow – as in CHAMBA lang talaga yun.)
In second year, I thought I needed to level up my goal, which is to maintain my top ten status. I tried at first, but eventually the transcription notes got thicker (30 pages per lecture), the exams piled up (four in a week), and I got lazy. 2nd year was a total info overload; and my mantra was always to “know how to choose my battles.”
I did. I studied what I had to and what I could, but never felt bad if I missed a few questions which are considered “unimportant” in my book. In the end, my high scores meant I simply studied the right material, while my low scores meant I had no more time to look back at my notes before they gave out the questionnaires.
That’s what I kept telling myself, which is not exactly good. I failed to recognize two important things to get to the top – extreme discipline and a competitive side. I lacked both, pushing me 9 slots down at the end of 2nd year.
3rd year so far is a whole other story. We cram through our transcription notes for our daily quizzes, spend the night on our laptops writing papers and preparing reports, and barely have time to actually open our books for our exams. It’s hard and it comes with physical, mental, and emotional stress – but I love it. I feel like this is exactly the kind of environment that fosters both independent and cooperative learning, as well as integration and application.
That said, I have three new goals before I finally head off to junior internship.
1. Learn as much as I can, whether my exam scores reflect it or not.
2. Never cry, even if I get unjustly humiliated.
3. Improve my muscle mass and endurance, starting with my brand new stability running shoes. 🙂
Let’s keep it positive. Med school is hard enough as it is – no need for extra pressure.