Thoughts About Starting Second Year of Medical School

First year seems to have gone by in a blur. The summer after first year seems to have gone by even quicker. In just a few short weeks, I’ll be starting my second year of medical school and I have many thoughts about it.

I’m excited. I can’t wait to be back in the university-student routine and lifestyle. Of course, this comes with a considerable amount of stress. However, just like I was told countless times before starting university, these are really the best years of your life. I love having some responsibility without having to worry about every small aspect of life (like taxes, urgh adulting). I love having the freedom to see friends and go out whenever I want to. I love being able to entirely dictate my own schedule.

I’m terrified. We’ve been warned on countless occasions by many senior medical students that second year is the most challenging of all six years, especially in terms of amount of content. The step up between first and second year is much bigger than the jump from school to first year. I didn’t find first year to be completely impossible, but the idea of having ‘6 times the amount of content’ isn’t a pleasant thought. To get around this, I’ve made a plan of how I’m going to be revising in a smarter way, so that I still have time for my hobbies and extracurriculars.

I’m curious. This is the first year that we have any real ‘clinical placement’. At the end of first term, we spend about 3 weeks in a hospital shadowing doctors in a particular speciality. I have no idea what to expect and how I will feel about being in the clinical setting, but I’m curious about the whole experience.

I’m grateful. I’m incredible grateful for many things: the incredible friends I’m going to be living with next year, the hugely reduced commute time to get to lectures and the amount of new information that I will learn. I am extremely grateful that I enjoy my course a lot, which was not something I was sure of before starting.

I’m ready. As much as I loved first year, it is not something I’d want to repeat. I am ready to get one step closer to becoming a doctor and/or researcher, or whatever I choose to use my medical degree for when I graduate. Getting through second year is just one step closer to achieving one of my goals.

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