The first year of medical school is always the most frightening. It’s a test not only of wisdom but also of endurance, perseverance, and passion.

Without these core strengths, surviving your first year would be an exercise in futility. Studying medicine demands unyielding valiance. And you mustn’t falter in the early years of your life-long learning.

Before you can achieve a life-changing career, you must surmount certain obstacles. These challenges often present themselves in the first year, so planning is a must.

Get geared up with these useful tips to survive your first year in medical school:

Create a Study Plan That Works for You

Balance is key to a successful study journey. As an international student, your education goes beyond lecture halls. With that in mind, you must strike a balance between your sources of knowledge.

Start with academics. Create a schedule that won’t collide with other engagements like your part-time job. You can use a cloud-based calendar to streamline your schedule across your devices.

It also helps to make a conducive study corner in your dorm or flat. When you start feeling exhausted, squeeze in short breaks in your daily schedule. This clears your mind of stress and academic pressure.

Find Ways To Learn More Effectively During Lectures

Attending lectures isn’t just an act of listening and taking down relevant information. It’s an exercise of attention and knowledge retention. Without effective study techniques, you’ll risk these two fundamental activities.

Every med student has their own study style that works for them. But if you want to be a flexible student, learn how to conform to various teaching styles. 

You can start looking into effective note-taking methods. Then experiment whether you prefer handwritten notes or typing on your laptop. During classes, don’t forget to engage and ask the right questions to your professors.

Do Something That Inspires You

It’s important to keep the passion aflame when studying medicine. Students often lose motivation during the first year due to various reasons. If you want to make it until graduation, you must find a source of inspiration.

Ask yourself first: what excites you? What makes your heart throb with intense anticipation? Once you find it, make sure that you do it to keep you inspired.

It can be anything—traveling, sports, cooking, or painting. Whatever it is, there’s no shame in chasing it to make your education more worthwhile.

Hang Out With People in Your Class

Peer support is often undermined in studying. But it can be the missing gear to keep you moving forward.

By meeting other people, you can go out of your comfort zone. You may even be led to doing things you don’t usually do, but you discover to be fun. This can also help you build a better network to land a great career.

Being around like-minded people pushes you to become better. And if you have similar goals, the learning experience can be 10 times better.

Trying to survive your first year in medical school? With MSM Unify by your side, you can take on any challenge that studying overseas brings. So if you want to succeed in your studies, don’t forget to check out and read our helpful articles!