Medical Student

First Week as a Medical Student


This week, I felt like a future doctor and every once in a while it would hit me, that I’ve made it.


I don’t have ‘classes’ per say 

A lot of my loved ones have been asking me which of my classes is hardest or the most interesting. I didn’t really have a clear idea of how class schedule worked in med school so not having set class schedules for the whole semester is different. I have a weekly schedule that I access online. Every day, I have various traditional lectures, workshops, and team based learning activities. Each is usually an hour to an hour and a half and focuses on a specific topic such as enzyme kinetics or protein folding. All of these classes fall under ‘block one’ of my Foundations of Clinical Sciences.

*Note, this is how my medical school does it, others have different structures for curriculum.

Imposter syndrome is real

Being surrounded by people who have had careers, graduate degrees, and more years of chemistry or physics, while exciting, is also terrifying. The other day, I had to ask what ‘vaso-occlusive crisis’ meant and I felt like a moron. In case you were wondering, it’s when sickled blood cells build up in vasculature leading to a painful crisis for sickle cell patients. Some classes, I’m terrified that people will realize I got in on a system glitch. But based on my conversation with my peers, I’m pretty sure everyone feels that way. Plus, the admissions staff seems to have their stuff together so I doubt they make mistakes too often 🙂

imposter syndrome

I will need to change my study style

My study techniques got me through undergraduate courses and the mcat, so yes they have worked. But I do not think they will be sufficient. There’s a saying about retaining all the information from medical school.

It’s like drinking from a fire hose

And it truly is. In one hour of a workshop, I went through approximately one month’s material from an undergraduate lecture. Adjustments will be needed. I’m trying out a few this week including maintaining a cumulative study guide rather than making one right before a test as well as utilizing online material and self-quizzing more frequently. Based on my next exam’s score, I’ll continue adjusting.

I owe Elon a lot

I was so blessed to go to Elon – not only because I loved it and made some amazing friends there, but because my science classes prepared me so well for med school… or at least they have so far haha. We’ve mostly been going over molecular biology, genetics, and biochemistry. My previous undergraduate lectures have allowed me to be familiar with these concepts and I’ve even been able to utilize old notes (because yes, I do save them all).

I am exhausted and have never been more giddy

I am living my dream. When I think about it too much, I honestly start to tear up a little. I feel like I’ve truly found a place where I can be pushed and appreciated and surrounded by people with similar interests to my own. I’ve never felt so immediately comfortable somewhere before (though I am still terrified of keeping up, honestly). I try to remind myself to be grateful any time I forget how incredible this is and start to complain about the workload or lack of sleep. I am a lucky girl indeed to be able to do this and I am privileged to be learning here with so many brilliant classmates and teachers.

me in my white coat
You could say I’m pretty excited

Getting Ready for Back to School

It’s that time of year again when stores stock up on colorful notebooks and students slowly walk back onto campus. The few weeks before school can be bittersweet with the sadness of losing free time but the excitement for what the upcoming semester has to offer. This year is especially exciting for me as I start at a completely new school – the Larner College of Medicine.

There’s a lot to do before going back to school including packing (if you go to university), buying supplies, and catching up on summer reading. Today, I thought I’d share some of the tricks I use so that by the time that first morning lecture rolls around, I’m feeling totally prepared.


back to school.jpg


Organize your desk

Clear off your desk and make sure all of your newly purchased supplies are easily accessible so that you’ll actually want to study. I also recommend adding something a little cute or whimsical so that the desk isn’t too serious and is more inviting. On my own, I have beautiful teal elephant book ends that I love.

Clean out your room (especially your closet)

Most likely, you purchased some new items for the year so going through your clothes and throwing out or donating old and worn out items is a must. It’ll be easier to pick first-day outfits if you know what you have. Additionally, having a de-cluttered and clean room will give you peace of mind and more confidence to start the semester.

Get a planner that works for you

As I have mentioned, I LOVE bullet journaling so I always look up different layouts to try during the first months of school. The past year I have always included a ‘semester overview’ page dedicated to showing just the big test and project dates for all of my classes. If bullet journals aren’t your thing, do some research about what kind of planner you want and don’t just buy the first one you see. Ask your friends what kinds they use and what they like or don’t like them.

bullet journal for back to school.jpg

Print off all syllabi and materials prior to class

Reading these prior to the first day of class will help you feel prepared and will give you a better idea of how big of a time commitment this course will be and how to prioritize it.

Identify semester goals

This is so important to having a great semester! I recommend having two-three general goals with more specific sub-goals underneath. Write them down. Put them in your phone. But check back in throughout the next few months to see how you’re doing and make adjustments as needed.

This year, my two goals are to focus on my wellness while starting medical school and to stay on top of my studying. For the wellness goal, my more specific goals are to find time to write (a favorite past time and stress relief of mine) at least one hour every week and to exercise three times a week on average. For studying, my specific goals are to create biweekly specific study schedules and to participate in a study group a few times a month.


I hope these have been helpful. Please comment below with tips of your own and have a fantastic start of school!!

Medical Student

What to do after applications?

I apologize for being AWOL this past month. My laptop completely crashed and I recently moved up to Vermont to start settling in so I haven’t been able to keep up. But things have finally settled down so I promise to start posting more regularly.


Now, I know the 2017-2018 medical school application cycle is going on and many of you probably just sent in your primaries. So, I thought I’d share my advice for what to do with your next two months of summer while waiting to receive secondary applications.

med school apps.jpg


Check you email constantly.

You’ll be receiving secondaries and updates from AMCAS so make sure to check your email at the very least once a day and check your spam folders as well.

Fill out secondaries ASAP.

The recommendation you’ll often hear is to complete you secondaries within 2 weeks of receiving them so that schools know you are serious. Now, two weeks seems like a lot of time but often you receive them all at once and you have work or school or other obligations, so you just have to do your best to work through them as quickly as possible.

waiting gif
The wait for responses can be exhausting.

Keep information updated.

If you move or any of your information changes such as phone number, GPA, or email, keep all of the schools updated and notified by indicating these changes to your AMCAS profile.

Buy your suit now.

Buy your interview suit now when you can take your time and look for sales. Interviews can be stressful enough without frantically searching for a suit that fits both your body and your budget when you don’t have a lot of time yet. It may seem like you’re jinxing yourself but even if you don’t get an interview this year, you’ll need it in the future and if you get a classic suit, you’ll be able to wear it for many years to come.

Look up possible secondary questions.

There are many forums that discuss past secondary question. Additionally, some students may receive secondaries before you and  post questions on these forums. Having a heads up on the types of questions you’ll be asked can give you an opportunity to start brainstorming and drafting potential answers.



I hope this information was helpful and good luck during this application cycle!


Book Worm · School

Best Writing Advice I’ve Received

Hey everyone, sorry for the last two weeks of silence but I’ve been dealing with some laptop issues. Luckily, my lovely mother is allowing me to use her’s so I can get back to blogging ❤


I will admit, I am not the best writer there is (shocking, I know). However, I have been blessed to have some amazingly talented teachers and professors as well as had the opportunity to meet a few stunning authors at my university. Today, I thought I’d share some of the best advice for aspiring authors that I have heard from these professionals.


Focus on character, not plot.

I took a student-led workshop and the women running the show urged us to avoid ‘genre writing’ meaning not creating an epic horror or fantasy and instead creating a character first and seeing how that character interacts with the world. They said this helps avoid archetypes, cliches, and allows the readers to relate to the characters more because they turn out to be more life like.

The 1 inch picture frame.

One professor told me that when you’re stuck, fill in a 1 inch picture frame. What he meant was, when you don’t know where you are in a scene or what is happening, imagine the person or setting and just try to explain a 1×1 inch square of the full picture. It will get you started and help keep moving you forward.

best book ever

Write what you’re bad at.

The brilliant Junot Díaz spoke at my university my first year there. Many of his books are written in second person point of view and when asked why he writes that way, he responded that point of view is the one he is worst at. So, he writes books that way so he can get better because otherwise he would never improve. I try to emulate his approach by trying to write short stories and thrillers every once in a while to mix it up and practice. It’s kind of like switching up exercises in the gym so that all your muscles get stronger rather than just one.

Edit at the end.

Nanowrimo taught me this. Before, I’d write twenty pages then spend hours painstakingly looking over word choice and spelling errors rather than writing twenty more. By not looking back until you’re done, you’re less likely to get disgruntled and more likely to finish.

kermit writing

Rewrite rather than edit.

My creative writer professor is a novelist and his main advice for editing drafts was to literally retype the entire piece rather than just edit an existing document. He encouraged this for poem drafts, ten page stories, and claims that he does this for his novels as well. Although time consuming, he guarantees that it helps slow you down and will allow you to catch mistakes and areas to improve that you may otherwise miss. While I have yet to do this will a full novel, I did recently retype rather than edit a twenty page short story and I do believe it helped.


I hope these tips help you as much as they’ve helped me. Please share your own in the comments because I’m always looking for new ways to approach telling a story!

Medical Student

Tips for Writing a Personal Statement

The personal statement for medical school applications can be the most daunting. It’s one page where you can write anything you want about yourself and it’s often the best opportunity to demonstrate who you are besides just your GPA and MCAT scores. Thus, it was the part of my application that I was most stressed about but I ended up with a piece I was pretty happy with. So, I thought I’d share my personal tips that helped me.

who am i

First make a list.

Answer the question “What are you passionate about” and just brainstorm. See what patterns you see and try to pull those out in your writing.

Sound like yourself.

Yes, you want to sound professional but not like there’s a thesaurus is tossing out words.

Have the right people edit.

Have people you trust edit such as your school health committee or career advising. An English major or professor for grammar and spelling. But be wary of having too many people edit it. Too many cooks in the kitchen can leave you with something you’re not happy with.

Focus your paper.

Only highlight 1-2 key experiences from your resume. Otherwise it’ll just read like a laundry list. Mention the 2 most relevant ones to what you’re applying to and use the space to expand on them.

I hope some of these tips help and good luck with your applications!!


Book Worm

Book Review: A Court of Wings and Ruin

Confession: I did not sleep last night. I decided to start A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas with the intention of only reading a few chapters. Then, all of a sudden I was 600 pages in at 5 in the morning so I just powered through.

I love this series. Check out my review of book one here and book two here. This book picks up a few weeks after the second one with Feyre living at the Spring Court with a duplicitous mission – weaken Hybern and the Spring Court from the inside. Don’t worry, no spoilers!

court of wings and ruin

This book is the longest in the series yet at 699 pages and is action packed. My favorite aspect of this book is that we get to see more of the other courts and their interactions. There is a fabulous scene with all the leaders of the different courts bickering about past issues and having political fights. It is entertaining and important to the plot as Feyre and her friends attempt to unite the island against enemy forces.

Rhysand is without a doubt one of my favorite characters in this series. Thus, I was a little disappointed that he didn’t make an appearance until about 100 pages in. Tamlin, as always, annoyed me. I think that Maas attempted to write a slight redemption arc but I was not having it. We get to know Elain and Nesta much better and how they fit into this new Fae world.

I do have a few critiques about this book. There were a lot of side stories such as Lucien taking a little adventure and Nesta recovering after the cauldron incident from the last book that I would have enjoyed seeing first hand from their POV. There are two short chapters form Rhysand’s POV but other than that it is entirely Feyre. My hope is that Maas may write some novellas to provide a few more details about some of the side plots. Additionally, some of the plot lines wrapped up a bit too easily. I can’t believe that I’m saying this since the book was quite long but certain pivotal scenes felt rushed.

Overall, it was a great addition to this series and fans will definitely enjoy it. However, the second book remains my favorite in the trilogy. Let me know what you all think!


Lifestyle · School

Advice for my 18 Year Old Self

It has been exactly one week since I graduated and like many other new alums, I’ve spent some time reflecting over my college experience. I wanted to share advice that I wish I had known as an 18 year old entering college.

grad 1

You’re no longer a big fish in a little pond

You’re not going to be the smartest in your class, the most active in your sorority, or the best on your intramural team. You’re transitioning from a 400 person class to a 1400 person class so it’s okay that you aren’t number 1. Don’t let it get to your head.

Find people who make you happy

Don’t spend time with negative people who talk behind each other’s backs. Don’t be a negative person who talks behind someone’s back.

grad 2

Ask people out

Okay, by this I mean 2 things. 1. Feel free to ask boys out. Hook up culture does exist but who cares, if you like someone, ask them out. 2. Ask out friends for dates. If you meet someone cool, ask them to grab coffee. It’s not weird to pursue friendships.

Grades are important but you don’t need to work as hard as you think you do

Now, we both know that you’re a neurotic freak who obsesses over grades. But being happy and having a balanced lifestyle is just as important. In fact, if you’re happy, you’ll do better in school. Having fun for a few hours a day will make you more productive in the long run.

It’s okay if you don’t meet your best friends right away

Freshman year is overwhelming and you’ll make friends but it’s okay if they don’t carry you through all four years. In fact, you may meet your best friend as a senior and that’s great too.

Last but not least, enjoy yourself. It’s gonna be a great four years!


Book Worm

Favorite Book Covers

Whoever said not to judge a book by its cover was CLEARLY never overwhelmed in a fabulous book store! Because, let’s be honest, the book cover and title is what makes you reach for the book and read that back cover. So while it’s obviously not the most important part of the book, the cover does have a key role to play and there’s something so impressive that these artists do to express the feel of the book in a single snapshot that I just love to look at. I only included covers of books I have actually read.

So without further ado, here are some of my favorite book covers of all time…

Three Dark Crowns


Each crown perfectly represents each of the main 3 queens which you appreciate even more after reading it.


meg steve alten

Yes, the cover is a giant shark eating a t-rex is a bit much but you have to admit that it definitely grabs your attention.



Individuals with graces have distinct eye colors. The main character’s graced skill is killing so the reflection of her eye on a dagger is smart and iconic.

My Sister’s Keeper

my sister's keeper

A beautiful story of two sisters’ dependence on each other that this cover depicts.



This is one of my favorite series of all time! This novel shows America’s reactions to the divisions which is why I love the scarred statue of liberty.

Wicked Bugs: The Louse that Conquered Napoleon’s Army and Other Diabolical Insects

wicked bugs

I love this creepy but still lovely cover.

The Murmurings

the murmurings

This horror novel grabs you with this creepy cover. The story is just as creepy!

This is How You Lose Her

this is how you lose her

This collection of stories about lost love is astonishing and I really appreciated this lego-like heart.

The Cellar

the cellar

This story is haunting and heartbreaking about a young woman who is kidnapped and locked in a man’s cellar. This cover captures the haunted aspect perfectly.

Tiger Lily

tiger lily

This novel tells the story of Peter Pan from Tiger Lily’s perspective. I love the colors and textures of the dress on the cover!

Let me know your own favorite covers! If you try any of these books, I hope you enjoy them as much as I did. Believe me, the stories are as great as the cover images ❤


Medical Student · School

Tips for MCAT Test Day

The MCAT is a beast of a test and there are so many tips and tricks to use for preparing for it. However, not a lot of people share their ‘day of’ tips. Here are some of my personal tips for what to do the day of the test based on my personal experience.


1. Try to have a relaxing night

Obviously you want a good night’s sleep but if you can’t fall asleep because of nerves, try to do something relaxing that does not include technology. Maybe read a book or journal just to keep your mind at ease and rest.

2. Get there early… duh

You will not be the only one and it will cut down some of your anxiety.

3. Stretch during breaks

You’re going to be sitting for a long time. During my breaks I did full yoga stretches and even sat down on the floor to do the butterfly – I didn’t worry about what I looked like, I just wanted to feel comfortable.

4. Pack smart

I brought plenty of snacks and a cardigan because I tend to get cold.

5. Know the rules

You need proper forms of ID. Also, some places will only let you bring in ear buds to the testing site if they are still in the package so double check this.

6. Don’t make plans

You may be mentally exhausted by the time the test is done. If you want to celebrate after, do so but don’t plan anything too strenuous otherwise you may regret it.


Mood Board Monday

Monday Mood Board 12

mood board 12.PNG
All photos from Pinterest

Ahhhhh… it is finally here – GRAD WEEK! I am officially done with all of my undergraduate classes and finals and now it’s time to relax before the big day Saturday. I started it off right last night with a cook out with friends including hot dogs, mojitos, and a game of spike ball (I had never played before and am officially obsessed).

This week, my goals are to relax and have a great time with friends – hopefully outside since the weather should be nice. We have a lot of great sand volleyball courts around campus so I’d love to get some friendly games in. I’m definitely going to take time to just chill. I just started watching The Arrangement. I’m two episodes in and hooked so I’m excited to binge watch more.

Of course, this week there are things I need to accomplish including packing, saying goodbyes, and decorating my grad cap (I’ll def share it in a later post!). But overall I’m pumped for this week.


With summer starting shortly, my weeks are going to start to blend together so this will be my last Monday mood board… at least for the summer. But I am going to do my best to post consistently every Wednesday and Saturday this summer season so stay tuned for more ❤