Thursday, 26 April 2012

Ouch... and breathe.

Wow, you could even smell the despair in that last post on Sunday, couldn't you? Apologies for that. I have picked myself up a bit since then.

I've been doing considerably better mentally, partly from attending revision lectures in which I actually understood what was going on (very reassuring) and even did ok in the questions they asked in the lectures, so all cannot be lost. I think the biggest difference by far was made by hearing how lots of other students are feeling as horrendous as I was. I'm not in this alone - that makes everything a lot better.
And if we are all filled with dread and terror and fear, that must be ok because we can't all fail, right? At least, none of my friends failed in January and they seemed about as nervous then as I was.
I've also done some bits of practising skills, and although I'm fully aware I need to be working on confidence, it's good to feel like I'm making a start at getting there. I just hope others are as intent on group practising as I am, I think that's the key.

Also spending time with other people helps, I think it leaves me alone with my thoughts less, which means less despair. Much of this week I've been hanging around with friends between lectures, and half of that has been spent working or practising or discussing revision but that's ok, because it's still with other people who have the same problems I do. Maybe not quite the same extent of procrastination, but definitely some.

Another helpful thing was making a tally chart spreadsheet thingy on Excel to mark of what work I've done, how I've done it (podcasts, books, questions etc), what areas I've worked on, which has the two benefits of being able to see how much I've done and feel good about it, and also to see which areas I need to do more work on. So today I have mostly focused on Infectious Diseases and that row in the chart will soon become nice and colourful. As will my infection knowledge, hopefully.

I decided on Monday that I needed to make an effort to do things to preserve sanity - exams and exam thoughts cannot take up all my brain time. So Monday I went for a bit of a run on the way to and from the supermarket, which felt really good (very much a bit of a run, not a proper run - I'm using the first week of CouchTo5K to help, but I only do it occasionally so haven't got past the first week!), watched an episode of Glee which is awesome. Yesterday I realised late that I hadn't done anything to maintain sanity, so we listened to the News Quiz in bed - I am a massive Radio 4 comedy fan. And today a friend came round which was really lovely; we ate together, and I worked while she and other half watched a film, then we all had ice cream, and we watched some exam revision videos together (she's a medic in the year below, so it;s useful for her too) so it was sociable and work at the same time. It gives me more incentive to get the work done if there's fun stuff to do and people to chat to one I've done it :)
 So I'm planning to do something vaguely sanity-maintaining each day. I hope that will prevent me going as up the wall with despair as I did on Sunday.

I should note, just because I'm doing better in myself, doesn't necessarily mean I'm doing more work. It doesn't seem to be that simple, unfortunately. Today has been pretty good though.

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