How to Survive Finals Week

First  time in  forever (probably since I started grade school) that I’m not preparing for an exam in December. Here are a few last minute tips to survive finals week. These have worked for me in the past and while I’m not a straight A student, I think I did okay.

Processed with VSCO with a5 preset
so studious 😉

📝 Limit or stay completely away from social media!! I used to either put my phone on DND or turn it off while studying so I’m not tempted to constantly start complaining about how much work I have 😩. We’re all guilty of this.

📝Eat & Drink! So easy to want to get through a material and forget to take care of yourself. Your health is so important. & I have to eat, otherwise I get cranky 🥴🤣

📝Double check your topics list that will be covered on the exam. If you’re aware of what’s coming on the exam, you can plan how to review your notes, what your weak areas are and how to improve them.

📝If it’s a cumulative exam, review old exam questions if you have them.

📝Triple check the time & location of your exam. Don’t want to be late or go to the wrong exam hall.

📝Ask for help. If you can arrange an effective study group, or call up a friend to explain a few things, don’t hesitate.

📝Exercise. Even if its just taking a short walk, do something to help relax your mind.

📝 Sleep! I always got atleast 5hours of sleep for every exam I ever took. I may tussle in my bed from nerves, but you won’t find me doing an all nighter. Never worked for me. (p.s the one time I got maybe 3hrs of sleep for an exam, I fell asleep while taking the exam 🤦🏾‍♀️, so it’s def not worth it)

📝Do your best. Sometimes the effort put into a coursework doesn’t always translate into an A+.

Best of luck to everyone finishing up the semester!!!

Have a tip to help someone? Share!

It Only Takes One ‘YES’

Exactly 2 years ago, I was graduating from undergrad and worrying about PA school. When I woke up that morning, I felt like sh!t because the last school who had me on a waiting list was hosting the incoming class orientation the same day I was getting my B.A. On my way to the ceremony, I got a call from the Administrator asking if I still wanted to be on the wait list. I was shocked cause I thought the class was completed. Ofcourse I accepted and she promised to get back to me later that day. I checked and rechecked my phone all day. This was worse than waiting for a reply after sending a guy a lengthy or risky message. By the end of the day no phone call came. That night, after beating myself up mentally, I opened up CASPA and started entering my data for another application cycle.

2 days later – spongebob voice

On June 1, I got another phone call. The person asked if I still wanted to join the class. I thought someone was playing a cruel joke on me. I was a few seconds from cussing someone out! After he explained that he was part of admissions committee, he asked the question again. My initial thought was to say “No”. I had chucked up the cycle as a lesson and that I’ll do better the next time around. I asked my cousin who was laying next to me, what she thought and she looked at me as if I was crazy!!

Maybe I was…

I mean who turns down what they had been praying for?? I almost did because I was scared. I was scared that just maybe, I wasn’t ready, or that if they took that long to get to me, it wasn’t meant for me yet. I know you’re probably like “girl are you mad?”. Obviously you know I ended up accepting because I’ve shared the journey over the last two years with everyone who will listen but I wanted to share that the road to your dream may not happen as you imagined it. I surely never imagined that I’d be starting PA school 2 days after the whole class started but it happened. Your journey will be different from mine, at your own allotted time stamp according to God. And when that time comes, don’t let fear or doubt win.

How to ACE that Pharmacology Exam

Hey! As promised, I am uploading my study technique that I used for my latest Pharm exam. It was a cardiology module but it can be applied to studying all Pharm modules. I hope these tips help you get the best result possible.

Organization comes first.

I am one of the most disorganized person you’ll ever meet but I try really hard to get it together for Pharm reviews. Gather your source for guidance: textbook, YouTube videos or lecture powerpoint.  My professor has comprehensive  slides that I almost never have to look at other resources for information.

Second, decide how you will study. Create flashcards, listen to audio, write or type out your notes. This is based on the type of learner you are.

If you decided on flash cards, break it up into various stacks: MOA, Indication and Adverse Effect/Contraindication/Drug Interaction. Write the MOA on one side, and the name of the drug on the other. Take another card and write out the adverse effect, contraindication and drug interaction as well. Some drugs metabolism are important, so adjust as needed. Shuffle the cards once its all completed and quiz yourself to study.

If you’re not into flash cards, that okay. Write or type it on chart form. Group the medication into Anti-hypertensives, Anti-Arrythmias, Anti-Lipidemia (I  just finished the cardio so this is just an example) and complete the chart with MOA, Indications and Adverse Effects/Contraindication/Drug Interactions.

Once you’ve gotten the basic, remember to learn by generic names. It may seem tedious but remember generic names are most common and helpful. Some common generic drugs are your ACE inhibitors ending with “pril” (Enalapril), Beta Blockers end in “olol” (Metropolol) and although not all generic has the same suffix like these example, you may meet some professors that refuse to test you on brand names. It has happen and it wasn’t nice.

(MOA and Sx written out separately. This is usually after you’ve learned the medications and reviewing your notes. Images courtesy of -GC)

Repetition is major key!

As usual, I always advice anyone that you must repeat the information multiple times and find ways to associate the medication. If you know the MOA, you can deduce what type of adverse effect are likely to occur. Think of any relatives you know that have used a medication and associate them accordingly. Create fun mnemonic to help you remember. Use all your resources wisely, Pharm may seem daunting, and there are certain classes of drugs that are “harder” than others, but it is possible to get through the class.

Good Luck!