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How Do You Stay Focused?!!?!!!

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by PreMedPrincess, May 15, 2008.

  1. PreMedPrincess

    PreMedPrincess 2+ Year Member

    Dec 3, 2006
    so ive had it with having no life and watching my friends go out and enjoy life on the weekends when i go out and call it a night around 10pm because I have to study the next morning. AGHH!!

    i feel like im doing something wrong...i dont know if im managing my time properly. help me out SDN...


    im taking the whole physics series this summer...i have no idea how im going to do that..god help me

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  3. EpiPEN

    EpiPEN Aegis of Immortality 2+ Year Member

    Mar 13, 2008
    La Jolla
    Sounds like you don't study efficiently. Undergrad pre-med is not all that bad. We all went through it. I know I wasted a lot of time being distracted but I still managed to pull my stuff together. You need to sit down and evaluate how you study. Are you a crammer type, are you a no-noise type, are you a hole yourself up in a room with no internet and throw away the key type.

    Once you learn to waste a little less time throughout the day on other distractions and study more efficiently, you will be motivated to keep going becuase of all the free time you will also free up to spend with your friends going out at night. Afterall, if you are already having a tough time just studying, how are you going to cram clinical time, research time, other EC into the pre-med schedule?

    Personally, I study late at night becuase I am the crammer type that thrive under pressure, and at night there is a constant feeling of "god the day is coming I need to get this done or else I have wasted my day." So I cram at night after a day of social events even though there's no point to cram since there is no homework/test the next day.
  4. the donkey

    the donkey 5+ Year Member

    Mar 28, 2008
    i feel ya princess. can't even begin to tell you how many friday and saturday nights i spent locked in my room studying. unless you are some ridiculous genious, the medical school path is going to require some sacrifice in the social department. that being said, however, cutting out the social life altogether will make you a crazy nutbag. i've found that taking breaks to hang out with friends helps me stay focused when im getting my *** kicked in school. take breaks daily and make some time for friends and family. just budget your time wisely and don't spend tooo much time at the bar :hardy:
  5. CashMcCallister

    CashMcCallister 2+ Year Member

    Apr 3, 2008

    Agreed. You have to make time to do other things besides study, so make sure while you are studying, it's efficient. Sometimes it's better for me NOT to study one night and do something fun. When I come back, I'm refreshed. I'm sure everyone has been through the times where you read the same paragraph in a text book nine times before realizing you still don't know what you just read. That kind of studying is as big of a waste of time as not studying at all. Go grab beer or two and pick it back up when you can focus.
  6. Insulinshock

    Insulinshock Class of 2022 7+ Year Member

    Dec 12, 2007
    If you have to give up that much of your social life because you studying you SERIOUSLY need to re-evaluate your studying habits. Sure during exam time you might have to spend some more nights in (if I have a test on Monday, my rule is I'll go out on Thursday, but then stay in Fri and Sat), but that doesn't mean your social life has to go down the drain.

    I get my fair of share of partying and what not in, my grades are 3.8+, and I'm no genius. Learn to study more efficiently, and go out and get drunk. You're only young once.

    **You might want to try studying a little bit everyday (if you dont already), say, like, forty-five minutes for each class or whatever you may need. My general strategy is to master the concepts I'm learning when we go over them in lecture so that come test time 70% of it is review.**
  7. Insulinshock

    Insulinshock Class of 2022 7+ Year Member

    Dec 12, 2007
    Good point also!
  8. DocSoMa

    DocSoMa 2+ Year Member

    Apr 6, 2008
    Uhhh, first of all, breathe deep, cleansing breaths. RELAX. We've all been through what you're going through right now. You need to get some perspective and realize why you're pre-med in the first place.

    Yes, most of us are sado-masochists that are willing to study endless hours to reach that final goal of M.D. You need to remind yourself of why you're pursuing medicine, and then look at your friends and their life goals. They're probably different from yours, however, some of them might share the same goals. Focus on yourself. This is YOUR life, not the life of your friends.

    You need to lead a well-balanced life. Pre-med = hardcore studying, but it shouldn't consume your daily life. Go to class, exercise, hang out with friends, go out, then get your *** in gear and study. You'll actually find that you're more productive and efficient at studying once you've struck a balance to your day.

    There is no magic formula to play for "X amount of hours" and study "Y amount of hours" per day. Study when you feel energized and motivated, and you will get the most out of it. If you're feeling lazy and without motivation, take a break, then get back on track.

    No one said it was easy. Maybe you need to get the whole craving for a "social life" out of your system. Go to some parties, or a movie, or whatever. Have a few laughs, talk some non-intellectual s*** with people, then get back to your work. I really regret being one of those lame-*** pre-meds throughout most of college, locking myself in my dorm room and trying to block everyone/thing out so I could study indefinitely. It ended up doing more harm than good.
  9. SB100

    SB100 7+ Year Member

    Mar 22, 2007
    Cambridge, MA
    Just think to yourself the "revenge" you'll get later in life when they are all living in cardboard boxes and you buy a million dollar home :p
  10. LUCPM

    LUCPM 10+ Year Member

    Jan 27, 2007
    Everybody studies differently, some need to spend more hours to learn something while some are good at cramming.

    I've tried both and both seem to work. However, downside for cramming is you will also forget very quickly.

    My two cents is don't try to compare yourself to others. Just stay focused on learning the material and get good grades without driving yourself crazy. I also found exercise was a good way to boost my stamina.

    Good luck.
  11. Isoprop

    Isoprop Fascinating, tell me more 5+ Year Member

    Oct 15, 2007
    honestly, it sounds like OP is biting off more than she can chew. OP, why are you taking the whole physics series over the summer? is this necessary?

    you sound like a type A premed thinking you can take on everything on your own. relax, get some help, & strengthen your support network. take things slowly and build your better skills gradually. there's no overnight changes.
  12. PreMedPrincess

    PreMedPrincess 2+ Year Member

    Dec 3, 2006
    I didn't think taking physics during the summer would be that big of a deal.

    I party...actually, I used to party alot more freshman and sophmore yr...i just miss it.

    maybe my study techniques are off. Here is what I do:

    Im taking 4 classes...usually go to lecture and make sure I read the assigned chapter and do assigned hw. Then before tests I review. I have good grades but it seems like ALOT of time is going into school and little for me. Along with school I volunteer about 10 hrs a week. I just want to be as efficient as possible...

    maybe its my organization..hmhm...i dont' know!!!

    can some of you describe a school/work week and how you alot your time?

  13. RySerr21

    RySerr21 i aint kinda hot Im sauna 7+ Year Member

    Dec 22, 2007
    i did that last year. May 24th through August 17th. my memory is pretty sh*tty when it comes to dates and insignificant stuff like that...but those dates will forever be etched into my memory.




    when it is feels amazing though.

    enjoy :):)
  14. Ella Shepherd

    Ella Shepherd Screen. Stage. Studio. 2+ Year Member

    Nov 4, 2007
    Basically I just remind myself again and again why I'm doing all these things. I really really want to be a doctor so even if things get really tiring and frustrating I learn to love what I do and just keep going.

    I also don't spend all my time doing pre-med stuff. During the academic year, I reserve at least just a couple of hours in one day of the week to do something aside from studying or preparing for med school that I really love to do (I take dance classes and just dance!). Dancing for an hour or two doesn't seem that much but it does a lot to keep my spirits up and actually let me stay focused.

    Talking with my family and friends whenever I can and giving time to pray to God and just strengthen my spirituality also help a lot.

    Another thing I do is to remind myself that after all this hard work, it'll pay off in the end and I'll be better off than most other people. Don't overpressure yourself. Organize your time as well as you can. You'll be surprised (or at least happier about) how much free time (and fun time) you can get if you do. :)

    Good luck! :D
  15. 186321


    Jan 29, 2008
    There is no reason to not be able to go out at least Thursday, Friday, Saturday. Occasionally staying in on those nights if you have an exam on Monday/Friday. As previous posters mentioned, change your study habits.

    Lastly, for the love of god remember that college is supposed to be the best time of your life. Don't skip going out any more (unless its not your thing). You can't ever go back to college and have the same fun you can have now.
  16. LikeClockWork

    LikeClockWork Guest

    Jul 23, 2007
    The best motivation is last-minute panic.

    Just sayin'...
  17. patrickd223

    patrickd223 5+ Year Member

    Nov 25, 2006
    Hey studying can be fun. :thumbup:

    How do you make a hormone?

    Don't pay her
  18. CrouchingTiger

    CrouchingTiger 2+ Year Member

    Jan 3, 2007
    I don't agree that changing the OP's studying habits may be the problem. Some people need a lot of time to study. I could get by on two days of studying for a lecture exam, but my friend needs a week for that same test. If your study habits are getting you good grades, you're probably just fine in that aspect. It seems to me that if you don't have motivation in the first place, it doesn't matter how much time you spend studying... you just won't have the motivation, period.

    Take a year off and work a full time job, one that allows you to have weekends off to do whatever you want. That should give you the motivation you're missing. I'm currently working a full time 9-5 job in a non-medical field that I thought I'd be interested in, even though I graduated with a science major, and let me just say it increased my desire two-fold to go into medicine. Heck, just take a semester off to intern somewhere... you don't even have to take a year off. If it doesn't give you motivation... then MAYBE, just maybe, you're doing yourself a disfavor by staying in this field.
  19. The Doctor

    The Doctor EMH Mark I 10+ Year Member

    Mar 21, 2007
    OP, the material only gets harder and more voluminous from here on out - so it would probably help to take steps now to find a routine that works for you. Having something to do besides studying each day is invaluable, whether it's working out, watching TV, partying, whatever you like to do. Make time for it, but also have your set hours when you study and do nothing else. Part of being pre-med and a med student is learning what is important, what's not, and what you personally have to do to succeed. In most classes you don't need to spend hours reading the textbook, you don't have to work all the problems, sometimes you don't even have to go to class - you just have to figure out what's going to be on the test and be ready for it. Finally, stay positive, you CAN make it through.
  20. anomalous738232

    anomalous738232 2+ Year Member

    Nov 12, 2007
    go out and do something fun. i tend to work more efficiently when i'm restricted on time... example: going out friday, being a complete vegetable on saturday = extremely productive sunday

    and times like this (burnt-out from the school year), i have to lock myself in a study room with book, highlighter, and pen. SDN breaks every 2 hrs =]
  21. mdgator

    mdgator 2+ Year Member

    Jan 25, 2008
    My general rule, even while taking difficult courseloads and working, has always been to give myself a full day off on the weekends. I usually studied pretty hardcore Monday through Thursday. I made myself get up relatively early to hit the books, I took time to go to the gym and get in a tennis match here and there, with a few other occasional social events during the week, but I studied hard. Then, I'd take Friday night off to stay out as late as I wanted, then I took all day Saturday too, so it didn't matter. Then I'd hit the books pretty hard Sunday to review all the week's material and catch-up on anything I might be behind in. I occasionally made sacrifices from my weekend time before an intense test week, but as often as possible I took Saturday off. I may have to alter this approach when med school starts, but I know that I'll go crazy if I don't find some free time all along. I study much more efficiently if my mind is fresh.

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