surfguy84

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I'm 7ish weeks into school and haven't opened First Aid yet. I'm mainly learning what we're covering very well, and scoring highly on the tests.

I use a lot of Anki cards, but am unsure what (if any of this) will be high yield. I'd like to tag Anki cards for Step 1 studying IF any of these cards will be worthwhile...but I'm jus not sure.

I'm pretty much committed to doing nothing but studying and having zero life for the next 2 years (I'm okay with that). With that in mind, what would you recommend for someone who wants to spend all their time learning current materials and preparing for boards?
 

Mad Jack

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Firecracker or Anki to keep the material in your head. Don't go overboard with anything else, it's really too early for serious board prep.
 
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surfguy84

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Thanks for the tip @Mad Jack. So essentially, just keep doing my Anki cards so I don't forget things? How high-yield is some of the stuff the average M1 is doing? Does Step 1 ask direct questions about biochem pathways, random anatomy, etc?
 

Mad Jack

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Thanks for the tip @Mad Jack. So essentially, just keep doing my Anki cards so I don't forget things? How high-yield is some of the stuff the average M1 is doing? Does Step 1 ask direct questions about biochem pathways, random anatomy, etc?
Anatomy is a very small component of the boards. There will be certain biochemical pathways tested, but you're better off re-learning them in year two in the context of pathology, as that is how they typically come up on the boards.
 

MrChance2

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I suppose it depends on the school some but doing well in your classes should be most of what you need for M1. I think FA has pretty good biochem, immuno, and micro sections in terms of what is relevant (and likely what is on your tests too). I wasn't top of my class but I'm not sure any dedicated board prep is useful M1 year other than picking the important stuff out of your lectures and making sure to know that really well.
 

scoKraz4

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In my opinion it is good to use FA to get acquainted with the book but I always found learning right from the text book was the best. The most important thing about first year is establishing a foundation and your textbooks can do that if you put the time in. Worked amazing for me.
 

Goro

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1) Do well in your classes, because THAT is preparing for Boards!
2) Quit F**ing worrying about Boards



I'm 7ish weeks into school and haven't opened First Aid yet. I'm mainly learning what we're covering very well, and scoring highly on the tests.

I use a lot of Anki cards, but am unsure what (if any of this) will be high yield. I'd like to tag Anki cards for Step 1 studying IF any of these cards will be worthwhile...but I'm jus not sure.

I'm pretty much committed to doing nothing but studying and having zero life for the next 2 years (I'm okay with that). With that in mind, what would you recommend for someone who wants to spend all their time learning current materials and preparing for boards?
 

DocWinter

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You have no business thinking about boards in 1st semester. If you are super ambitious, look through 1st aid next semester as you start blocks, but keep it as a reference, not a study tool. It is NOT a study tool; it is a review book and is best used once you have learned a subject and go back to nail it into your head later on.

Your best time spent is getting to the top 20% of your class by learning the material incredibly well so next year it won't be so bad when you actually do need to board study.
 
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Ibn Alnafis MD

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Don't listen to all those who are telling you to focus on school and to not worry about the boards. I did that and I regret it now. I should have minimized my reliance on school material, just enough to pass, and focused most of my energy on learning from board prep sources. There's tons of information that you need to know to do well on the boards, and waiting until the last minute to relearn the stuff and cram everything will do you a big disservice.

Start early (aka following along using FA, Pathoma and FC).
 

Launcelot

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Don't listen to all those who are telling you to focus on school and to not worry about the boards. I did that and I regret it now. I should have minimized my reliance on school material, just enough to pass, and focused most of my energy on learning from board prep sources. There's tons of information that you need to know to do well on the boards, and waiting until the last minute to relearn the stuff and cram everything will do you a big disservice.

Start early (aka following along using FA, Pathoma and FC).
I have to wonder when I see threads like this if studying materials for class is really all that different from the materials presented on Step 1 COMLEX or USMLE. I mean, how different can the answers be if you know glycogen storage diseases cold for class and it shows up for boards? There's only so many ways you can correctly explain purine/pyrimidine synthesis, right? These correct explanations must surely be taken as a universal truth no matter where you apply it. Or am I being too optimistic about this med school thing?
 
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Ibn Alnafis MD

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I have to wonder when I see threads like this if studying materials for class is really all that different from the materials presented on Step 1 COMLEX or USMLE. I mean, how different can the answers be if you know glycogen storage diseases cold for class and it shows up for boards? There's only so many ways you can correctly explain purine/pyrimidine synthesis, right? These correct explanations must surely be taken as a universal truth no matter where you apply it. Or am I being too optimistic about this med school thing?
Lately, I have been trying to compare the material taught in class to the material presented in FA and Pathoma. I've found that there's a lot topics we cover in class that are not covered on board prep material and vice versa.

One person at my school was among the top 10 in a class of 220ish students. His USMLE score was in the 230s. There were several other students who ranked lower than him in class, yet they did much better than him on the boards mainly because crushing the boards was their main focus during the preclinical years.

There's a correlation between doing good in class and doing well on the boards, I don't deny it. However, I don't support advising students to stop worrying about boards and wait until half way thru Spring of their second year.
 

DocWinter

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Lately, I have been trying to compare the material taught in class to the material presented in FA and Pathoma. I've found that there's a lot topics we cover in class that are not covered on board prep material and vice versa.

One person at my school was among the top 10 in a class of 220ish students. His USMLE score was in the 230s. There were several other students who ranked lower than him in class, yet they did much better than him on the boards mainly because crushing the boards was their main focus during the preclinical years.

There's a correlation between doing good in class and doing well on the boards, I don't deny it. However, I don't support advising students to stop worrying about boards and wait until half way thru Spring of their second year.
I'll agree that boards trump scores 100% -but we're talking about a1st semester med student who has about 2 months under his belt; not someone in January of 2nd year.
Also, your highly ranked student scoring 230s story has many variables and you bring up only one.
I feel OP, that you are best served getting thru 2 1st semester and doing well to get a gauge of yourself and avoid early burnout.
 

PlasticBag

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Don't listen to all those who are telling you to focus on school and to not worry about the boards. I did that and I regret it now. I should have minimized my reliance on school material, just enough to pass, and focused most of my energy on learning from board prep sources. There's tons of information that you need to know to do well on the boards, and waiting until the last minute to relearn the stuff and cram everything will do you a big disservice.

Start early (aka following along using FA, Pathoma and FC).
Is BRS a good board resource for early board prep? I like it for anatomy exams
 

Drrrrrr. Celty

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Lately, I have been trying to compare the material taught in class to the material presented in FA and Pathoma. I've found that there's a lot topics we cover in class that are not covered on board prep material and vice versa.

One person at my school was among the top 10 in a class of 220ish students. His USMLE score was in the 230s. There were several other students who ranked lower than him in class, yet they did much better than him on the boards mainly because crushing the boards was their main focus during the preclinical years.

There's a correlation between doing good in class and doing well on the boards, I don't deny it. However, I don't support advising students to stop worrying about boards and wait until half way thru Spring of their second year.
Edit: looked it up.
 
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Ibn Alnafis MD

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Is BRS a good board resource for early board prep? I like it for anatomy exams
from talking to friends who took the boards, anatomy is a low yield topic, and studying for it is a big investment for a little return. Therefore, no one recommends that I study for it. Also, those who did well on the boards repeat the SDN mantra of sticking to UFAP (UW, FA, and Pathoma). I'd maybe add another Qbank to that.

That's my opinion as a second year student who hasn't taken the boards, so take it with a grain of salt.
 

Ibn Alnafis MD

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I'll agree that boards trump scores 100% -but we're talking about a1st semester med student who has about 2 months under his belt; not someone in January of 2nd year.
Also, your highly ranked student scoring 230s story has many variables and you bring up only one.
I feel OP, that you are best served getting thru 2 1st semester and doing well to get a gauge of yourself and avoid early burnout.
Ok, maybe not start during first semester, but definitely not wait until the second half of second year.

I hate to say this, but the average DO student is a worse test taker than the average MD one. That's one of the reasons why DO schools in general have lower MCAT averages than MD schools. The average USMLE score at DO schools is less than it is at USMD schools, and that's also factoring in the fact that nearly half of the students (arguably the less prepared half) opt out of taking the USMLE. Therefore, the average DO student needs to put a lot more work to score above average on the boards than his/her MD counterpart.
 
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Shov

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There's some dubious advice on here. Don't be a chump and try and prep for boards in 1st year...or second year. Sure, there are success stories from people doing all manner of goofy stunts on here, but almost the unequivocally best thing you can do is have a solid foundation set when you hit your "dedicated" study period. Trying to memorize and keep up with all that p!ssy detail is ridiculous, that's what dedicated is for. Really learn and understand 2nd years material and don't stress too much - burn out is real.
 
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yanks26dmb

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I'm so sick of hearing about burn out. It's really not that difficult to work 70 hours a week doing difficult stuff for 19ish months. Millions of working individuals do this for years on end....think biglaw attorneys, ibankers, entrepreneurs, etc.

The difficulty/stress in the first two years of medical school isn't any more than what those in the above mentioned fields experience. Why do people harp on burn out? Are med students really this mentally weak that they can't handle non-stop work/study for a couple of years? I dont get it....

If you want to talk about dubious advice, I'd nominate the tid bit about waiting until 2nd year is over to begin studying for boards...
 
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TwinsFan

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I'm so sick of hearing about burn out. It's really not that difficult to work 70 hours a week doing difficult stuff for 19ish months. Millions of working individuals do this for years on end....think biglaw attorneys, ibankers, entrepreneurs, etc.

The difficulty/stress in the first two years of medical school isn't any more than what those in the above mentioned fields experience. Why do people harp on burn out? Are med students really this mentally weak that they can't handle non-stop work/study for a couple of years? I dont get it....

If you want to talk about dubious advice, I'd nominate the tid bit about waiting until 2nd year is over to begin studying for boards...
Part of it is people who haven't been out in the real world. And for those of us who have, memorizing lists of factoids for hours on end can get pretty old. It can be one dimensional and draining, and most of it isn't very intellectually stimulating or complex in any way. For a natural problem solver it may feel like severe boredom (endless memorizing) with a few cool things mixed in (cases, pt encounters, tech, research etc.) ...
 
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kbeitz

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I'm so sick of hearing about burn out. It's really not that difficult to work 70 hours a week doing difficult stuff for 19ish months. Millions of working individuals do this for years on end....think biglaw attorneys, ibankers, entrepreneurs, etc.

The difficulty/stress in the first two years of medical school isn't any more than what those in the above mentioned fields experience. Why do people harp on burn out? Are med students really this mentally weak that they can't handle non-stop work/study for a couple of years? I dont get it....

If you want to talk about dubious advice, I'd nominate the tid bit about waiting until 2nd year is over to begin studying for boards...
Two months ago you didn't know if you were going to hang in there.

Sent from my XT1092 using Tapatalk
 

Drrrrrr. Celty

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I'm so sick of hearing about burn out. It's really not that difficult to work 70 hours a week doing difficult stuff for 19ish months. Millions of working individuals do this for years on end....think biglaw attorneys, ibankers, entrepreneurs, etc.

The difficulty/stress in the first two years of medical school isn't any more than what those in the above mentioned fields experience. Why do people harp on burn out? Are med students really this mentally weak that they can't handle non-stop work/study for a couple of years? I dont get it....

If you want to talk about dubious advice, I'd nominate the tid bit about waiting until 2nd year is over to begin studying for boards...
Two months ago you didn't know if you were going to hang in there.

Sent from my XT1092 using Tapatalk

Honestly, Yanks, you've legitimately become more pompous than I can handle atm. Not everyone is like you, albeit with your sense of constitution chances are you're not much higher on any hierarchy than you're giving yourself credit for except for ego. People get burnt out and people deal with a myriad of things when they're in medical school, that's life. You want to pretend you're impervious to dealing with stress? That's alright too. But we're all human and we all have different ways of getting there, some will struggle and others will glide by, humble yourself to a bit of perspective.

And for goodness sakes, if I open FA or Pathoma before the first year summer, please shoot me with an anti-aircraft round because frankly, I have classes, a netflix account, and boyfriend who's also part cat to attend to as priorities.
 

Launcelot

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I'm so sick of hearing about burn out. It's really not that difficult to work 70 hours a week doing difficult stuff for 19ish months. Millions of working individuals do this for years on end....think biglaw attorneys, ibankers, entrepreneurs, etc.

The difficulty/stress in the first two years of medical school isn't any more than what those in the above mentioned fields experience. Why do people harp on burn out? Are med students really this mentally weak that they can't handle non-stop work/study for a couple of years? I dont get it....
I'll bet this is the same attitude that people have before they are surprised by burnout themselves. :thinking:
 

Drrrrrr. Celty

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I'll bet this is the same attitude that people have before they are surprised by burnout themselves. :thinking:
I think part of my mental health is recognizing that I am privileged to be in a position I am right now. I don't have kids or severe stressors that many other people in class have. I just eat, ****, watch t.v, and study. Compared to many others in my class, I am doing med school very light and I also recognize that because of that they have every right to feel burn out and complain. And even those who aren't carrying that weight, I shouldn't judge them because they aren't me. They might not have the background and support that I do, or etc. I find myself loved and supported and I know that's what keeps me strong and going through out all of this. I think people need to recognize that before they start bagging on some kid they don't know who's burnt out about how weak they are mentally.
 

DocWinter

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Two months ago you didn't know if you were going to hang in there.

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I was just thinking the same thing.
It's really annoying when people who don't yet know jack squat about a topic freely offer advice and criticise those who are ahead of them in the process.
Yanks, you're embarrassing yourself.
 

yanks26dmb

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I was just thinking the same thing.
It's really annoying when people who don't yet know jack squat about a topic freely offer advice and criticise those who are ahead of them in the process.
Yanks, you're embarrassing yourself.
I don't need to be an m2 to know a thing or two about burn out.

I don't mean to be pompous...but cmon...if you can't handle a couple years of hard, some may say "boring" work, I think you need to toughen up a little bit. That said, I wasn't calling anyone in here mentally weak.

This has nothing to do with smarts etc...it's just determination.
 

yanks26dmb

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Honestly, Yanks, you've legitimately become more pompous than I can handle atm. Not everyone is like you, albeit with your sense of constitution chances are you're not much higher on any hierarchy than you're giving yourself credit for except for ego. People get burnt out and people deal with a myriad of things when they're in medical school, that's life. You want to pretend you're impervious to dealing with stress? That's alright too. But we're all human and we all have different ways of getting there, some will struggle and others will glide by, humble yourself to a bit of perspective.

And for goodness sakes, if I open FA or Pathoma before the first year summer, please shoot me with an anti-aircraft round because frankly, I have classes, a netflix account, and boyfriend who's also part cat to attend to as priorities.
Stress I am not impervious to....see my first week of school.

But losing determination and or focus because something is hard, monotonous or boring? No that's not a problem I have ....and I think it's a problem everyone could avoid if they put their mind to it.
 

Drrrrrr. Celty

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I don't need to be an m2 to know a thing or two about burn out.

I don't mean to be pompous...but cmon...if you can't handle a couple years of hard, some may say "boring" work, I think you need to toughen up a little bit. That said, I wasn't calling anyone in here mentally weak.

This has nothing to do with smarts etc...it's just determination.
As I said before, there are plenty of people who are smarter than both of us combined and at the bottom of their med school classes. I mean, I'm not the type to get defeated, but other people simply let a single poor quiz grade set them up for doubt and etc.

Stress I am not impervious to....see my first week of school.

But losing determination and or focus because something is hard, monotonous or boring? No that's not a problem I have ....and I think it's a problem everyone could avoid if they put their mind to it.
Again, you're perspective is not applicable to everyone. Sometimes it's a battle of dealing with self doubt and anxiety, some people go through hell in medical school just to stay in. Where as I find the material in medical school doable with hard work, other people put in the time and effort and feel like they get little out of it and are constantly flirting with defeat.
 
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Launcelot

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I think part of my mental health is recognizing that I am privileged to be in a position I am right now. I don't have kids or severe stressors that many other people in class have. I just eat, ****, watch t.v, and study. Compared to many others in my class, I am doing med school very light and I also recognize that because of that they have every right to feel burn out and complain. And even those who aren't carrying that weight, I shouldn't judge them because they aren't me. They might not have the background and support that I do, or etc. I find myself loved and supported and I know that's what keeps me strong and going through out all of this. I think people need to recognize that before they start bagging on some kid they don't know who's burnt out about how weak they are mentally.
I don't need to be an m2 to know a thing or two about burn out.

I don't mean to be pompous...but cmon...if you can't handle a couple years of hard, some may say "boring" work, I think you need to toughen up a little bit. That said, I wasn't calling anyone in here mentally weak.

This has nothing to do with smarts etc...it's just determination.
There's still so many of our colleagues holding out with some macho, old school way of thinking. I think part of that comes with the rigidness and entitlement that grows in some people while we grind for 4 years.

The journey and struggle to get from here as a medical student to actually practicing medicine in a personally sustainable way is far too complex to sum up with just determination. And by personally sustainable, I mean not dropping out of practice within decade of finishing school or even killing yourself because you hate your job and your work-life balance.
 
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Drrrrrr. Celty

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There's still so many of our colleagues holding out with some macho, old school way of thinking. I think part of that comes with the rigidness and entitlement that grows in some people while we grind for 4 years.

The journey and struggle to get from here as a medical student to actually practicing medicine in a personally sustainable way is far too complex to sum up with just determination. And by personally sustainable, I mean not dropping out of practice within decade of finishing school or even killing yourself because you hate your job and your work-life balance.
As with most things regarding life, it's not simple enough to say, work harder and it'll work out.
 

yanks26dmb

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There's still so many of our colleagues holding out with some macho, old school way of thinking. I think part of that comes with the rigidness and entitlement that grows in some people while we grind for 4 years.

The journey and struggle to get from here as a medical student to actually practicing medicine in a personally sustainable way is far too complex to sum up with just determination. And by personally sustainable, I mean not dropping out of practice within decade of finishing school or even killing yourself because you hate your job and your work-life balance.
yeah, i certainly dont claim to have all the answers..nor do I mean to come across as pompous...I apologize if that's how it seems. I guess my point is, putting in the time shouldn't be something that kills anyone. Now, whether you get good/bad/indifferent grades based on that time....I'm sure a lot of factors play a role. But at this stage in our careers, we should be able to put in a solid 50-60 hour work week and be able to handle it. My feeling is, if more students did this, their grades would be better. But again, this is just my humble opinion based on the interactions with my classmates in my 2 months of school.
 

user3

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Lately, I have been trying to compare the material taught in class to the material presented in FA and Pathoma. I've found that there's a lot topics we cover in class that are not covered on board prep material and vice versa.

One person at my school was among the top 10 in a class of 220ish students. His USMLE score was in the 230s. There were several other students who ranked lower than him in class, yet they did much better than him on the boards mainly because crushing the boards was their main focus during the preclinical years.

There's a correlation between doing good in class and doing well on the boards, I don't deny it. However, I don't support advising students to stop worrying about boards and wait until half way thru Spring of their second year.
I don't know about you, but I will be jumping up and down if I score in the 230's...
 
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kenjixshadow

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I don't know about you, but I will be jumping up and down if I score in the 230's...
Same here. SDNers make you feel like that you need to score 250+ in order to match in anything besides primary care -- unless they are gunning for ortho or derm, then they are in their own hell.
 

ortnakas

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Anxiety is a real thing.
Outside stresses are a real thing.
Burnout is a real thing.
The need for work-life balance is a real thing.

@yanks26dmb, I'm glad you're doing well so far, but remember how you were worried before? You're lucky because you got those feelings out of the way early, but everybody struggles sometime. You also are only a few months in-- burnout hasn't had a chance to hit yet. I hope you continue to be as successful as you have been, but please don't judge others who are also working hard but end up struggling at a different time than you did, or who just haven't found their groove yet.
 

Ibn Alnafis MD

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I don't know about you, but I will be jumping up and down if I score in the 230's...
That wasn't the point. I was pointing out that focusing on doing well in school and make it a priority, like everyone seems to stress here, may not be the best approach for those who are aiming to score above average on the boards.

For me, I'm not shooting for anything "competitive", so like you, a score around the national average would make me happy.
 

Bea5T

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Most MD students seem to do fine on the Boards by doing UFAP 2nd year. Average was what? 230?
 

yanks26dmb

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Anxiety is a real thing.
Outside stresses are a real thing.
Burnout is a real thing.
The need for work-life balance is a real thing.

@yanks26dmb, I'm glad you're doing well so far, but remember how you were worried before? You're lucky because you got those feelings out of the way early, but everybody struggles sometime. You also are only a few months in-- burnout hasn't had a chance to hit yet. I hope you continue to be as successful as you have been, but please don't judge others who are also working hard but end up struggling at a different time than you did, or who just haven't found their groove yet.

I'm definitely not judging others who are also working hard and end up struggling. I'm simply saying we should be able to push ourselves harder...now, the results of that hard work are totally variable and I would never judge someone who worked their ass off and couldn't do well...hell, this could be me a month from now. I'm simply saying hard work isn't going to kill anyone, and a little mental toughness to dig and and log the hours might do a lot of people good.

I guess you don't know what's going to burn you out until you really step up and put in the time...so why not push yourself to the limit and see what you're made of?

Again, I'm not judging anyone, and I apologize if it came off that way.