The Early Bird

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

“I am glad I was up so late, for that's the reason I was up so early.” 
― William ShakespeareCymbeline

If you haven't noticed by now, most of the photos that set the mood for my posts have been from my trip to Europe, or my adventures during my first year, here in Trinidad and Tobago and the quotes relate to the overall theme of the post or the photo itself in some way or another.  

If it's anything I've learned whilst traveling through Europe and now more importantly through my second year of medical school, it's this: in order to get the best seat, a good breakfast, and to enjoy the peace and serenity that comes with the wee-hours of the morning you must arise from your slumber early. Otherwise you will have to deal with the consequences such as; waiting at the back of the line for entry into museums, hustling with the rest of the population that decided to sleep in for a maxi or train, and just hurry throughout the morning, bypassing the beauty the world offers in order to arrive at your destination on time. 

William Shakespeare's quote was definitely speaking truth for me, seeing that for me staying up late in my first year was a norm. What happened on most occasions was that, if I spent the night (which usually meant) from 10 p.m.- 4 a.m. studying, I would have no excuse to not have a proper breakfast, to fit in an hour (at most) of physical activity- which equated to a run around the hospital campus and be back in time before my flatmates arose and hogged the showers and to be out the door and in class before the lecturer arrived. A week of this was draining! I'm sure you can imagine. 

As a pre-med/pre-dent/pre-vet/ student you should be realizing now throughout your undergraduate courses that the sooner you start preparing and applying for your specific entrance examinations and applying to your desired professional schools the better it is in the long run. 

Early preparation reduces the amount of stress that is associated with procrastination, it gives you ample time to review your application, personal statement and resume and to make any necessary changes well in advance. It also allows you to request the necessary documents from schools such as transcripts or status letters and  letters of recommendation from professionals you may have shadowed, organizations you may have volunteered at or hospitals in which you conducted research with and to ensure your application packet is not lacking anything as the deadline approaches. 


Getting in the habit of early preparation and going to bed a little earlier in order to begin the day, is a practice I dreaded as I read the recommendations of other medical students that blog.  However, I'm now enjoying the benefits of starting my day a few hours earlier and I encourage you to give it a try. 

Since first year, most of my classes, began at 8 a.m. which was different from what I had grown accustomed to over the past 4.5 years of working firstly as a night-shift tech, then switching to an evening shift tech. It meant that I had to utilize my time differently in order to get the maximum benefit and to adjust my sleeping pattern. 

Learning how to maximize your days is a practice you should consider adopting now rather than waiting for graduate school to start, so that as you transition into your med/dent/vet or graduate school life you would be able to quickly adjust to the demands of your course curriculum and the future demands of your profession. 

Greatist.com is one of my go to sites for fitness motivation, healthy recipes and just to get some quick educated leisure reading in. It posted a while ago, an article on how to be a morning person that I tried. Not everything you read is gospel, and not everything you read will work for you; nonetheless, some things are worth trying like their suggested "Action Plan". This allowed me to visual the things that were my priority, needing to be done now rather than later, and a task that I've now adopted. Give the article a read and let me know what you try out! 


All the best as you consider and hopefully make the necessary changes to become a morning person! Don't worry you'll still be a night owl, the medical profession especially will grant you the opportunity of being alive while others snooze so don't you fret. 




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