Also called–How not to get a DVT during Step studying…
I’m only half-joking with the title, but having spent nearly 12 weeks studying for Step, I wanted to take a second to write about staying sane and healthy during the process. I’ve noticed how easy it is to find yourself at the library, and all of a sudden, the day is over, and you find yourself completely disoriented to person, place, or time. We’re given so many resources and tips for what resources to use, how many flashcards should be used each day, rapid review tips, high yield. But one thing we don’t talk about is the wellness of studying for a high-stakes exam. So a few pieces of knowledge I’ve picked up along the way…
- Have a routine. Seriously. With no required classwork, it’s easy to sleep in, start your day late, and then not finish studying until a late hour. Set your alarm, identify how many hours you’re going to devote to questions, content, and to other resources. Be strict with this.
- Set a goal at the beginning of every day. Make it realistic, and make it specific. Rather than say “I’m going to learn pulmonology,” say that “I’m going to be able to explain the differences between the different types of restrictive and obstructive lung disorders,” you’ll be able to assess whether or not you’ve learned.
- Have a hard stop time. For me, it’s 6 pm, every day. Just enough time to go to the gym. Having this time forces me to be efficient while I am studying, so I don’t get (too) distracted on Facebook or other websites.
- Keep your hobbies. If you workout, don’t stop. If you like cooking, don’t stop cooking. If you give these up, it’s easy to become even more frustrated with studying.
- Take days off. If you’re not feeling productive, take some time away from studying. It’s easy to keep pushing through with the material. But you won’t be as productive as if you are able to focus.
What other pieces of advice do others have?