It is so easy in a time such as this to feel like doing nothing – sitting back, relaxing and making the most of having to remain indoors for the foreseeable future.
For healthcare professionals this is not the case – and while you are not there yet, remember that one day that will be you, if you continue to work hard and stay motivated (even when it seems impossible). As aspiring medical students, it is important to always remember your goals and work for this every day.
I have pooled together some ideas and tips that I have for ensuring you stay motivated with regards to your studies and extracurricular that will see you gain the place at medical school you deserve.
#1 – Make small goals you want to achieve each day during lockdown.
This could be as simple as ranking the medical schools you like, to revising a specific theme for your exams (even if they aren’t to be taking place).
Although some exams have been cancelled, as aspiring medical students it is important to remain on top with your education – having the basic knowledge on a topic can take you a long way, and this time in lockdown is perfect for grasping those topics you may have once found difficult.
#2 – Make time for self-care
One of the biggest problems with medics and future medics alike is burnout – us Type A personalities cannot stop working and when we do our mind will still be on work to some degree.
It is super important to step away from the business of life for an hour and think about only yourself. Some ideas may include…
Binge-watching Grey’s Anatomy (still medical of course).
Reading books you have been meaning to but haven’t had the time for.
Playing with pets.
#3 – Take up a new hobby
Obviously, this can be limited with a lockdown in place but there are plenty of new skills you can learn from the comfort of your home that will boost your medical school application:
British Sign Language.
Cross stitching – think of the dexterity skills you will gain.
#4 – Volunteer where you can
I understand that volunteering is somewhat strange at the moment, as usual places are not taking on as they were before lockdown.
But that being said, there are many hospitals and local communities that are crying out for volunteers during this time of crisis.
This will not only look amazing on your medical school application, but it will also remind you why you are working so hard to get to where you want to be.
Being on the front line can remind you of the reasons to stay motivated and give you insight into what your future career may look like.
#5 – Remember your medical school application
Although the world is in a frenzy at the moment and so many things are uncertain, one thing that is certain is you will get that place at medical school if you work hard and stay on track.
Remembering why you have been working hard this academic year, will really help you in seeing the need to continue with this dedication – while lockdown is not the best, it is an ideal place to get to grips with your personal statement to ensure it is the best it can be!
Make some time each day or a few times a week to go through what you want to include, why you want to include it and what you learned from your experiences.
Look at some examples of personal statements that have been successful.
Make more than one draft.
Get your parents, friends, extended family, teachers, etc to read and re-read – email is a great tool in this time and people will enjoy having something different to do for an hour or so.
#6 – Join the ‘Instagram medic family’
The online community of doctors, medical students and aspiring medics is a great place to head to when feeling low on motivation.
Everyone has their own tips and tricks to staying focussed, and you can learn a lot from other people with regards to your application.
Make friends, get chatting and see how powerful social media can be for doing good.
This isn’t an extensive list of ways to remain motivated during the pandemic, but it is certainly a starting point of ideas that may make you think differently about being in lockdown.
Remember to stay safe, look after yourself and wash those hands!
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