Part One Med School: The Year Everything Begins

Dear Junior Colleagues/ Freshmen, welcome to The MediVoice Blog🤩.

And welcome to Med School Lifestyle- your trusted companion for all the gists, tales, maybe woes😬, but definitely the shenanigans🤪 of life as a medical student in an average University in Nigeria.

-Okhesomi E. (Editor-in-Chief, MediVoice Ifumsa OAU)

“Dear freshmen, try to enjoy your part one …”

I heard this statement so much in different forms during my first month in school.

Everyone says that your freshman year is the easiest year on campus but honestly, easy is relative.

Now, as an undergraduate, you would look back to JSS1 work and smile. At this stage, it is easy to call JSS1 work easy but you were definitely not smiling at the work at that stage. So it makes more sense when someone who has passed the stage says it is the easiest year on campus. Although it doesn’t mean you will be smiling all through.

Medical school is in stages and part one is the beginning of it all. The beginning of the long years in medical school. Getting a chance to study medicine in OAU is like a miracle for many people so the excitement and energy that comes with resumption is often palpable. We can all relate to that.

Beyond the excitement of resumption, reality will soon begin to set in with CHM department that has dropped their semester-long calendar. They are the most serious department you will experience in year one, so you had better take their words seriously.

Slowly, you realise that the journey to MbChB has started with CHM classes. You think about the whole admission process, the hurdles and struggles, everyone who helped you during the process, then realize that your medicine is not just for you. So you prepare your mind to be the best graduating student in your set.

It’s fine honestly, but don’t forget to also enjoy your part one while chasing BGS or 5.0 CGPA. Enjoying it means that you should try to find balance between the rigorous academic challenge that the school presents and exploring campus while trying out new hobbies.

Year one on campus, especially if it is a hybrid of physical & online lectures like my set’s, might not be too strenuous physically. I only heard tales of running from one lecture theatre to another to get front seat. I never experienced it because the world is gradually becoming a better place. OAU now uses Google classroom for online classes, praise the Lord somebody!

In my opinion, online classes are the best. You get the chance to take your classes from the comfort of your room without walking long distance from your hostel to 1k seaters. It is not without it’s own downside – the fact that you will have less bonding time with your classmates. But hey, dropping slides online is a comfort that beats writing notes directly in class.

With the hybrid structure that OAU employed in my set, we had the chance of getting to have lecturers come to class to teach the topics after dropping the slides online. Don’t miss all your classes because some lecturers still believe dearly in hoarding slides. If you won’t be going to classes, at least have friends that do.

The biggest culture shock with being a student of medicine is realizing that you’re probably not the best student in class anymore. Every of your friends in the department are either equally as smart as you or even smarter.

Given the cutoff mark for medicine in OAU, it is expected. There’s a good chance that the thought of being a local champion will cross your mind. Everyone worked really hard to get their spot there. You worked hard for it too, so you deserve to be here.

Life in University is different. It is even a more different ball game for medical students because other students will automatically perceive you as a scholar. Some might even stretch it to say you are proud. When other freshmen ask you the course you are studying and you say medicine, there is a 80% chance that a good whining will follow. Some might hail you and call you Shana; others might go extreme and try to summarize your whole academic record in a few sentences. It’s a pretty normal experience that doesn’t stop in part one. It is the same old theory everytime, so relax into it😅.

Also, one of the scariest things about the simplicity of part one as a medical student is that every course is very important to you. Maybe more than other students outside college. This is because the College of Health Sciences requires all her students to pass all courses before starting preclinical classes. The passmark remains 40 but do not aim for that.

When we were told that 40 was the passmark to enter college properly, we all felt it was too easy but it only looks easy on the surface. If proper care is not taken, your grades can slip through your hands like garri.

Getting into college proper can flash through your eye when the results of supposedly straight A courses start dropping, and they are not what you expect. Every practical course coordinator will lord the fact that you have to pass their courses over you in a bid to get you to be serious.

Then, you begin to rethink your life as a star student that you are and the probability of entering college. It will get better at some point so there’s really no need to worry too much.

You are not actively considered as a college student in part one. You are floating between White/Yellow house and Basic Medical Sciences, even your portal can attest to that.
Scale through part one nice and easy as you prepare for college work properly.

Year one, the preparatory year is usually not too hard. Provided you play your cards right, you will enjoy your freshman year.

Finally, beware of ZOO practical. The evil that is being done to toads is repeated every year😬. Now, it’s your turn. Do your best not to hurt the poor creatures too much. Sooner or later, it will no longer be toads but human bodies that you’ll be dissecting😉.

Welcome to Medicine and Surgery once again🤝. MediVoice wishes you an amazing ride!😇

P.s- Do visit the MediVoice Board just beside the IFUMSA Secretariat whenever you are at College. We have questions on the board you’d definitely want to answer to🥰. Ciao! 👋

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