Update

Hello Snarklings,

It’s been awhile since I last made a post. I’m on my midterm study break (no classes a week before the actual midterm) so I’ll have time to make some content. Anyway, I just wanted to share with you how things were going (both good and bad; ok there’s a lot of bad than good but hey that’s life). Keep in mind that I am the most unorthodox blogger so I’ll be very honest.

As the pace of the material started to pick up speed, I found myself drowning in constant preparation. This overwhelmed me since I don’t really have a support system (I’m a loner, to be honest) so my psyche was getting hit really hard. I did find a common circle of “friends” through a person that I had a crush on (yeah you can see where this is going; side note: DO NOT DATE IF YOU ARE PRE-MED). Long story short, this quack-quack low life turned me down and basically told me they didn’t want anything to do with me and I obviously did not take it very well. One thing that I want you guys to know is that I have a mental illness called manic-depressive disorder (bipolar is usually common) and it tends to affect my personality’s highs and lows. One thing that people do not understand is that when they see me, they can’t see the “real me” instead they see my disease. It’s very tough. I’m here needing to feel like I belong and cared about but, this illness is not letting me form friendships nor relationships. And it sucks. In fact, when I took my psychology midterm on Thursday, all I was doing was guessing since I could not study due to my heartbreak.

At first, I felt broken and neglected. Suffocating and torn (I even wrote a eulogy for myself… I was watching The Fault in Our Stars like 7 times) on how I’m going to rise above my circumstances. I looked in the mirror and said why can’t you go back to your old and ambitious self? I even screamed, “go to hell”. At this low point, I knew what I had to do. The prescription that I was taking maybe handling my illness but, it was making me feel not the same (I flushed them down the toilet… Yeah I don’t think that was the proper way to dispose of them. Sorry). I started to look for ways to make myself feel better so yes breakup songs are a must (All I Want by Kodaline which I heard from The Fault in our Stars is a must also, Ellie Goulding’s cover of it as well. Oh! and Love Me by Kevin Karla Y La Banda for anyone who understands Spanish). I learned that getting hurt by toxic relationships made me stronger and even more unique (I’m honestly learning more about life than in my lectures haha). In fact, there’s a saying that “the most damaged people are usually the wisest ones”.

Being depressed and going to school, while at the same time trying to make relationships is a bad recipe for living I know but, you know what? I am not my illness, I am a survivor of it. I was not okay yesterday, I am not okay today, and I probably won’t be okay tomorrow but in the near future I will be. So, for the time being, I’m still alive. I’m going to use my pain as leverage to succeed in fulfilling my ambition because that’s how I get stronger. Yes, this was a setback but, it was for my own good. And I’m glad that poor quack-quack low life made me love myself even more. Oh, and at least I have the balls to actually express my true self. Check out this video that made me think.

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How to Make a Study Schedule Based on the 168 Hours Method

Hello Snarklings,

Ok so my sophomore year of university is well underway (I start on the 5th of September!) and I was hoping to give you an idea on how I plan out my study schedule for college. This is based on my personal experience so it may or may not work for you but planning ahead is one key factor that ties in success for anyone who wants to do well in school.

Okay, so this is going to require some basic math. Don’t worry it’s not that scary and pretty straightforward. So in one week, we have 168 hours and we do a lot of stuff like eating, sleeping, doing chores, working out, going to classes, and of course studying. So the question is how many hours do I have left after doing these things? The saying is that for every hour of class we need to commit 2 to 3 hours of study. In most universities (but not all so check with your school’s system) in North America, a “half course” is usually 3 units while a “full course” is 6 units which you can use to log in your hours needed to study.

They say that if you’re taking a full load (usually 5 courses for one semester) you should hit a minimum of 35 hours of study per week. You can find out this number by using this formula: Hours in a Week (168 Hours) — Used Hours = Time Remaining to Study 

  • If you have more than 35 hours of study than you have extra time (which you can either use for free time or use them to get ahead and study some more).
  • If you have less than 45 hours of study per week then you need to manipulate the other activities in your life to make room for that minimum of 35 hours of study

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Here’s my hand written version of the above and I get a total of 115 hours used out of the 168 hours per week which gives me 53 hours of study which is good enough for me to keep up and manage (I break up the 53 hours into manageable chunks and log them on my timetable):

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Just an extra tip, if you were to theoretically study every day (even on a Saturday and a Sunday), you can divide the remaining hours by 7 to see the approximate hours you should study each day to hit that. So the minimum is 35 hours to study so if you divide that by 7 you get 5 hours to study each day of the week to do revision and complete assignments. Since I have 53 hours, 53 hours divided by 7 gives 7.5 hours each day which is of course if I want to use those hours. Obviously, I want a life and need balance so I’ll just stick to 5-6 hours a day and use the rest for spending time with my friends. Like I said, it’s all up to you. Some days I will study 7.5 hours to get ahead since I have 53 hours. At other times I just want to hit the minimum 35 by increasing any of the other activities listed on that time activity sheet (I usually increase sleeping and/or exercising haha.)

Like I said, it’s all up to you. Some days I will study 7.5 hours to get ahead since I have 53 hours. At other times I just want to hit the minimum 35 by increasing any of the other activities listed on that time activity sheet. I usually increase sleeping and/or exercising to give me 35 hours. I can even get a part time job however, I don’t like unexpected shifts that can meddle in my study time.

In the end, you get a basic study schedule that you can use to keep yourself on track like this, which I made for my first semester of 2nd year: I LOVE COLOUR CODING!Weekly Study Schedule PDF_0

Just for review

  1. Approximate a number of hours that you do a certain activity for the whole week
  2. Add them up then subtract 168 hours from that number to give a number of hours remaining to study
  3. Adjust the hours of certain activities to hit the minimum 35 hours of study per week or use those extra hours to either study more or have fun (it’s your decision since you’re an adult right?)
  4. Log those activities on a designated time table and you’re good to go.
  5. Try to stick to this plan as much as possible. If not then looks like you have to face the consequences or compromise (another part of being an adult).

 

If you have any questions please email me or leave a comment below and remember to follow my blog for more updates! Ciao for now and stay flossy guys!

 

CPR Training

Hello, Snarklings!

So if you’re pre-med or anything health related i.e nursing, paramedic, dental, etc. You have to go through some sort of CPR training program which is actually a non-academic requirement in many of the admissions to professional schools in health. I’ve taken first aid and CPR training before (back in my lifeguard days haha) so I felt like it was time to upgrade to a more intense form of CPR.

To tell you honestly, I felt so weird clicking on the CPR HCP (Health Care Provider) option when I was registering online. It was something that I never thought I would do until I became interested in health and medicine. I did it anyway and I honestly enjoyed it.

I did mine at the Winnipeg First Aid on 222 Osborne Street. The class was 8 hours (but we finished it in 5-6 hours) and it provided me the skills needed in critical situations.

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The instructor was really funny, informative, and concise. He helped me whenever I needed clarification.

Overall, I felt happy and proud that I have the knowledge to help and stabilize people in need and I hope that once I get into medical school this attitude grows and continues so that I can save more lives.

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My Getaway to St. Andrews and Lockport

Hey, Snarklings!

My family decided to go on a getaway outside of the city again near the north side of Winnipeg in St. Andrews and the bay area in Lockport.

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My family decided to go to St. Andrews to look at the plants and flowers at The Shops of St. Andrews. I enjoyed the different types of trees, bushes, and flowers that the shop had to offer.

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My most favorite type of plants would be succulents!

 

After taking a look at the shops we headed off to Lockport to look around and eat at the famous Half Moon restaurant. It’s a really retro-like restaurant that made me feel like I was in an episode of Riverdale or the Archie comics series. If you guys ever go there buy their banana split sundae!

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After that, we went on a stroll to look at the dam and bridge on the bay just outside the drive in of Half moon. It was very refreshing and I just enjoyed the whole experience. If you guys go there, make sure to take a lot of pictures since it really is a fantastic scenery.

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My Train Ride to Grosse Isle Manitoba

Hey, Snarklings!

My family decided to venture off out of the city to Grosse Isle in the town of Rockwood with an added twist… On a train that remotely looks like the Hogwarts express from Harry Potter! Although that it took 3 hours to get there (the train is not fast at all!), I enjoyed the view of the prairie lands.

The last time I was here was about 5-6 years ago when I graduated from middle school and not much has changed (still a lot of grass and mosquitos). Also, it was a sunny day so thanks God that they gave all the passengers free sunscreen:

 

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Remember to apply sunscreen with at least SPF 30 and re-apply every 2 hours!

 

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The Prairie Dog Central Express

Once we arrived we were given a complimentary potluck with some country singers! There were also a lot of scenery which I decided to capture as well! It really is a family oriented place with kids being pulled on a mini train ride, horses, a mini playground, and little roosters!

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I decided to tour the heritage museum site that’s next door and it was honestly so interesting how people lived back then. From the pioneer styled nursery to their kitchen, and their photos it was so surreal. I actually thought I time traveled back in time. Check out their telephone, radio, and kitchen tools! Their knick knacks are authentic and well kept over generations!

My favorite part of the house was the nursery since it was so creepy looking and had a paranormal feel to it! The empty crib, the dolls, and toys laying around just gave it this Annabelle mood to it.

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These dolls are so scary yet so pretty. I wonder if they still make dolls like these. The one with the one eye closed really gave me the chills.

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I’m guessing that this couple was the parents of the little girl who lived here. Their marriage certificate was on display there along with their wedding photo.

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After the tour of the house, we decided to visit the chapel and schoolhouse that was situated next to one another. It was so cool to imagine how school kids actually sat in one of those seats!

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This trip sure did tire all of us out and on the trip back to Winnipeg I just fell asleep on the train!

Hope everyone else is having a fantastic Summer!

My Take on the MCAT

Hello, Snarklings!

So, I’m currently on Summer vacation between my first year and second year of undergrad and I want to spend some time letting you guys know how I plan on studying for the MCAT.

What is covered in the MCAT and how do they relate to your pre-req classes?

As you all know that bulk of the MCAT is divided into 4 sections that overlap each other so it’s important to note that many of these sections are related to your medical school pre-requisite courses like:

  • First-year biology, general chemistry, English
  • Second-year organic chemistry (and Psychology/Sociology courses)
  • Third-year biochemistry

How do you revise for the MCAT?

So what I prefer to do is to annotate and make review notes with whatever review books that you’re using. For me, I’m using the Princeton review (however, my other friends use Kaplan; Kaplan is also a great review book too). Although that I do not plan on taking the MCAT anytime soon, I believe that revision during the Summer for the courses or classes that you took in your academic year is great for retention! Let’s face it, in three years from now, you won’t really remember that much of what happened in your first or second year pre-req courses heck, you probably won’t remember anything after you take the final exam for that course (Like me haha). As I review the Princeton Review for the MCAT, I start re-calling what I learned and it’s been helping tremendously and by the time I take the MCAT I will be more than ready.

Taking some notes on the MCAT from the Princeton Review subject books

How do you practice and improve?

I also advise practicing since reviewing the concepts are not good enough… So the short little quizzes at the end of each section help to reinforce the concepts reviewed. I also suggest that you buy a work book like Examcrackers or the AAMC question packets for practice! In addition to that, I suggest buying the AAMC’s practice exams as well or the UWorld MCAT Qbank to mimic the exam conditions of the MCAT. Currently, I’m using the Princeton Review Science Workbook (I got a used one from amazon and had it shipped!)

The Princeton Review Science Workbook
I like using tabs to show which sections I need to work on based on what I learned in the year

 

So I hope that this is informative and that it gives you a rough idea of one way of studying (since everyone is different and you should find something that works for you). Since I just started this process, I will continue to find new ways and I’ll keep you guys updated so remember to follow/subscribe to my blog and if you want to ask me about the study resources that I’m using, just comment or email me (you can find my email on my about me page).