Monday, December 24, 2012

10 tips of making it through your first semester of pharmacy school

So because I am so thankful that God allowed me to successfully make it through my first semester of 8. I thought "why not make a blog post about it" because when I found out that I was accepted to pharmacy I hit the net looking for any information that I could get to prepare and such because I was so excited so here goes.

1. To Prepare or Not To Prepare (before you start school)

I say this depends on what type of learner you are, your educational background, and responsibilities. I say that because when I was researching people always said wait there will be so much work and you just need to relax right now. However, my honest opinion is if you don't have an undergraduate degree in a science or if you aren't strong in science it would be a good idea to read various material something like a cliffnotes or review book just to get familiar with some terms and concepts. And I wouldn't say you have to go hardcore with it. Maybe just read it before bed or something along those lines. And this would be a good idea if you take a bit of time to process information. I know for me sometimes I can state facts but things don't actually connect or make sense until a few chapters in. Also, if like myself you are a mom,dad, or work any type of situation where pharmacy school won't be the only thing on your plate, preparing ahead is a good idea.

2. Study>Sleep

This isn't really a suggestion but it sounded pretty cool and it was true for me. Study the first week of school, study the second week of school. Study every week of school. Study when you don't feel like it. Study even when you feel like you understand. DON'T STUDY 1 hour before the exam. So, that statement is personal preference, I know before pharmacy school I would study right up until I took the exam but I found this semester that it was so much information that I would get confused and frustrated if I tried to look over and talk about things an hour before the exam. I know a mistake I made was letting valuable study time get away from me because I didn't have an exam that week or whatever. It's better to be ahead than behind so even if nothing is pending. No tests, no quizzes no homework still study. START strong FINISH strong! It is so hard to play catch up and I'll tell you it was because in 2 classes that I took this semester that I started strong, I scored really high on the first two exams that I was able to pass the class. That is a horrible feeling, when you have a difficult class and you have to calculate "Oh, I need at least a 80 to pass the class" you didn't get a single 80 all semester like how you expect to get one now. It's not impossible but it's hard, stressful, and dis encouraging

3. Listen to yourself

Ok, so I'm telling you how things went for me. But everyone's experience will be different. Take what people (peers,colleagues', students ahead of you) say with a grain of salt. Professors change, people change. Hear what they say but listen to yourself and what your professors say.

4.It's in your Head

You know more than you ever think you know. If you truly studied. Don't freak out. Take a breathe and THINK. It's all up there, it's just a matter of pulling it out.

5. You Must read to Succeed

I know for my school they gave handouts. So people didn't read. This is a personal preference type thing but, reading can never hurt.

6. You come to learn NOT to friend

Pharmacy school will be a bunch of different cultures and personalities all thrown together. It's important to have few people you can call for assignments, studying, questions and things of the such. But if you don't gel with half of your class it's okay. That was a lesson for me. I felt so out of place, I just had a baby I was young but not the youngest and old but not the oldest. And to be honest I felt really lonely. So, don't get caught up in all of that.

7. Remember Why You Want to be a Pharmacist

If you what to be a pharmacist because you don't know why or money skip this number. Everyone else keep reading. You will feel crazy, it may be tough but you're there for a reason so even when it looks bad stick it out. I can't tell you how many times I had to remind myself I'm doing this for Ems to make a way a better life, because this is my passion, I don't love anything else, I've wanted to do this since I was 16. Something drove you to it. Let that something drive you through it.

8. Plan

Plan your study sessions. Plan study breaks. Plan your lunch. Plan your breakfast. Plan your dinner. Plan dates. Plan events. Know when your tests, homework, and assignments are due. The more you plan the better life will be.

9. Communicate

With your professors and that means asking questions. If you have a question ask it, the professors are on your side they are on your team. Visit each and everyone one of your professors at least once every two weeks and a little more often for harder courses. I say this because if you plan to go see them you don't want to go and just look stupid so that forces you to look over material find questions and make certain you understand. It also makes them familiar with you face to name. And then they really cheer you on. And you guys develop a relationship and you don't want them to think you are stupid so you study and try to do well AND they feel bad if you don't do well. I've never failed a class where I had a relationship with the professor. I've only failed one course EVER and I spoke to that professor 3 times and one of those times was after I have failed the course.


Be honest with your family and friends about what you are about to experience. If you don't have time or you've been studying really hard and you rather sleep, be honest. Because if you fail a test or something I mean you can blame them but it won't really mean much. You may feel a little better you may not. Be honest with yourself! If you know you didn't study don't be mad at the professor because you failed, YOU DIDN'T STUDY. You will talk more to yourself now than ever before. I talk to myself so much sometimes I'm in the grocery store mumbling to myself. You may not be the smartest but work the hardest. Hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard. You may not understand everything. GET the help. COMPETE with YOURSELF ONLY, because that's all that matters. You competed for your seat you don't have to compete to keep it.Tape your lectures. Make flashcards out of the material. Study alone first. Relax your mind to give yourself an opportunity to process information. Try to get into bed by 12 always. TEAMWORK MAKES DREAMWORK, try to transcribe notes and make study guides work together with your classmates. NO PHARMACIST LEFT BEHIND help your brother and sisters. Be inspirational and encouraging. WHERE the mind goes the man will follow you can do it. Think Positive. Stay in your lane, drive your own car. Other people don't understand as well but they probably won't say it. Nothing beats failing  Don't tell your grades.PRAY. DON'T ask your professors to change test and assignment dates. Make mnemonics they help. Dry erase boards help. Personal preference but studying away from home, away from the bed is normally a good idea. You can do it! IF only because I BELIEVE in YOU!!


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  2. Thank you! I've been so anxious and nervous about starting pharmacy school in a couple months. This post really helped me :)

  3. woow, this is so real. The best article I ´ve read so far. Thank you!!!

  4. I will be going into pharmacy school soon and I was not really sure i was ready. This blog post has really calmed me down alot.

    1. Aww, You must be really nervous! You're up at 2 am researching. I remember the time :) It will go by so quickly, I'm telling you. The excitement you feel right now capture it, and use it as fuel when the tank runs low. I wish you ALL the best. Please feel free to reach out.