University and Medicine: 5 "What I Wish I Had Known"

As most of you know I've completed three years of Medicine at University College London. I've learnt a lot along the way and I've been made aware of a lot of things that I wish I'd known before starting year 1. Today, I've decided to share just some of the things I wish I'd known.
Before starting Medicine I was told the jump from GCSEs to A-Levels would be the hardest gap of all time. With that in my mind, I'd thought while it was a difficult to study Medicine, I never once expected it to be SO hard. Perhaps it was with stupidity or naivety, but I believe all the people whom I trusted and I just wasn't prepared to be in that situation. With that in mind...

Lesson one: prepare to find it hard! 

Despite never classing myself as clever during high school and college, looking back, I admittedly was. I was quite literally a big fish in a small pond. Stepping up from that type of environment to university is a massive change. I was very much a small fish in a big pond, both literally and intelligently. I was no longer one of the smart ones, in fact, I felt as though I was the dumbest person there.

Lesson two: don't be ashamed when you realise your not the only smart person. 

I felt that I actually adapted to living outside of home very well. Growing up with a clean freak for a mother and grandmother, I very much liked a clean space and organised room. I knew how to clean, tidy, wash, iron, cook, change the sheets ect. I knew how to survive alone. Unlike some people, I didn't eat out every night because I got bored of the same meal for breakfast, lunch and teas (yes there are some people out there) but what I found difficult to get my head around, was that some people did! I wasn't expecting flatmates to stay awake and have parties until 5 am or to smoke in the kitchen or to leave dirty dishes on the counters for weeks at a time. That I found hard.

Lesson three: worry less about how you'll survive without your parents and more about how you'll survive living with strangers. 

Leading on from that, more specifically for the more demanding courses, don't try to keep up with students studying different courses. I knew Medicine was a time consuming course and had a lot of scheduled hours, but given that I never looked into any other courses, I didn't realise how few contact hours, other courses actually had. Given that I was on 45 hours some weeks, trying to stay up or go out with people on 5 hours a week just wasn't possible.

Lesson four: don't compare yourself to others. 

University is a lot less of learn what your taught and more of teach yourself what your lecturers should have taught you. That sounds terrible but hear me out. It's more about them providing you with the initial information and then you have to read around the topic to grasp the full picture. Medicine is actually one of the courses that does this less so, but it's still more that any level of studying previously.

Lesson five: motivate yourself to learn. 

So there are my 5 top what I wish I had known tips and lessons. I hope that helps any of you starting or heading to university for the first time soon! :)


  1. Such a learning curve but some great tips!

  2. I've learnt so much since moving to London and I can't wait to see what else I will learn at Nottingham 💚


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