3 words to describe my first week as a medical student at Manchester

Masumah Jannah is a Year 1 student on the Medicine MBChB course at Manchester. Here, she reflects on her first week on the course.

Hello! My name is Masumah and I’m an 18-year-old first year medical student at The University of Manchester. I am a science enthusiast, avid writer, budding photographer and calligraphy lover, and will hopefully one day be a doctor!

So here we are – Fresher’s Week is over. My first week of being a ‘medical student’ is officially history. This past week has truly been incredible and at the same time so busy that I couldn’t possibly document every activity or emotion that ran through my mind. So instead, here are 3 words that I feel summarise this wonderful week!

Overwhelming

This is not necessarily a bad thing. It was an overwhelming experience, but in a good sense. Knowing that I’m finally here is rather unexplainable; it is still completely surreal.

I don’t think I’ve properly adjusted to the fact that I am a medical student now. I was walking through the Welcome Fair when someone asked me “are you a medical student?”. It took me a moment to stop and think before I realised yes I am. It felt so weird giving that response – definitely didn’t come naturally.

Welcome Fair
The Welcome Fair at Manchester

I think it was only in my first dissection class, when we had a body lying on the table in front of us, that the realisation really hit me like a ton of bricks: I am actually doing this! I am actually studying Medicine! I am actually on the road to becoming a doctor!

Exciting

You definitely can’t categorise medical school as monotonous no matter how hard you try. Every day is different from the day before and no two weeks of my timetable for the whole of this semester look the same!

You’re never just doing one thing; instead, it’s an exciting mix of PBL, lectures, communication training, dissection and clinical placements. You turn up to each session having absolutely no idea what you could possibly be doing, but you’re ready to rise up to the challenge. And that’s exactly how I like it! It’s dynamic, fast moving… thrilling!

Manchester Medical School

I’ve met so many new people, from all different backgrounds and from all over the country… some graduates, some international students and some school leavers like me! I’ve joined a good handful of societies and managed to even meet some students on other years.

With Medicine being such a huge course, I found that quite a lot of the people I’ve just happened to bump into and chatted to are indeed medics too. It has been a remarkable experience!

Exhausting

I’ve only just finished with Fresher’s Week and god do I need a lie-in. I don’t quite know why my eyelids are so keen to droop over my eyeballs or why my brain is so thirsty for sleep. I don’t think it’s so much the course, because we haven’t properly delved into it just yet; we’re still being prepared for the different ways of teaching.

Moving out to university however, is a whole new experience which brings about an array of different challenges that are coupled with living independently. Simple things such as planning meals, making them and then thinking about food for tomorrow has definitely managed to take its toll after a week!

Food shopping

And don’t get me started on the walking! It takes me on average about 20 minutes to get to the university buildings from my accommodation, which as you can imagine requires a lot of walking, resulting in me envying the cyclists. On average, I’ve walked 7.5km every single day, with the most being 15.2km! It’s definitely good exercise, but also very tiring!

This post originally appeared on Masumah’s own blog, Diary of a Med Student.

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