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Transition to Online Learning to In-Person Learning

Updated: Sep 17, 2021

Leaving home to pursue an education is one of the most difficult thing I have done (especially this time).The transition was not easy. Not only moving to different place far away from VA was hard but complying to COVID-19 restrictions made it difficult. Furthermore, being in a class filled with equally bright students is intimidating.

I am sure if you follow me on Instagram, you must’ve heard my rant about moving onto campus and how DISORGANIZED my school handled the influx of student doctors coming in!!! BEYOND LIVID! But I will say, I have the MOST amazing roommate! She is a total sweetheart <3. Let’s get back to the topic!

Overall, the process was so traumatic- recovery literally took two days for me! Talk about a rough start! I have to admit though, being in person is awesome. I am very blessed to be studying in a state of the art medical school. Everything is high-tech! Being in a class with 400 student doctors and watching the professors teach us- left me awestruck!

Honestly, doing the first semester of medical school at home was very difficult. Mostly because being at home lacked structure and the environment I craved for. When I am in person, I am actively listening when attending lectures. Being at home, I was doing things at my own time! Not beneficial at all. Plus, I have a two-year old who is very demanding. Therefore, I had to be on Meriam’s schedule. Plus, Meriam is very reliant and attached to me. Most of my studying at home was during Meriam’s sleep/nap time.

Back to the important topic, my morning starts everyday at 5 AM. Even on the weekends. I literally force myself to get up. I am very routine based. I usually take a cold shower and catch the 640/650 am shuttle. It takes twenty minutes to get to campus. Lecture starts at 8am and depending on the track you are in, lecture would either end at 12pm or 3pm (if you are in the accelerated track, you have six lectures every day; if you are on the standard track, you have 3 lectures every day but you finish Medical Science 6 months later). I personally like the accelated track! You have so much studying to do which keeps you busy! Don’t get me wrong; I do make time to wind down (I am trying to avoid burn out) either by watching TV, FaceTiming family, or blogging!!

The set up of our classroom is cool. We are in a classroom with monitors and screen- our seats are six feet apart. We have to WEAR masks ALL THE TIME while on campus. It gets irritating especially since it is hot here! Since I am a student doctor, they have a vaccine passport installed on my phone via the school’s SAFE app. It gets scanned by security everyday at the main door on campus. Then I have to scan my badge, sanitize my hand and get my temperature taken before I enter the building. Once I have completed those steps, I have to scan my badge again to enter the actual campus. All classrooms, before you enter, has an ID badge scanner. You have to scan every time you enter/leave the classroom, library, study room, simulation labs, clinical skills lab, anatomy labs, etc. The list gets long lol (I am sure you get the picture).

Once I find my seat, the lecture starts. I am surrounded by 50 TVs in the room, displaying the slides my teacher lectures about and I attentively listen. It is a lot better to be in person. I feel like I am engaging. The learning process becomes more enjoyable! Plus the environment forces you to study! In medical school, NO ONE IS SMART!! It is all hard work. It is very time consuming learning the material but once the material clicks, it flows very easy! Overall, I thoroughly enjoy learning in school although, I do miss the convenience of being at home! But I had too many distractions. I keep telling myself I am doing this for a better future (YOU DARN RIGHT I AM). Being in school, I am learning a lot better. I am retaining my material more and I am forcing myself to be a better student. Is the material hard? YES!!! But, it is a blessing to be at a school where the professors are encouraging, the environment is engaging, and the school is geared up with technology!

I would not take this experience back! Living in the south, the food is amazing! I am so sunburned. I didn’t wear a lot of make up before lol. I don’t wear any of it now! The heat will probably melt off that make-up lol. I do wear sunscreen. But honestly, being in school is NOT about the looks (you frankly don’t have time). It is about learning the material and getting an AMAZING Step 1 score (which is my ultimate goal).

Would I ever want to go back and do online learning? Honestly, no! I am not going to lie how difficult it is. You get a better experience as a student doctor being engaged and exposed to clinical labs and the education physically.

Was my transition smooth? Umm.. Not really. But I adapt! That is how life is.

XoXo Ash Sarah

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