So this past week was the dreaded midterms. Here’s the lowdown on what to expect.
Monday: PT Science 1 Practical
Tuesday: Anatomy Written Exam and Lab Exam
Wednesday: Research and Design Written Exam
Thursday: PT Science 1 Written Exam
Friday: PT Science 2 Written Exam
So as you can clearly see it was a jam-packed week. It was nice to not have our Physiology exam this week as well. That professor does things a bit different and has a different testing schedule. So it was like a mini physiology spring break. I think when I looked at what the week looked like it gave me this small dose of panic because it just seemed very overwhelming. I definitely sat there on the Saturday before and had to figure out my game plan. That included a lot of me opening and closing various notebooks and textbooks trying to study everything all at one time. After I realized how absolutely futile that plan was I started to prioritize my studying by when the exam would appear. So what I did was, I would try to study two items ahead. So on Sunday I was studying mostly PT Science 1 practical information, but also Anatomy. This helped to make the material more manageable and didn’t make me feel as though I was cramming.
I don’t know about you guys, but when I was in undergrad or in high school I rarely ever studied in groups. I hated them. I found that to be one of the most epic wastes of time ever!! Ever since grad school has started, I have changed my view on group studying drastically. Everyone in the program is so smart and comes from such a variety of backgrounds that they bring different perspectives to what is being taught. For example there are a lot of people who worked in outpatient physical therapy clinics and a handful who have worked in hospital settings. These two settings are very different and so each student brings a different outlook on how to do stuff and why things are done in that way. I have really benefitted from group studying. I did a lot of this to prepare for the midterms. It also makes you feel better to be around others who are doing nothing but studying for as many hours as you are. Misery likes company, not that I was truly miserable, but you get what I’m saying.
Everybody studies in different ways. I am the kind of person who has to rewrite everything at least twice for the information to really click in my brain. I know someone who writes all important information on colored pieces of paper. Some of my classmates have to write things down on whiteboards to digest the information. I have difficulty with the whole whiteboard thing because I get marker all over myself every time! Anyways, I also study in the morning. Like early in the morning. Like six or five in the morning depending on if I feel that I need extra time. I go to sleep about the same time as most grandparents: 9-9:30 P.M. One of my best friends in the program stays awake until about 2 every night, but wakes up at around 7 every morning. So you can see how everyone’s style of when and how to study varies so much in the program. I know one guy who only studies at the Francis Center and once he leaves he doesn’t do anymore work. I am really impressed by everyone’s work/life balance. I think most of us understand that we still have to keep doing the other things in our life that brings us happiness or else we are going to get burned out.
On all the days of testing it was really nice to talk to my fellow classmates. They were super encouraging about everything and helped to not make me feel dumb for some of the questions I had. I felt that most people did a really good job in reducing the nerves that built up for the practical and lab exams. Something about those kinds of tests really get me super jittery and nervous. I don’t know why I just end up building them up in my head. They were fine. The professors were super nice, reasonable, and reassuring. They encouraged us to come by and talk to them and review stuff with them before and after the exams. I really appreciate how they are always so accommodating and friendly.
All in all midterms weren’t that bad. Did I feel stressed out at some points? Yes. Did I question if I actually belonged in PT school? Yes. Did I eat 3 boxes of Girl Scout cookies because of said stress? YES. But I feel like all that is to be expected and I’m glad it’s behind me. Now I feel more prepared for what to expect for finals and for all the other major exam weeks to come. I survived them completely unscathed! I am just happy that I have such great classmates to be going through all of this with.
Oh and as treat to ourselves for handling midterms like a bunch of champs me and a few classmates went to a local Vineyard. That was a neat experience and I am glad these little outings exist. It was like the exclamation point at the end of one heck of a week.