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Life as a pre-medical student: Freshers' week

vicky hargest medical pre-medical studentVicky Hargest, a pre-medical student, shares her experiences with us. She tells us that most of the paperwork to be filled out at the beginning of a course is mundane yet necessary, but one is definitely worth it. The Freshers’ week programme!

Getting ready for Freshers' week

Being a very organised (somewhat Monica Geller) type I colour coded the programme with my newly purchased highlighter pens to make sure I didn’t miss any of the important events during the ‘big week’.

The pink social activities highlighter seemed to run out pretty quickly! But I’d heard such events were virtually compulsory anyway.

Renowned for being one of the scariest, yet most exciting weeks of the year it certainly lived up to its reputation. It all began with an occupational health appointment at 8.30am on Monday morning where an overly cheery nurse took our blood. Walking around campus it was easy to spot all the other wounded medics by the circular plaster on their arms.

This was quickly followed by a couple of important welcome talks and registration. I was fully prepared for a battle ground of students fighting their way to the front of the queue; however it was surprisingly very calm. Either the uni is highly organised or a large percentage of students were still sleeping off last night’s Horlicks.

A little socialising goes a long way

After registering it was time to get down to the serious business of socialising. I consulted my Freshers’ Week programme and realised that only Superwoman could achieve all that I had planned; breakdance, snowboarding, cinema trip, jazz night, walks in the Peak District to name but a few. It was exhausting just reading the list, so I decided to grab a drink in the Union with some students from my year.

It’s fair to say that medics by nature are friendly and chatty so the conversation certainly flowed. It was great speaking to students from all backgrounds, (school leavers, a paramedic, a mum of three and a Submariner from the Navy).

We shared stories about our journey to medical school and talked about our apprehensions. It was good to know I wasn’t the only one with fears.

We decided to continue ‘bonding’ during a wine and cheese evening later that night. What started off as a pretty ‘sophisticated’ evening certainly turned into one to remember. Mucho Vino, lots of dancing and for those without sense a couple of Sambuccas just before bedtime. There were some very fragile bodies in the lecture theatre the following morning.

The Freshers' week highlights

The highlight of the week had to be the infamous Freshers’ Fever organised by MedSoc. A great opportunity for all new medical students to get together and make fools of themselves.

Party games involving balloons, doughnuts and oranges certainly helped to liven things up. The photos on the Medsoc website were a great reminder of the night for those who wanted to forget!

Freshers’ week was an amazing experience. I met lots of wonderful people, many of which I am sure will become very good friends over the next few years.

I’m really looking forward to future MedSoc events; 4 legged pub crawl, annual ball and Medics vs Dentist bowling. With such a good social life it’s almost too easy to forget why we are actually here.

If I could pass on any advice it would be to choose wisely from the Freshers’ week programme and just go with the flow. Oh and avoid the person handing out Sambucca!

About Vicky

Vicky Hargest is a medical student at the University of Sheffield. Although she has an arts degree (health studies) she has taken the pre-med route (six year course) in order to learn foundation sciences.

She is the first in her family to enter higher education - proving that medicine is for people of all ages and backgrounds.

Having worked in medical education for the last six years she is now seeing things from the other side of the fence.

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