Sarah Powell: Pharmacy school can be very demanding, but it’s easy to avoid feeling overwhelmed by keeping a few things in mind.
1. Get a planner! There are so many exams and assignments to keep track of it’s sometimes overwhelming. Having a planner helps me stay organized and better manage my time. It gives you an idea of how much time you have to study for an exam or finish an assignment and helps you plan out that time well.
2. Don’t worry about how much others are studying or how well they are doing in classes. It’s very easy to compare yourself to your classmates since everyone is in the same classes. Focus on your studies and how you’re doing. It does not matter what everyone else is doing as long as you are doing well. Comparing yourself to others can make you go insane, and it’s really not worth it-trust me.
3. Take time out to do something you enjoy and relax. Whether it’s going to the gym, watching Netflix, or reading a book, you need the time away from the stress. Pharmacy school can be stressful, and if you don’t take the time out to take a break every once in a while to do something you enjoy, you’re going to burn yourself out quickly.
4. Get a job in pharmacy. Yes, I know you’re thinking that you don’t even know how you’re going to be able to handle pharmacy school, let alone a job. Having a job gives you the experience you need in the field, and also teaches you to better manage your time. It also connects you with people who are either currently going through pharmacy school, or have been through it. Forming these connections could very well be helpful after graduating.
5. Get involved in organizations within the pharmacy school. There are a wide variety of organizations you can join that span every area of the pharmacy profession. These organizations can help you explore career areas that you might not have thought about before. You can form connections with professionals in that area of pharmacy, which is always important.
6. Get involved in organizations outside of pharmacy. Some of my closest friends are not in pharmacy school, and I wouldn’t have met them had I not got involved in an organization outside of pharmacy. These friends have helped me through the high stress of school. Since they aren’t in the same program, they have been there to calm me down and reassure me that I am going to be okay.
7. Set goals each day and accomplish them. Making a small list of things to do at the beginning of each day helps you focus your attention on certain tasks, and in turn makes you more productive.
8. Find the environment that suits you best to study. Some people like to study in complete silence in the library; others can listen to music and study in their rooms. Finding out what works best for you early on is important because you will be studying A LOT throughout pharmacy school.
9. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. There are so many resources available to you if you are struggling. All of the professors are willing to help you out as well.
10. Enjoy it! Believe me when I say it flies by so fast. Most of my friends are graduating this year and it feels like freshman year was yesterday. Don’t stress too much, and go out and enjoy your time in college. I promise you’ll make it through pharmacy school just fine.