Living off campus had its ups and downs. It was nice only having to pay half rent of what everyone else who lived on campus was paying, and also having a beautiful view to wake up to every morning. I also had my own room and upper term roommates who prepared me for what was to come. Everyone who lived on campus shared a room (yes, dorm-style but in professional school) and no oven, tiny beds, you know, all that typical dorm stuff you remember from freshman year of college. I got to live in a nice big house that overlooked the ocean and had a dog to play with all term. Unfortunately, the bus system kind of sucked and I felt like I had to leave school and parties early just so I could catch the last bus of the night (2am). All my classmates lived on the same hall and it was a convenience for them to just wake up and walk down to class every morning 5 minutes before class started with no effort, and then walk back up to their rooms for lunch or to change out of their scrubs or study. On the other hand, I had to wake up 2 hours earlier just to make sure I caught the bus (which ran about every 20-30 minutes) and made my lunch, dinner, snacks for the day as well as a change of clothes for the gym or whatever I needed to do.
WORD OF ADVICE: If you are about to start at a Caribbean medical or veterinary school, I suggest living on campus first term. I felt out of the loop sometimes because I was never there and lost a lot of study time waiting for and riding on buses. I know it can be really expensive to live on campus, but considering how much debt we're all in or will be by the time we graduate, that extra couple hundred dollars a month is basically nothing.
|The view from my balcony! I know, beautiful!|
Although I was not so much a "gunner" so much this term, I now know the secrets to become one next term:
1. LIVE ON CAMPUS. Basically what I said before this. Also, there is housekeeping at my school and the extra cleaning time can be put towards my studies! Major plus. And convenient of course.
2. FIND YOUR BEST STUDY ENVIRONMENT EARLY ON IN THE TERM. And when I say environment, I mean place, temperature, cubicle/no cubicle, study music, people/no people, lighting... all that is important. As fun as distractions can be, they can be detrimental to your grades. But just be comfortable. Personally, I find I study best when I'm in a freezing cold room with a hot beverage and a blanket. The cold keeps me awake. Also find some good study partners. They know things that you don't and you know things that they don't. Help each other out, these people are basically your family now!
3. REVIEW CLASS NOTES WITHIN 48 HOURS AFTER THE LECTURE. They say you are more likely to retain information if you review it immediately after you learn it.
4. IT'S OK TO SKIP A FEW SOCIAL EVENTS. I know there is a party every weekend, but sometimes you have to learn how to say no. Your friends will still be your friends if you don't go. They might just call you lame and then go out and witness something crazy that night. But there are sooooooo many social events to go to, and you're really not missing out on anything. You'll hear about it later and be glad that it wasn't you that got punched in the face or made out with some rando at that beach party
5. STUDY BREAKS AREN'T FOR THE WEAK, THEY HAVE BEEN PROVEN TO INCREASE PERFORMANCE. Naps are wonderful. If you feel like you can't concentrate or keep your eyes open, please go take a quick nap. You will feel refreshed when you wake up and then you can right back at it again! Netflix is awesome too, just don't start a new series in the middle of midterm or finals week! Sadly, I know this from experience...
Anyway, I absolutely LOVE it here and would not trade this experience for anything in the world.