I wouldn’t be who I am if it were not for my mom’s continuous support and love. Lots of love💕 Don’t forget to send your mom a text, an email, a call, or a digital drawing (like me- feel free to use this!). Happy mother’s day!
I wanted to share my experience self-studying and writing the MCAT in the summer of 2019. I heard the MCAT has been shortened this year…(Almost makes me wish I took the exam this year). Nonetheless, I want to share some MCAT advice from my experience.
I set myself 3 months to study for the MCAT. And let me tell you first hand you will not be using all of that time. The first month will fly by with a blink of an eye. The second month might be filled with unexpected surprises. And the last moth is where things get serious. In fact, the last 2 weeks will make you stressed like no other situations.
From my experience, you need at least 3 months. 2 months to ease yourself into ALL the material, but the last month is when the real studying gets done.
I had a part-time job on the weekends (so I can still fund my coffees and doughnuts). However, I do not recommend taking up anything more than ONE job or ONE volunteer or ONE summer course. People weren’t kidding when they said studying for the MCAT is a full-time job!!
One thing that helped me balance a social life and study grind was to make a checklist. Set yourself a study goal everyday. For example, “On monday, I am going to review all the metabolic cycles and review physics. On Tuesday, I will memorize all the amino acids and review psychology.”
Have a study spot:
This is a given. Everyone has that one place where they are the most productive. For me, it was a library at UBC. And sure it took me more than A HOUR just to bus there, but I knew that my time there was the most productive. With regards to the COVID-19 outbreak, we are now limited to our homes. During the past finals session, I found myself most productive when I designated an area at home just for studying.
Take a freaking break:
No one can study all day, everyday (okay, maybe some of us can…kudos to those folks because most of us can’t). Take a break! There’s no better way to refresh the mind and return to studying in a better mood.
Face it, you might never feel “ready” but you will be READY
This last reminder is for the week/day before the exam. I was on the verge of tears the day before my exam. Partly because I was preparing myself for the biggest fail of my life. I felt so unprepared. My mock exam marks were in the low 70s. CARS was more terrifying than ghosts or an episode of Black Mirror. Even AFTER the exam, I told myself to take a L. Time is up. You weren’t meant for this path. And to my surprise, I got a decent mark (90 percentile)! That just goes to show that you are more ready than you think you are. Trust me.
Other information that might be helpful:
My study material:
90% Princeton review
And a bunch of random books from Amazon that didn’t really help
Courses to take that helps with MCAT:
Psyc 100*** (if possible take it the class right before you start studying for MCAT and you will likely breeze through this section like it’s a review)
Biochem 200-300 level **
Course you don’t need to take: sociology!!! 🙅🏻♀️
Biochem and orgo: memorize the amino acids but you don’t need to memorize all the metabolic pathways.
Physics, chem, and bio: don’t spend too much time fussing about physics because it accounts for such a tiny portion of the exams.
Psyc and sociology: know your terms inside out.
CARS: This is the section that absolutely stumped me to the Mariana Trench. I studied the whole summer, and my mark did NOT improve AT ALL. Definitely seek out other people’s advice on CARS because I could not figure it out for the life of me. If I decide to rewrite the MCAT in the future, this section is definitely something I would emphasize the most.
Good luck to everyone writing the exam! For someone who didn’t think it would be possible to self-study all of this, I guess I proved my past self wrong. You can do it too 💪 and you are one step closer to your goal 🤩
The last two months flew by so fast. It challenged all of us to adapt to a new way of living and to accept the new reality, as peculiar as it is. Self isolation is no piece of cake. The challenges we face at home are more emotional and psychological. Communication with friends and teachers seem odd and unfamiliar. Phrases like “these trying times” and “hope you are staying safe” appear in every email. Anxiety arises as your toilet paper supply diminishes exponentially. And why is everyone is making Dalgona coffee? And let’s be honest, staying home with family 24/7 is bound to ignite petty and hefty arguments.
In these trying times (iykyk), it’s a great opportunity to return to those hobbies we neglected during “normal” times. Maybe even pick up new hobbies. It’s also nice to follow a routine and relish in whatever “normal” we can reintegrate into our everyday life. You have all the time in the world (or so we are told), but at the end of the day if all you want to do is lounge on the couch and plays Sims, that is okay too. And don’t forget to check up on friends and family!
I have finally completed my third year of undergraduate studies at Queen’s 🥳! There are lots of things lined up for the summer. I will be back with random art projects here and there, and I will also be starting a new series documenting my experience applying to medical school (in Canada) amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Stay tuned if you want to see how I attempt to face the taunting thing that is med school applications. In the meantime, if you haven’t already, check out the WHO’s website for their insight and advice regarding the COVID-19 outbreak.
Inspired by my Montreal bagel. Sometimes the greatest joy I find in drawing my favourite foods. It was also interesting working with the oil painting tools in Procreate. I ended up cheating by using markers but the oil paints allowed me to add more texture to the graphic 😍
This is something I whipped up for my mom’s birthday. Just a reminder to do what you love because she told me her new years wish is for me to be more happy. I thought I was already very happy 😂 so maybe she meant for me to maintain this state of mind for 2020. And right back at her! She is always so selfless so I thought she needed a reminder to be mindful of her own happiness too. Love you Mom!
What’s your favourite edit? 🤔
Procreate. iPad. Jan 2020.
Happy new years everyone. Enjoy your 2020 vision while it lasts 😎
I love drawing but I am NOT a doodler. With uni full-time, I find it more and more difficult to find the time to sit down and paint or sketch. Over the past few weeks, I found myself “doodling” words.
I have been using this as my Christmas card to family and friends! This is a great way to personalize your cards while keeping it simple. You just have to print one design and use it for multiple cards. 🙈
I have been loving the Procreate app for drawing. The more you play with it, the more you realize that the $15 or so was worth every penny. If you are into digital art or graphic design, I highly recommend checking it out.
I didn’t get involved in many extracurriculars back in high school nor my first year of university. I remember feeling like there was something wrong with me for not being interested in anything school related, especially seeing how active my friends were at school.
All this, and I can tell you that that mindset is false. First of all, there are COUNTLESS clubs and activities on campus. You are bound to find something that sparks your interest, even in the slightest bit. For me, I am especially interested in science/healthcare related clubs. Combine that with graphic design and it’s a match made in heaven. I really enjoy graphic design so I find myself enjoying a graphic design position in clubs that are not even related to science or healthcare. There are so many roles delegated in each club that you are bound to find one that speaks to you. For example, do you like marketing, finances, outreach, or sponsorship?
If all else fails, you can always start your own club! This I can speak for. It also explains my long hiatus from this blog. My friends and I started a club this year that supports the local Parkinson’s Disease community. Getting this club up and running hasn’t been easy but I know it will be worth all the time and effort. As an introvert, the idea of starting my own club was terrifying at first. Luckily, I was able to find a group of friends who were willing to put in their own time and effort to help me make this club a reality (how am I so lucky to have found these people 🥺). I am going to be cliche here and say that nothing is impossible if you have enough drive and passion- you can do it.
My advice to anyone who is stressing about not being involved in enough extracurriculars is to… NOT. Sounds like dumb advice. But it’s true. Take a deep breath, mediate, and start seeking out clubs or activities that you are ACTUALLY passionate about or interested in. When you find those opportunities, you will find that being an active, involved student on campus will be easily than previously thought.
Here are some graphics that I did for my clubs last month:
I have drawn and painted my hands too many times to count. To make things more interesting, I decided to have my HowToBasic moment. My vision was a more detailed study of the reflective surfaces and layering of paints. The thin layer of yellow paint definitely helped to create the illusion of a broken egg yolk. I decided to leave the rest of the painting half-done. You can say I got lazy or alternatively that it helps to emphasize the intended subject, right? 😜