Ah! It’s that time of year again my friends! Time to decide what medical school you will call your own (or if you’re an undergrad, to which schools you will be applying). Before you start tirelessly mapping out your pros & cons lists, I will considerably ease your decision-making process by answering a few of the most common questions asked to current medical students about Wright State. So here you go, your most pressing questions answered! WARNING: You will decide Wright State Boonshoft School of Medicine is the greatest school of all time after reading my answers. Proceed with caution.
What is there to do for fun around Wright State BSoM?
Something I have always loved about moving to a new place is the opportunity to explore my surroundings. Though medical school certainly soaks up a lot of my time, I find that staying balanced is my greatest key to success. Here are some of favorite activities.
For the outdoorsy:
1) Yellow Springs: If you love hiking or simply have a taste for the unique, this is one little oasis you should definitely explore. In October, I attended the Yellow Springs biannual street fair (also held in June) where I was able to shop for eclectic handmade jewelry among street vendors, eat some delicious “Ha Ha Pizza” and listen to live music in the beer garden. I topped off the day with a beautiful fall hike through John Bryan State Park. If you enjoy biking, hop on the Little Miami Scenic Trail for a trip into Xenia Station Hub where you can link up with the Creekside Trail (see below) & make your way back to the campus area or take any number of trails that also connect at this location. To learn more about Yellow Springs, visit: http://www.exploreyellowsprings.com/
2) Creekside Trail: After nearly every exam, I take my legs down N. Fairfield Rd. to the Creekside Trail, a paved bike trail that stretches 17 miles from Xenia to Eastwood Metro Park in Dayton at the Montgomery/Green County Line. It is always a peaceful retreat from the main streets and is only about five miles (about a 10 minute drive) from Boonshoft, even less if you live in any one of the apartment complexes along Fairfield Rd.
3) Rock Walls: If you’re looking to stay sharp on your climbing skills or are just simply looking to pursue a new hobby, check out the rock walls at the Student Union. It’s harder than you think. Try the free climb wall (I did and I couldn’t move my arms for a week). In addition, Clifton Gorge near Yellow Springs has a rock climbing and rappelling area outdoors!
4) Canoeing/Kayaking: At the beginning of the year, a group of first years took to nearby Mad River for a short 2 hour canoeing excursion. I recommend this as a great bonding experience for incoming students and hope to do it again soon as the weather warms up. Also check out http://littlemiamicanoe.com for information about canoeing the Little Miami River! (Above is a picture of our group before hitting the water.)
5) Wright State Intramurals: Leaving perhaps the best for last! By far some of my favorite times away from the books have been playing intramurals with my fellow Boonshoft MS1’s against the other med school teams and undergraduate teams. BSOM usually has several teams participating during each season. Our soccer teams always dominate but we also have a strong presence with our volleyball, basketball, softball & intertube water polo teams (yes, you heard me right, intertube water polo).
For a night off from the books:
1) Oregon Historic District in Downtown Dayton:
Surround yourself with the charm of Dayton’s Oregon District. The lovely brick streets and old architecture from as early as 1820 will get your mind off the worries of simple squamous epithelium and the Kreb Cycle. In addition to cool nightlife, check out “Urban Nights,” an art gallery hop held the first Friday of every month from 5 to 10PM. Enjoy art displays and live music showcases by local artists as you peruse the streets.
2) Kings Table:
My personal favorite because of its huge selection of craft beverages. It will no doubt remind you of being in someone’s basement…like your coolest friend in high school whose parents were always so much cooler than yours? Their basement. Just go. You’ll see what I mean. To boot, on Wednesdays you can get Tater Tots and grilled cheese for just $1 a piece!
Other local bars to check out:
3) One-Eyed jacks
4) W.O. Wright’s
4) Fox & Hounds
5) The Pub at the Greene
(Definitely check out the Greene for good shopping as well!)
What one piece of advice would you give to an incoming first-year student?
When I started the school year, I was one year out of classwork but several years out of science (life of an English major, sigh). It took me a couple months not only to adjust to the pace but to realize my own abilities as a medical student. I was overwhelmed with stress and tired all the time from charts upon charts of muscle attachments in Anatomy that I thought I would never memorize no matter how long I stared at them. I soon realized that I just needed to change my perspective and approach to studies. So here is my greatest advice to any incoming student:
Sleep! Exercise! Eat well! Take a night off every now and then! Don’t sacrifice the things that keep you sane! Burn out is a buzzword for medical students these days because of their unwillingness to “schedule in” those things that are truly the keys to success. Finishing exams with enough gas in your tank to enjoy the evening after and begin focusing again for the next exam is the name of the game! Make “living” a priority and you will find that each day becomes less of a chore and you will be able to focus your study time the right way! This is why I encourage spending time outdoors (running outside in the winter kept me from getting the dreaded “Cabin Fever”) and also with your classmates. You’ll find that though the classes may get progressively more challenging and note-heavy, you WILL get better at tackling them.
In addition to this, be open to new methods of studying! You will find that each class will require different techniques for learning but that if you are open to this, your willingness to adjust will keep you from getting exhausted from worn out old methods that may or may not even be benefitting you.
Finally, do what works for you!
What has been your favorite part of first year?
Though it is hard to pick just one event, I must say that my trip to New Orleans over Spring Break takes the cake (see my last post for a detailed description of what I did there).
However, some of my favorite moments been the social gatherings held throughout the year, including the Halloween party and Holiday party hosted by our social chairs. These events are a great way to bring not only the first years together, but the second, third, and fourth years as well.
*In case you were wondering, I was the yellow power ranger for Halloween! I encourage you to attend these events as a Boonshoft student because they are always a great time!