Student Perspective: How to Stay Focused When There Is So Much to Do

A blog post from Eric Moody, Class of 2017

It’s hard to believe that I am almost halfway through my third year of pharmacy school already. Looking back over the past three years I can honestly say that my skills and knowledge, as a pharmacy student, have grown exceedingly. There have been plenty of ups and downs, but the journey has been fantastic thus far. I will admit that it is hard to stay focused and on top of your game at times in pharmacy school. The course load and the accompanying assignment load can seem overwhelming at times. It is in these moments that we come to know what type of student we are, and more importantly, what type of person we are becoming.

I am from a small town called Deep Run, NC. Growing up my parents have always encouraged me to do my best, study hard, and work hard. This way of life has stuck with me over the years and has helped me achieve great things. Once I started pharmacy school, however, doing my best didn’t seem to cut it any longer. The transition was tough on me and I began to lose hope in my abilities to make a difference as a pharmacy student.

Luckily for me, I still had my wonderful family, friends, and colleagues to lift my spirits. I learned to maintain my focus in school with their help. I realized that they would never give up on me and that I shouldn’t either. A wise man once said, “Hold on to the ground that you have already won.” Relish in all of the good things that you have accomplished. Use those happy moments to give you strength you need to push through the hard times, to give you hope when there is none, and to help you stay focused throughout your studies. You can make it through pharmacy school, but how you make it is up to you and your attitude. Stay positive, my friends!

Student Perspective: The First Month of PY1

A blog post from Jenna Wood, Class of 2017.

The first month of PY1 can be a whirlwind of an experience. You are just starting pharmacy school, meeting new people, and still getting used to where everything is. For me, the first few weeks of school were one of the most exciting and stressful times of the year. Acronyms for different organizations to join are getting thrown at you, such as SHAC, CAPS, and TCCP, and it can be hard to keep everything straight! You are also still learning the names and faces of those in your class. So learning from experience, I have a few pieces of advice for surviving the first few weeks of pharmacy school. First, make the most of orientation day. This is a great time to meet your fellow classmates and learn about all the student organizations. Some of the people I have met that day have become some of my best friends in pharmacy school. Make sure to ask questions and collect fliers at the organization fair after orientation to learn about all the organizations that ESOP has to offer.  Second, mark down in your planner or whatever type of calendar you use when all the interest meetings for the organizations are, and try to go to them! Even if you aren’t interested after learning more about them, most will at least offer a free lunch or some other incentive. And lastly, if you are stressed or having a hard time adjusting to pharmacy school, reach out to a PY2/PY3, faculty member, or anyone else who has been through pharmacy school. They know how you feel and can be a great resource for you! For me, this was my pharmacist that I had been working with for the past year at Harris Teeter. He assured me that it was definitely an adjustment, but that I’d eventually figure everything out and find my place. I didn’t know it at the time, but he was right!

Class of 2019

Cookout

We were excited to welcome 152 new members of the Class of 2019 to campus for a cook-out last night and orientation today. You can find more pictures from orientation here. It’s been a lot of fun to work with them this past year throughout the admissions process, and we’re looking forward to following their next four years at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy as student pharmacists. What a great group of students! Orientation started at 8:00am, and they started arriving at 7:00am – talk about eager! Let’s hope they continue that trend when classes start later this week 🙂

Orientation

Check out the profile for the Class of 2019. You can find more information about the types of students we’re looking for in the admissions process here.

Student Perspective: The Transition from Undergrad to Professional School

A blog post from Erica Earnhardt, Class of 2017.

Many students want to know the difference between undergraduate versus professional school. “Will I have any free time?  Will I be able to balance my social life with school?”

 

From what I have learned over the past year, is that there is definitely a difference between your undergraduate and pharmacy course work.  When I was in undergrad, I had a lot more free time on my hands.  I had hours between classes to do work, go to the gym, hang out with friends, etc.  When I started pharmacy school, it took me a while to transition to an 8am-4pm day full of classes and meetings.  It helps to understand that you have to look at pharmacy school like a job.  You are going to have classes straight from 8am to lunch, with an hour break, then afternoon classes that can last till 3pm.  Some days that hour lunch will be a time to have organization meetings.  I was not able to leave campus after my morning classes and come back for an afternoon class like I did in undergrad.  Don’t let this scare you.  It might seem like a long day, but it is something you can easily become accustomed to.

 

Though pharmacy school may seem like much, there will be times that you will have time for yourself.  Whether this is relieving stress by going to the gym, or giving yourself a couple hours to do things that you enjoy and help you relax.  Take a walk; go out to dinner with friends.  These are all things that you can do to balance your professional life with your personal life.  It is important to still have fun and not let school overwhelm what is valuable in your life.  Pharmacy school may seem like a big transition, but with time management you can easily handle your professional life and enjoy your time over the next few years!