The first two years of medical school were filled with endless tests, hours of study, and endless cups of coffee. They are unlike any other experience most people will ever have. Your stress levels increase as the pressure increases. These 10 tips will help you not only get through medical school with a positive outlook, but also to make you thrive in your emergency medicine career.

1. Accept the fact that you are intelligent enough to go to medical school.

You will doubt your abilities to be a doctor during the first two-years. This is normal. Don’t let a poor test score or a rough week make you doubt your abilities. You are still in medical school. You are worthy to be here. Accept your intelligence and take control of it. What do you call someone who is at the bottom of their medical school class? A doctor. This mantra should be repeated every day.

2. Make a schedule and follow it.

Medical school is a marathon and not a sprint. Training for a marathon takes time. Learning takes dedication, time and commitment. You will be amazed at how much you can learn within a relatively short time span in the first two years. It is important to be patient with your self and to create a schedule that allows for you to absorb the information, whether it is nightly coffee sessions at Starbucks or morning runs on a treadmill. A schedule will help you stay organized and reduce mental clutter. Be the tortoise. Do not be the hare.

3. One night off per week

Take one night off each week as part of your work schedule. This is a must-have. As you move through medical school, your time off will be more valuable and can be used to help you throughout your career. Force yourself to get out of school. Clear your mind. This is a time to connect with the outside world, relax with non-medical school friends, and build relationships with your family. You will feel centered and refreshed when you return to class.

4. Remember why you are here in medical school.

When you spend two years buried in case studies and textbooks, the human aspect of medicine can be easily forgotten. What is the point of learning about Sphingomyelinase deficiencies in Niemann-Pick? Because someone’s child has it and they are turning to you to help them. It is a privilege to have patients trust you in their most vulnerable moments. Remind yourself why medicine is your chosen profession when school gets tough.

5. Create a supportive and diverse network of friends.

Medical school can be for different types of students. It’s amazing, right? Some people are extremely competitive and can pass the boards. They are likely to go on to become neurosurgeons. Some people have already secured a residency through family connections, and only need to complete the minimum requirements to pass. You can build a strong support network by making friends with both men and women. As individuals, we all have strengths and limitations that can help us learn and shape our worldview. We learn together and need others to vent, share our frustrations, and celebrate our successes. A diverse group of peers can help you push yourself and realize your full potential. To survive medical school, it is important to have supportive friends who can understand your zombie lifestyle after a long night of cram sessions.

6. Keep active and eat well

You are likely to be poor unless you have the fortune of winning the lottery or a sugar-spouse. All of us are. Being a student is difficult because money is scarce and good food is expensive. should choose the healthier option. You can get produce for as little as McDonalds, so opt for the carrots instead of the French fries. You can take a break from your studies to exercise and clear your mind. Your mental health will be greatly improved if you can dedicate 15 minutes each day to exercising. It will improve your endurance, attention, and ability to retain information. It is our guarantee that the 15 minutes spent on your health instead of studying did not result in a lower score. Remember that the habits you develop in medical school will be carried over to your career as a physician.

7. Give back.

Giving back to your community and getting away from the desk is a great way to keep a positive outlook during your first two year. Volunteer opportunities are plentiful. You should take advantage of these opportunities. Volunteer at an underserved clinic, be involved in club outreach programs, or advise undergraduate pre-med students. Stop studying and give back once in awhile. Volunteering is something you won’t regret. It may even help you to recharge and rejuvenate your batteries.

8. Learn from your mistakes and embrace failure.

All of us will fail at one point. A test will not pass. You will not receive a diagnosis. Unfortunately, mistakes are inevitable. Every failure, no matter how small or large, is an opportunity to learn. Failures offer an opportunity to learn from mistakes and make improvements in the future. Take what you have learned from them all and adapt accordingly. Remind yourself that failing a test is better than it being in a hospital. Learn from your mistakes and use them as a learning opportunity.

9. Be optimistic.

It is certain that the first two years will be difficult. Be optimistic. Flexibility is key. However, you must remain resilient. Many classmates lose their cool when their schedules, exams or test questions are changed. These seemingly minor inconveniences are still important in the grand scheme for life. It is unlikely. You need to keep your eyes open and realize that you have the power to choose how you react. So that you can deal with adversity in practice, it is important to learn how to handle it now. You will face many situations during residency, rotations and practice that are beyond your control. In these instances, you have two options: to panic or to accept the situation and move on.

10. Have fun

We can only recommend that you have fun during your first two years in medical school. It is not worth doing anything if it isn’t fun. While tests will pass, your mental health will be what will continue to affect the clinic, wards and operating room, as well as the emergency department. You must take care of yourself and enjoy your family and friends.