Just 40 more days: It’s time for fall and more A&P

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Greetings to my readers–and potentially to anyone new! I hope that you’ve been enjoying the fall weather. Thankfully, the forever obstinate Georgia has graced us with temperatures dipping in the 60s, light winds, and the gorgeous transition to fall colors. But if you’re in college (or are working full-time), you’ll understand the feeling of not having enough time to appreciate these changes. (Just take a few breaks every now and then so that you don’t completely miss out!) 

Currently, most of my focus is on my group research project for Health Psychology and studying for Anatomy and Physiology I. So, for the reason that I’ve run dry with creative post ideas and also because I’m sure there’s at least one of you who’s dying to know more about the dreaded A&P (which really isn’t as bad as some make it out to be), I’ll be dedicating this post to a brief reflection on the course so far. Also, if you’re confused by the title of today’s post, for CSU students at least, the end of fall semester is drawing closer and closer: December 7 can’t come soon enough, so let’s celebrate it with a countdown.

Tomorrow, I will have my third lecture exam for A&P I, which will cover the lecture material on joints, muscles, nervous tissue, and possibly even the central nervous system. Sounds like a lot, right? Well, it is. Unfortunately, there’s no way to sugarcoat that part of the course: A&P really is saturated with information, and just when you think you have time to breathe, you’re slammed with something new, either in lecture or in lab. However, if you take the initiative and study each day, you’ll find that the mountains of information aren’t quite so intimidating to climb. But that’s the main point here: you absolutely need to devote time to studying and reviewing (for both the labs and the lectures) each day, and if you don’t understand something, you should read corresponding sections of the textbook, peruse articles online, and watch YouTube videos until you do. (I had to do this especially for the section on local potentials and action potentials.) If you take these measures, you have a fairly good chance of succeeding in the course. But if you assume that you can memorize everything in a matter of days before each quiz or exam, you will undeniably, predictably fail–or at the very least, perform more poorly than you had hoped. Harsh? Not really; this is a case of you reap what you sow, so if you’re not a fan of  retaking classes or passing with only C’s (and who is?), you need to develop a strict study system to pull you through.

But isn’t there a lot of sacrifice with this? Yep. At least twice a week, I spend hours converting the lecture material into questions that I then study with flashcards. And each Sunday, I spend at least an hour–but sometimes as many as four hours–in the lab studying the microscope slides and models. I also set aside time to visit my professor during his office hours when I don’t fully understand something or simply want to be quizzed. And that doesn’t even include the hours I spend studying and quizzing myself on the labs and lectures at home. A&P is class that dominates your life. You will eat, sleep, and breathe it each and every day. (This class thus is also a good way to fully gauge whether the field of medicine is for you or not, so if you’re having trouble finding motivation with the material–not the professor, but the actual subject matter–then you may want to reconsider your major.) 

But if you’re really committed to the field of medicine, including nursing, then the fascination and utter joy you’ll experience with learning about the human body and its vastly complicated functions will greatly outweigh the sacrifices you make. So, is it challenging at times? Yes. Exhausting? Absolutely. But does it feel likes it’s truly worth your time? YES! If your intrinsic motivation truly aligns with nursing or pre-med, sure, you’ll grumble under your breath at times (it’s a lot, and that can be frustrating), but in the end, you’ll feel a fire in your belly–an insatiable hunger for more. And that, my friends, is a marvelous feeling indeed. It’s what drives you forward no matter the obstacles you face, and it’s what instills a greater meaning in your life. And yeah, this post is a bit sappy, but that’s how I know I’m meant for the field of medicine. 

What about you?


I’ll leave off on that thought-provoking question. I wish you all a great rest of the week, and I hope that you feel that the things you are doing are worthwhile and meaningful. 


Nursing students unite!