Sunday, December 28, 2014

Your Year in Review

In the previous post, I talked about doing a blog party, based on the wonderful questions found HERE. There are fifty questions and I'm going to try keeping it concise and to the point. Let's start!

Your 2014

1.What one event, big or small, are you going to tell your grandchildren about?
>>Got into med school :D

2.If you had to describe your 2014 in 3 words, what would they be?
>> Exciting, tough and new

3.What new things did you discover about yourself?
>> I talk a lot when I'm nervous.

4.What single achievement are you most proud of?
>> Got into med school xD

5.What was the best news you received?
>> When I got into med school :D

6.What was your favourite place that you visited in 2014?
>> Probably Nowshera, where we stopped on our (canceled) trip to Chitral.

7.Which of your personal qualities turned out to be the most helpful this year?
>> Perseverance.

8.Who was your number one go-to person that you could always rely on?
>> My dad.

9.Which new skills did you learn?
>> Embroidering letters? idk.

10.What, or who, are you most thankful for?
>> Everybody xD but of course, all thanks go to Allah.

11.If someone wrote a book about your life in 2014, what kind of genre would it be? A comedy, love story, drama, film noir or something else?
>> One of those feel good movies like "Akeelah and the Bee" or something xD

12.What was the most important lesson you learnt in 2014?
>> It's okay to not be okay.

13.Which mental block(s) did you overcome?
>> I didn't over come anything. I just go to sleep to totally avoid it.

14.What 5 people did you most enjoy spending time with?
>> Hmm... Lilly, Lalie, Sam, Ilene and Maheen.

15.What was your biggest break-through moment career-wise?
>> Interviews.

16.How did your relationship to your family evolve?
>> Apparently I'm a big girl now.

17.What book or movie affected your life in a profound way?
>> Can we talk about how awesome Attack on Titan is.

18.What was your favourite compliment that you received this year?
>> I'm not usually on the receiving ends of compliments.

19.What little things did you most enjoy during your day-to-day life?
>>Drinking coffee xD

20.What cool things did you create this year?
>> I made my awesome planner :D

21.What was your most common mental state this year (e.g. excited, curious, stressed)?
>> Probably anxiety o.o

22.Was there anything you did for the very first time in your life this year?
>> Interviews. Never gave them before.

23.What was your favourite moment spent with your friends?
>> Definitely SIST'13

24.What major goal did you lay the foundations for?
>> Getting into med school? (I sound really obsessed with med school o.o)

25.Which worries turned out to be completely unnecessary?
>> Getting into med school xD I mean, I knew I'd get in but I kept having second thoughts about myself and my abilities.

26.What experience would you love to do all over again?
>> Cut my hair xD It was fun.

27.What was the best gift you received?
>> My iPhone o.o

28.How did your overall outlook on life evolve?
>> I'm a big girl now :D

29.What was the biggest problem you solved?
>> I'm not sure...

30.What was the funniest moment of your year, one that still makes it hard not to burst out laughing when you think about it?
>> There have been lots of funny moments with my friends. I can't remember all of them so I can't really say xD

31.What purchase turned out to be the best decision ever?
>> My latest stationary haul xD

32.What one thing would you do differently and why?
>>Maybe if I had studied FSc better I could've gotten into a government college.

33.What do you deserve a pat on the back for?
>>Getting into med school xD

34.What activities made you lose track of time?
>> Facebook, twitter, DOTA 2, and stuff.

35.What did you think about more than anything else?
>> The future ;-; and whether I could actually be a doctor or not.

36.What topics did you most enjoy learning about?
>> Psychology has been and always will be my favorite subject. (that I didn't get an A on it is a different story)

37.What new habits did you cultivate?
>> Writing in my planner and blogging regularly.

38.What advice would you give your early-2014 self if you could?

39.Did any parts of your self or your life do a complete 180 this year?
>> Nope, I'm quite stubborn.

40.What or who had the biggest positive impact on your life this year?
>> Difficult question- I'm not sure.

Your 2015

41.What do you want the overarching theme for your 2015 to be?
>> Better than Before.

42.What do you want to see, discover, explore?
>> I'd like to see the operating theater in action and stuff o.o

43.Who do you want to spend more time with in 2015?
>> I'd like to get to know my class better.

44.What skills do you want to learn, improve or master?
>> Time juggling.

45.Which personal quality do you want to develop or strengthen?
>> My creativity.

46.What do you want your everyday life to be like?
>> I want to have a goal every day and work and be super productive and look back at the end of the day and say "wow this was worth it"

47.Which habits do you want to change, cultivate or get rid of?
>> My habits of sleeping late and waking up late need to be eXtErMiNaTeD *dalek voice*.

48.What do you want to achieve career-wise?
>> Pass my first year professional exams ;-;

49.How do you want to remember the year 2015 when you look back on it 10/20/50 years from now?
>> Probably as that jump start to the world of medicine.

50.What is your number one goal for 2015?
>> Emerge out a better person in as many aspects as possible.


Whew! That was pretty long! If you joined this blog tag, make sure you share your post on twitter! Hashtag it as #YourYearInReview so I can retweet and read your posts :D 

*Credits to the fifty questions goes to and the link to the post is here.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Flash Back- 2014

I'm sure most of you have heard about the recent terrorist attack that was carried out in Peshawar, Pakistan. I'm not going to go into details, but it's just that awareness is necessary. Speaking from personal experience, spending time on the internet makes you a feel a little alienated from the rest of the world and little information tidbits help keep you updated about what's going on. (Then again, if you follow me on twitter, you probably got spammed by tweets hash tagged #PeshawarAttack)

Since you decided to spend five minutes of your time to read this post, why don't you add a little prayer too- for all the departed souls, for their heart broken parents, for families ripped apart and for people who just desire peace.

Thanks. It means a lot.

Now on to the actual thing. 2015 is about six days away and I figured it was a good idea to revise the resolutions I had for this year before moving on to next year. Here's a blogpost I wrote on 31st December, 2013.

Now here's what I've accomplished so far out of this list.

But no, let's talk about the good stuff that's happened!

I did pass my A Levels with flying colors!

I did get into med school!

I did blog regularly and got a lot of readers!

I did make a couple of new friends- off and online!

I have stopped using my phone as a gaming device! (somewhat)

I AM sitting and relaxing after finally getting into med school!

I think that makes 2014 a pretty successful year, don't you think? How's has your year been? I'm going to be doing another post about this with Neal Kind, basing the content on THIS POST. Care to join the blog party?

*The blog screenshots are from my old blog "the emo wolverine writes" and you won't find those posts anywhere.
*The picture spam is from my Instagram.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

My Personal Planner: Part One

The weekend is finally here! It feels like I've been going to med school for years now! It was so satisfying getting up out of bed around ten o'clock instead of six! And even better- I have both, Saturday and Sunday off! Yay!

So I'm doing a post on the planner I've made for myself for this academic year. I looked up a couple of planner diys on Pinterest and tumblr and that's how I concluded to make my own planner. I also used my old school planner as a reference to see how I was comfortable with doing my thing. Remember, the basic point of a planner is not to look pretty, but to be useful and help organize yourself!

(My planner is still under construction but I'll be showing you the major adjustments I've done)

This is a planner notebook I bought a bookfair for about roughly Rs.250 (which converts to about USD $2.50). The paper quality looks good, but I can't use gel pens (Signo Uniball) or my Schneider highlighters or my colored Dollar Pointers. What I CAN use are dry ink pens and my Tip Top highlighters (which appears to be a Japanese product).
The planner is a production of Shen Shi and they've given their site address ( which doesn't exist? Or maybe it's a website that can only be accessed from specific countries or domains. 
The planner is in A5 size with 105 sheets and is 9mm ruled.
What I liked about this planner was the handy size, the double spiral spine and the colored dividers.
There are five sections and I've taken the first section aside for personal notes etc.
Here's a page out of the first section. This is a list of books I am supposed to buy for my first year and second year medical education. I've placed check boxed next to books that have been strongly recommended by senior students. When I've bought a book, I strike the title out and add a tick on the check box if necessary.

The other four sections are reserved for the actual planner bulk. The first page after the divider is taken up by a useful tumblr post I wrote down and taped on.
(I have something for tape- it makes such a nice border, plus I found out you can write on the tape with permanent marker- or even just the average dry ink pen! Also doesn't make the paper soggy- like glue. yuck)

"Overcome Your Laziness in Four Steps"
The key to doing this is motivation + understanding whether running towards or running away will help you achieve what you want to achieve.
Writing a daily plan to organize yourself can help too.
Ask yourself the following questions each and every day (especially when battling procrastination)
(1) What am I trying to avoid? Consequences?
(2) What am I actually aiming for? Realize what you need to do to get there.
(3) What's the next step I can take? Just one small easy step.
(4) Repeat.
Here's what comes after the quote- the monthly calender.
Why have I started from December? It's because my planner isn't year oriented, but academic oriented. My first day of med school started on the 8th of December- so that's why the planner starts from December.
I like coloring, so I've got a small packet of color pencils close by. On important days or long term events, I've decided to color blocks on the monthly calender and then color on the related information I've written on the weekly bit of the planner! 
Need an example?
See that that one week that has the the top blocks colored with blue? On the last column (reserved for notes) the blue color is explained to represent "Zero Week".
What is Zero Week?
Zero Week was basically an event organized by our seniors which has one event happening every day. I don't know if you can see it on the above image, but on Monday, I've used the same blue color pencil to highlight "Bakesale", for Wednesday it was "Sports", for Thursday it was "Movie Night" and for Friday, it was "Scavenger Hunt".
This is what my weekly planner looks like. There's going to be five such pages until the next Monthly page for January.
I realized drawing that drawing the calender right on the pages wasn't a good idea- the next monthly pages have all been drawn blank pages and taped on,
Here's an example! I drew a calender format and had it photocopied. The format was just a bunch of lines with no writing at all, so I could do all the months separately. I wrote the month, filled in the dates and taped it on the pages. Oh, and here's where I discovered the bit about writing on tape with permanent marker :D It makes great borders!
Here's what I did at the end. I got some grid pages and cut them down to size and then punched holes in them according to the spiral cuts needed. After that, I slipped the grid pages into the spiral spine at the end of the notebook.
The purpose of these grid pages is to record my money spending. I have the page divided into two and three columns on each side. The columns are labelled "Date", "Balance" and "Extra Info" where Balance means whether I got money or spent  money and Extra Info reveals why I received or spent money.
So here's how I've been using my planner so far! It's basically a mix up between the weekly planner format and the bullet journal. I've been using this style for the last year and it's worked great for me- especially when studying for finals. I divide my studying a month before and lay out daily goals, dividing the syllabus revision into small chunks I can easily cover. It helps reduce the stress and anxiety when I flip through the pages and see how I've already got everything organized and under control!

I hope this post was interesting and inspired you in some sort of way ^^. Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The Start Begins

Or The Beginning Starts- take it whichever way you'd like- I think both sound pretty much the same.

This is the first official post of the Lunar Descent. Everything before this were archived posts that I've shifted over from the emo wolverine writes (old book reviews and that one blog series I wrote from the depths of my heart and soul).

So who am I and what exactly am I trying to accomplish here? (I wrote a whole About page but hey, repetition is catchy) Basically, I'm here to tell you guys how my studying as a future doctor is going at Shifa College of Medicine. I find accounts like these really fascinating and since I'd be experiencing it first hand, what better than to pass it on to other people who would love to experience it too?

I'll describe myself more fully later on.

Med school newbies are inducted into the medical field by what is called a "White Coat Ceremony". Let me be brutally honest here- I was expecting much more out of the "Orientation and White Coat Ceremony" that was held on the Sunday of this week. I mean, I can't explain it, but I thought it would be... a bit more pompous and official looking. Nevertheless it was pretty nice. It started with a speech by some teachers and faculty followed by the students being asked to stand up and wear the coats before repeating the oath of medical ethics after the teacher. There was a group photo taken of the first years- about 100 in total.

First day was on Monday.

So far, it's going pretty good. A little boring- since everyone is talking about how they're going to teach us, the teaching methodology, the module system, the this, the that. Basically, the module system is where instead of reading things in order from the book separately, we're going to do an entire system and study it from the biochemistry/anatomy/physiology point of view together. That way, everything you read is directly linked to each other and that makes studying it either. Apart from that, everything is going to be clinically oriented with problem based learning- the objective of all your learning is to apply it on a patient so they're going to try inculcating that right from the beginning.

Last, but not least, we're supposed to be doing research in these five years. They'll have this start right from first year and by the time we have an MBBS degree, we are supposed to have a research article published in a medical journal (how cool is that). I'm a little excited about this bit!

The college also has five societies operating. I can't remember their names exactly, but one is a Student Society, one deals with Blood Donation, the other is Social Welfare, there's one for Debating and then comes Sports. They all sound really nice- I've already registered for the social welfare society. I don't think I'll be able to donate blood though (you have to be 50kg for that and I don't think I come near that yet- I am not exaggerating) and debating/sports isn't exactly my thing.

We even had a tour of the campus and the hospital. We didn't get to see all of the hospital, but we definitely covered most of the college- including the museums and the skill labs which have their real stuff put on display- like embryos and fetuses and this adult size leg and arms and brains and all that kind of stuff. They look REALLY realistic- in the glass jars with the jelly/water- so I'm pretty sure they're real. Oh, and there was this big steel door in the lab and I think it was the dead body storage because there was a log outside for recording temperature (around 10 degrees Centigrade) and it was labelled something like "Morticiary". (Apparently that's not a word...? Maybe I read it wrong).

Oh- and guess what? We don't get to dissect dead people. One of the teachers explained that it's been proven that dissecting dead bodies is absolutely useless and doesn't aid you at all in learning. So that's why, we don't get to do that. You can imagine how upset the students got.

Anyway, things are going pretty smoothly. There's supposed to be a book fair going on so we can buy the things we need. I can't wait to actually start studying- even though people are like "it's going to be real tough!" but hey, I've been ready for this for SIX WHOLE MONTHS.

So this was today's rambling. Here are some common questions I was asked so far.

Are you having fun?
Well, not really because we're just listening to lectures that are 2 hours long but could just as easily be cut down to 30 minutes if you just want to hit the nail on the head. Oh, and the lecturers are like "I have an hour to kill, so let's talk about this now!"

Did you make any friends?
Not exactly- there's just too many people and it's so loud and I can't hear what the other person is saying- plus there's not exactly any place to hang out in the premises. You're expected to stand most of the time. Since the medical students have their breaks at the same time, there's a lot of rush and crowding. It doesn't help that I'm a little anti-social and can't make myself heard (or even be able to hear anyone in that noise).

How are your classes going?
Boring so far. Haven't done anything remotely exciting yet.

And this is a wrap up of the "Beginning of the Start". Apparently, this week is just going to be nice and easy since it's the first week. Our seniors have been organizing events for us too- like a bakesale, movie night, sports day and scavenger hunt. Let's see how the rest of the week goes...
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