Medicine is a demanding course, and balancing studying and socialising can be tough. Student Ambassador Nayyara knows that good friends, organisation and down-time will get you through! In her second blog, she gives us a look into the life of a medical student at RCSI…

My name is Nayyara Mirdad and I am a first year medical student in the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI). I would love to share with you all how I managed to find my way in university by balancing my study commitments and social life. 

My first year at RCSI, Foundation Year, was in September 2020 which I’d say we would all remember as being a heavily fearful time due to it being the early times of Covid-19 – so there was that. I knew that I was going to struggle moving from the learning-styles in high school to university, where in university it is more self-study based. All of these worries started to build up before university had even started and that’s when I noticed I was putting too much pressure on myself and needed to take a step back. 

In the first semester, I dived into meeting my classmates hoping to find common interests and build meaningful relationships (but most importantly to be invited to parties! Ha ha!). In all seriousness, getting to know other students was such a fun and exciting part of university, and until today has really helped me get through tough times. I met one of my closest friends called Zahraa during the first week of university. She has been such a rock for me through the ups and downs of uni-life. I really give my heart and soul to her because she is just a gem of a person!

Nayyara and Zahraa at their white coat ceremony (photo: Nayyara)

I thought it would also be fun to keep up with my hobbies and possibly develop new ones by joining RCSI societies and clubs. There are so many options and I couldn’t decide so, I just joined all of them! The main two that I would say I was most interested in were the Equestrian Society and Tennis Club. I met a lot of very nice people from different courses and years here that I still hang out with today. 

After getting all of the fun aspects of university down, I needed to focus on keeping up with the lectures, studying, finishing assignments on time and all the gory details of what the course actually entails. I threw myself into the deep-end. I attended all the lectures, tutorials and laboratory sessions in-person and went to the library straight after to review what I had learnt. I kept my schedule quite strict so I wouldn’t get left behind and I found that worked best for me. I figured if I put all the work in during the week, the weekend is free to do whatever and that was a tempting deal.

Library session (photo: Nayyara)

Being in RCSI has been an absolutely amazing experience and I can’t wait for all the new adventures that are to come. I hope this has given you insight into my experience finding my way in RCSI. If I should leave you with one piece of advice it is to find yourself a friend like Zahraa because you should always have someone especially in such a rigorous and demanding course of study. 

Nayyara is studying Medicine at RCSI Dublin.