How to Transition From College to Medical School

Congratulations! Getting into medical school is an incredible feat, and you worked hard for years to get there. You truly deserve to feel happy and proud to be at this point.

Although there is a lot to prepare for, going to med school should be exciting and part of a whole new life adventure. Use these five tips to get ready and make the most of your time:

— Find where you will live.

— Plan your move.

— Figure out how you will pay for school.

— Start meeting people.

— Have fun.

[Read: Why It’s Hard to Get Into Medical School Despite Doctor Shortages.]

Find Where You Will Live

For most students, attending med school means moving to a new location. Once you decide which school you will attend, start looking for housing and consult with the medical school for options. They can give you listings for student housing, names of students looking for roommates, or information about housing close to campus.

If you can, take a trip to the school and orient yourself to the area. It is a great plus to be close to campus when you will be spending so much time there.

Plan Your Move

After you find a place to live, ensure you give yourself ample time to move your things and get settled in. Most schools have an orientation week, so ideally you would like to be all set before then. Arrange transportation and your living space so you are all ready for Day One.

Figure Out How You Will Pay for School

Everyone knows medical school is quite expensive, so it is imperative to secure your funding. Talk to the medical school’s financial aid office to learn about options.

[READ: Are You Ready to Pay for Medical School?]

It’s likely that you will have to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, commonly called the FAFSA, to qualify for financial aid. Be sure to get that in by the deadline. Although June 30 is the federal due date, some schools have earlier deadlines.

Start Meeting People

Although you will be meeting others during orientation, meeting some peers earlier can help ease transition. Attend a Second Look day if your med school offers it. Ask about social media groups that may connect students attending.

It’s an added benefit if you meet a second- or third-year medical student who can provide some extra guidance and advice.

Have Fun

Yes, there are lots of logistical things to be doing, but you should take the time to revel in the moment and enjoy yourself. You will have a great time in med school. You will finally be learning the things you have dreamt about for years and spending time with peers that are on the same trajectory as yourself.

[Read: What a First-Year Medical School Student Can Expect.]

But it will also be hard, and those first initial weeks can be a bit overwhelming. Studying or reading textbooks before then is unlikely to provide you any added benefit for the transition, and your school will do the best they can to ease you into the volume of information typical of med school.

You will have to dive right in when courses begin, so instead of worrying about it, take this time to decompress and enjoy family and friends. You just completed a task — getting into medical school — that thousands of others try and don’t succeed. Applaud yourself and ensure you have time to clear your head so that on Day One, you will be ready to take on life as a MS1.

More from U.S. News

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What Are Your Chances of Getting Into Medical School?

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