When I first started Lucky Guy, it was kind of fun and exciting writing about things that happened two to three years ago. I spent a lot of time rummaging through the crevasses and crevices in my brain for all those anecdotal events. Then digging up past lecture notes and photos and files and friends to supplement it. After that mulling about how I felt about it that time, and most importantly what significance does it play in my life later.
But now its time to write about the fourth year and I found it extremely difficult, because it felt so recent. As a result, the series was punctuated by a long break.
Fourth year in fact gave me a feeling of being punctuated by too many placements. The placements were a hindrance. The first one started in week 5 of the first semester, just as I got into the groove of studying. It was three weeks long, then its back to Uni for one week of lectures. Then its another 3 weeks placements 1 week Uni cycle. There goes my first semester.
I started off fourth year being a mentor for O-week. I had always wanted to be one, and it proved to be quite a memorable experience. But it was kind of hard to make new students interested enough to stay for all the activities, going home to rest or going to the city to play seemed to be their favourite plans after the compulsory parts were over and done with. The best part of O-week is that it enabled me to get to know a lot of first year students. Since I was free, I was also involved in the PISA membership drive, doing up some posters which I hoped was impressive enough to lure unsuspecting students into our club.
The first four weeks were very hectic. We got a lot of lectures, especially on Clinical Pharmacy. In fact we got one single lecturer, Dr Jennifer Marriott for a total of 9 lectures in the first week. The other subjects were Pharmacology and Pharmaceutics. Besides that, I was doing a minimum of 7 hours of notes-taking per week. That means I attended 7 more lectures per week than other fourth years.
Overall, it was a very tough semester, with at least a project for each projects, including a debate. Doing those projects was quite time-consuming, and it was really a test on time management, as I also continued my involvement in PISA, Global Friendship Series and the Ambassador programme, because it had been enjoyable. PISA was a bit unsteady at that time, after numerous elected committee members quitting en masse citing heavy study load. But in the first four weeks we managed to elect new committee members, did quite well in the membership drive and held a couple of activities like the welcome lunch and end-note workshop.
For the placements, I was placed in Austin for Hospital 1 and MyChemist Elizabeth Street for Community. Austin was impressive as the programme was well-structured. The preceptors and the other students doing placements there were nice. The community placement was only okay, but the ample lunch break gave me opportunity to discover the charms of various back lanes and walkways in the heart of the city.
Exam revision was tough that semester. It was the most stressful exam period ever, despite us having only 3 exams. It was not helped by the fact that I did poorly in all the projects. The main culprit being the need to study 53 Clinical Pharmacy lectures, with one lecture taking at least half and hour to read through and understand. Luckily I did enough, rolling off with a somewhat fortunate score of 81, 81, 82. For the first time ever, I got all HD for my exams in a semester, and it happened during my busiest semester. Damn, I should've immersed myself in activities throughout every semester...
Nevertheless, it was a great end to a great semester.