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    Hey guys, I recently joined cambridge and I am studying in my first year. I've found the workload extremely intense and feel it is very stressful. I feel that I dont know as much as should do and during the first term I felt very intemidated as all the supervisors kept asking why i didnt know the answer to the asked question. We had a formative test at the end of the first year after which i had a dos meeting whom asked me if "I was happy with my mark?" even though I didnt do well. Now i have mocks next week and feel underprepared and i know i will get further meetings with the dos/supervisors whom will judge me. I really need some advice from those who have been in my position. I keep thinking that the supervisors are there to help me, but it feels like they are constantly judging and telling me off as if me performing poorly affects them..
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    (Original post by Dank12)
    Hey guys, I recently joined cambridge and I am studying in my first year. I've found the workload extremely intense and feel it is very stressful. I feel that I dont know as much as should do and during the first term I felt very intemidated as all the supervisors kept asking why i didnt know the answer to the asked question. We had a formative test at the end of the first year after which i had a dos meeting whom asked me if "I was happy with my mark?" even though I didnt do well. Now i have mocks next week and feel underprepared and i know i will get further meetings with the dos/supervisors whom will judge me. I really need some advice from those who have been in my position. I keep thinking that the supervisors are there to help me, but it feels like they are constantly judging and telling me off as if me performing poorly affects them..
    It is intense and stressful. But then so is being a doctor, though that probably feels a long way off at the moment. And you performing poorly does affect your supervisors!

    It is the job of your supervisors and DoS to support your learning. Some may be more...adversarial than others in this, but it sounds like you're getting quite intimidated by them rather than using it as an opportunity to improve your learning. It can be tricky to adjust, coming from school where you may have been top of the class and not found the work too hard, to a place where everyone is clever and the course is complex and fast-paced. It sounds like you're being encouraged to reflect on your performance, which is an important skill and doesn't mean they're telling you off.

    Do you have an idea of why you're not doing well? Are you struggling to find time to study, or to work efficiently, or to remember everything, are there bits you don't understand? If you've coasted through school it can be difficult to realise that actually studying is a skill that needs working on. Your DoS should be able to help you, and there is probably an academic welfare officer in your JCR who may also be able to point you in the direction of more help. Good luck!
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    (Original post by Dank12)
    Hey guys, I recently joined cambridge and I am studying in my first year. I've found the workload extremely intense and feel it is very stressful. I feel that I dont know as much as should do and during the first term I felt very intemidated as all the supervisors kept asking why i didnt know the answer to the asked question. We had a formative test at the end of the first year after which i had a dos meeting whom asked me if "I was happy with my mark?" even though I didnt do well. Now i have mocks next week and feel underprepared and i know i will get further meetings with the dos/supervisors whom will judge me. I really need some advice from those who have been in my position. I keep thinking that the supervisors are there to help me, but it feels like they are constantly judging and telling me off as if me performing poorly affects them..
    What I would say is that you need to keep plugging away at the course. Any work you do is helpful. Don't worry if you can't remember everything - don't get disheartened. You don't want to get stressed and end up putting off the work.

    Cambridge medicine is a tough course with a very high-achieving cohort, there is no doubt about that. Keep a positive attitude and keep working hard.
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    (Original post by Chief Wiggum)
    What I would say is that you need to keep plugging away at the course. Any work you do is helpful. Don't worry if you can't remember everything - don't get disheartened. You don't want to get stressed and end up putting off the work.

    Cambridge medicine is a tough course with a very high-achieving cohort, there is no doubt about that. Keep a positive attitude and keep working hard.
    Thanks a lot! How did you feel when you did your medicine degree here? Did you feel that it got easier towards exam period?
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    (Original post by Helenia)
    It is intense and stressful. But then so is being a doctor, though that probably feels a long way off at the moment. And you performing poorly does affect your supervisors!

    It is the job of your supervisors and DoS to support your learning. Some may be more...adversarial than others in this, but it sounds like you're getting quite intimidated by them rather than using it as an opportunity to improve your learning. It can be tricky to adjust, coming from school where you may have been top of the class and not found the work too hard, to a place where everyone is clever and the course is complex and fast-paced. It sounds like you're being encouraged to reflect on your performance, which is an important skill and doesn't mean they're telling you off.

    Do you have an idea of why you're not doing well? Are you struggling to find time to study, or to work efficiently, or to remember everything, are there bits you don't understand? If you've coasted through school it can be difficult to realise that actually studying is a skill that needs working on. Your DoS should be able to help you, and there is probably an academic welfare officer in your JCR who may also be able to point you in the direction of more help. Good luck!
    It's just difficult for me to remember every fact just by reading of a document in the limited time we have during the term. Also, I spend around 5 hours researching and then writing an essay, after which i get no positive comments by the supervisor and a grade that is seen as bad..
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    (Original post by Dank12)
    It's just difficult for me to remember every fact just by reading of a document in the limited time we have during the term. Also, I spend around 5 hours researching and then writing an essay, after which i get no positive comments by the supervisor and a grade that is seen as bad..
    It seems like you're putting quite a negative spin on everything at the moment - how is your mood generally? How are you enjoying college/Cambridge life?

    You can't remember "every fact" you'll get taught, and certainly not just by reading. There is a lot to learn, and sometimes the exams go into pedantic levels of detail, but you have to develop a structure for what you're learning, and once you have that, the little bits fall into place more easily. There are also more fun options like the Anatomy Coloring Book, and endless Youtube tutorials these days.

    As for your essays - ask how to improve them! It's clearly not that you're not spending enough time on them, but perhaps you're focusing on the wrong things or not answering the question well. Your supervisors and DoS are there to help with this! Back in my day, CUSU ran study skills and essay writing sessions, might be worth looking into those? Do bear in mind though, that in your exams you will only have max 1 hour to write each essay (it might be less, I can't remember exactly!) so the approach to those is a bit different from supervision ones.
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    No doubt about it, the pace at Cam can be absolutely brutal. I am only speaking of observation as a parent of a Cantabrigian, but it appeared harder to me for her to graduate than to get in. Though she loved her subject matter, at times she suffered greatly under stress and self-pressuring, trying to meet her own standards for herself. The way she coped was to throw herself back into it with complete commitment and renewed intensity. I remember the summer before her 3rd year, she got her dissertation subject while we were on vacation - she began her research then and there, in the hotel. I was proud, but it worried me, too.

    Recently, when we visited her in grad school, she said she was glad she did a Cam degree and loved it in many ways, but feels uncertain that is where she would have chosen to study had she known what it would be like. One thing's for sure - she will be able to handle stress anywhere and she knows what she is capable of. I just wish she had had more time for fun.
 
 
 
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