I’m feeling so overwhelmed with the amount I need to learn this year

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Oh—-no
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How do I stop feeling overwhelmed with the amount I need to learn this year?

I’m in the second year of my degree and I need to learn a LOT of pathophysiology along with 45 pages of biochemistry, the physiological actions of different plants and physical clinical examination.

I have a study timetable, but every time I sit down to study, I get an overwhelming amount of anxiety and I try to push through it, but I just can’t focus and nothing goes into my head, even if I’m studying for hours.

I’ve tried breaking it down into tiny parts and small goals, but it always seem too much and I honestly don’t know what to do.

I’m also living in a shared house, so I feel like I don’t have a study space to get into the right mindset, especially since I share a room with my boyfriend who sleeps in later than I do and it feels like a really weird atmosphere trying to study while someone is asleep in the same room as you, but maybe that’s just me.
Last edited by Oh—-no; 8 months ago
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Liverpool Hope University
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(Original post by Oh—-no)
How do I stop feeling overwhelmed with the amount I need to learn this year?

I’m in the second year of my degree and I need to learn a LOT of pathophysiology along with 45 pages of biochemistry, the physiological actions of different plants and physical clinical examination.

I have a study timetable, but every time I sit down to study, I get an overwhelming amount of anxiety and I try to push through it, but I just can’t focus and nothing goes into my head, even if I’m studying for hours.

I’ve tried breaking it down into tiny parts and small goals, but it always seem too much and I honestly don’t know what to do.

I’m also living in a shared house, so I feel like I don’t have a study space to get into the right mindset, especially since I share a room with my boyfriend who sleeps in later than I do and it feels like a really weird atmosphere trying to study while someone is asleep in the same room as you, but maybe that’s just me.
Hey,

Sorry to hear that you're feeling like this. University can be an overwhelming time, especially with the current climate.

Does your university have a Student Wellbeing service? Or somebody that you can speak to about how you feel? This might help you to understand why you are feeling the way you are.

Alternatively, you could speak to your course tutor to see if they have any study suggestions.

Please don't beat yourself up too much about this, as I said University can be very overwhelming and stressful - it's highly unlikely that you're the only person feeling this way!

Hope this helps a little,

Mia
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macpatgh-Sheldon
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Hi,

Sorry to hear this.

First, try and sort out the factors generally making it difficult for you to study
- if possible, try to work at a time when your boyfriend is out [not so easy in the current crisis];

- "change of work is rest" so if one subject is getting on top of you, change to a different one - it can be amazingly refreshing!

- don't look at the heavy books you need to read as an abundance of facts to memorize [see below - when you enjoy what you are doing, you naturally excel at it!];

Are you studying medicine, if I may ask? - sounds like it, especially as you mention physical examination, which would be very unusual to be taught in any other degree.

Whether you are or not, the subjects you mention do require some facts to be learnt, but, in general, you can make things much easier to learn if you follow a reasoning/logic/deduction type of approach RATHER THAN trying to learn by rote as your description suggests you are doing. Also, if doing medicine, try and link your revision with clinical features that you have elicited in your own patients or during ward rounds/outpatient clinics, depending on the course structure at your uni (again COVID-19 might preclude this - sorry).

EXAMPLES:-

A] Pathophysiology:
.......CARDIOLOGY: Simple example:- in aortic stenosis - narrowed aortic valve ----> reduced blood flow into aorta from LV ----> reduced flow into carotid arteries -----> reduced brain perfusion ----> dizziness/syncope. PLUS auscultation is likely to reveal an ejection systolic murmur [between 1st and 2nd heart sounds when ventricles are contracting] as blood gushes through the narrowed aortic valve.
......................Harder:- In ASD, the 2nd heart sound [only sometimes] is widely split and fixed [during inspiration and expiration] - Why? OK the left to right shunt means that pulmonary systole is more prolonged than normal, so the pulmonary valve closes later than the aortic valve so P2 is delayed compared to A2 [wide split] - WHY FIXED SPLITTING? - well, P2 is normally delayed slightly compared to A2 in inspiration cos the reduced pressure in the thorax [due to chest expanding by contraction of the external intercostal muscles and diaphragm] dilates the great veins [IVC and azygos] increasing venous return to the RA hence prolonging RV systole ----> P2 delayed, yeah? However, in ASD BOTH LV AND RV systole is delayed equally during inspiration cos the increased venous return during inspiration is to a "common" [effectively] atrium/atria, so BOTH A2 and P2 are delayed.

B] Physical examination [get McLeod's brilliant book]:
...... Signs develop as a consequence of altered structure or function, so if you think about the pathology, you can mostly predict signs [part e.g. as in A] above].

.....OPHTHALMOLOGY: Simple: Patient taking a drug with antimuscarinic [side] effects e.g. promethazine, oxybutinin might exhibit mydriasis due to blockade of the circular muscle of the iris [supplied by parasympathetic fibres in the ciliary branch of the oculomotor {cranial III] nerve.

CHEST MEDICINE: Harder:- Tension pneumothorax: collection of air between the parietal pleura and the visceral pleura ----> reduced gas exchange ----> cyanosis; trachea displaced away from affected side + percussion reveals shift of cardiac dullness [mediastinal shift] + auscultation:- chest silent on side of tension. {these signs are predictable from the pathophysiology].

I think you should approach clinical medicine in this manner - you will succeed!

Best of luck & be safe!
M [clinical pharmacologist]

PS If you need further guidance/tips please feel free to PM me.
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