How I Get Through Medical School Without Drinking Coffee

by winnell

Since starting medical school, I have held and currently hold many positions aside from the full-time duty of being a medical student. These positions include :

  • President of the Student National Medical Association
  • Creative Director of the Diversity Taskforce
  • COSGP Diversity Representative
  • Campus Social Media Ambassador
  • Secretary of the Rainbow Health Coalition
  • Social Committee –  Annual School Formal Organizer
  • Blogger
  • Youtuber

Aside from that, I run a free weekly newsletter with over 200+ subscribers, where I provide pre-medical advice, internships and general life and career advice for the modern millennial.

Of course, I have my own website and Instagram following that keeps me going.  As I stated in my previous post on anti-coffee dependence, I run on divine energy.  I can successfully power through my day without coffee. The only times, I’ve truly needed coffee was for pulling all-nighters in the past. Most of those times, coffee couldn’t help me.  I would much rather stick to habits that are sustainable, healthy and cost-effective. 

So, without further adieu, here are the ways I manage to get through medical school without coffee.

I would absolutely love to have my head and body in two different places at the same time.  I’m the definition of a busy bee and I couldn’t function any other way. I love to wear many hats and walk in different shoes. I like to keep my plate full and run on E, for Extra! 

Green Smoothies

Morning Smoothies for the win! Ever since purchasing a Vitamix, my life has changed for the better. I love making 20-second green smoothies that last me 2-3 days. My favorite recipe is Kale with frozen mangoes and a fresh banana. There’s something about green smoothies that keeps me feeling so charged up and ready to seize the day. 

Morning Jam Session

A shower or portable speaker is a must! I love to start my day off with some Gospel music as well as Turn-up music. I have my top 2 Gospel songs that get me in my groove. My top 2 gospel Songs are ‘Miracle’ by the Clark Sisters and ‘You Know My Name’ by Tasha Cobbs.

For Turn Up music, I’ll opt for some Female Rap energy which includes Cardi B – ‘She Bad’, City Girls – ‘Twerk / Act Up’ and some Nicki Minaj classics – Blazin’, Monster, Itty Bitty Piggy etc.  

Study Playlist

I have a study playlist on Apple Music Called Focus, Focus Memorize. This playlist has a calming, meditative sound. It has about 50 tracks that I keep on shuffle. I  play these songs while reading and doing practice questions and it helps me focus and concentrate. I tried studying with classical music, but I got distracted and started acting like the orchestra conductor lol. It works for some people though. 

Study Breaks

Study breaks are so Important! I cannot stress this enough. You have to have a pause in the monotony of your study mode to reward your self with things you like. During my study breaks, I’ll usually switch my study playlist to a Beyonce playlist and start dancing. Some times I’ll play my trap music favorites or belt out a nice Adele or 90s R&B song. It really depends on my mood. Study breaks are also fun for checking up on the latest tea on The ShadeRoom. Another study break hobby is window shopping. I love the Outnet. They are closet goals and doctor life fashion #goals. After study breaks are over, I throw my phone into an obscure corner so that it is out of my reach. Out of sight and out of mind!

Study Treats

I can be an emotional eater at times, which can be a good and bad thing. Living in New York City gives me access to the best desserts in town right at my fingertips. I’m not quite sure where I’d be without GrubHub and Uber Eats holding me down. Pinkberry and Magnolia’s Bakery are the GOAT. The Red Velvet Cheesecake has definitely helped me power through to ace exams. It’s important to reserve your special treats for a time when you’re truly losing motivation to study rather than constantly treating yourself to lots of sugar.  Remember, everything in moderation.

Time Management  

I employ the Pomodoro Technique on most days. I downloaded an iPhone app called Focus Keeper and  Be Focused for the Mac that has a timer for 4 sessions of 25 minutes and 5 minutes break after each session. After the final cycle, you get a 25-minute break. You can customize the study period and breaks using the app as well. This regimen helped me push through and I was able to study more efficiently throughout the weekend and get enough sleep ☺️. I highly recommend trying this if your focus has been a little out of whack. 🍅🍅🍅🍅🍅

Sleep Schedule 

Join the #MorningPersonChallenge !

One of my new New Years Resolutions was to become a morning person. This means going to sleep earlier and waking up earlier so that I can be productive in the morning while having a quality sleep schedule. I started using the bedtime app on my iPhone which customizes how many hours of sleep you need daily when you want to be reminded of your bedtime and what type of music you’d like to hear when you wake up. ⁣
I’ve been going to sleep at 11 PM and my reminder comes on at 10 PM. At 10 PM, I stop studying or whatever I’m doing and I start preparing for bed. I wake up at 6 AM every day and do planned work in the morning before heading out to school.

Keeping my sleep cycle in check, allows me to be a happier, more alert and productive person throughout the day, even at 6am.

In order to seize the day, one must have a healthy sleep schedule, early bedtime and a daytime routine that rewards productivity 🙂

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