The nice thing about fourth term is it starts to kill that test anxiety by throwing them at you so often, you just stop thinking of them as being the catastrophic events that will make or break your entire future, as it seems in first term.
It also demonstrates an extreme ferocity of bad planning... for instance, I was lamenting that our clinical skills written exam was on a Monday that followed a week of killer exam, which then itself was followed on the same day by lecture, and then switching our lab schedules around on the same day.
Now, it's going to be demonstrated by our nutrition final on Monday, a fact I think a few of my colleagues are still unaware of, followed by pathology lectures, followed by a Clinical Skills quiz. On the plus side, the C/S department at least seems to not like the schedule either, but we've got real live patients coming in on Wednesday (versus our common practice of using each other), so we can't switch.
In other news, I'm doing my path slides now after struggling to remain caught up despite killer integrative, difficult "Gee, I wish I'd learned physiology" path lectures, along with nutrition lectures that suddenly decided to change from being fluffy bunny to being biochem difficulty in the last week before the final... oh, and we have an online path quiz to do that previous weekend.
See what I mean?
On the other hand, contrasted to most of my posts in second term, where I was in my deep depression and came across as if I wanted myself and everyone on the island to die in a fire, I seem to psych-wise, be doing okay, and have been kind of skating an optimism from third term that has turned to cautious optimism.
I think it stems from second term being largely misrepresented as an "easy term" because you have large breaks in the day rather than having your scheduled packed with labs, which is probably true for someone who attends lectures. This gave me a faulty impression of it, particularly since it involved immuno, which was incomprehensible for a number of reasons, and physio, which I still consider to be the most conceptually difficult class in medical school (yes, including pathology).
Fourth term, on the other hand, is given such a reputation as you progress through first second and third term, and is so long, that anything short of being pinned down while they drip boiling lead onto me is something of a relief.
My path group also helps, and seems to kind of make or break your psychology in fourth term to a degree.
You may have heard (good) advice on getting together with a path group that has similar study habits, if you're a good-grade person, go with other gunners, don't group with lazy people, etc.
I have found it more critical though, to be with path people you psychologically mesh with, so long as no one is pathologically lazy, because nothing will kill your will to live more than having to spend nearly every weekday with people you do nothing but argue with, criticize, and terminally dislike.
And my path group is generally awesome, laid back, and gets along well, which does a great deal to ease my stress, so thanks, path group. We also have people that readily volunteer to do the administrative work, which is a relief, because if you think I'm lazy on study methods, just wait until you see the degree of half assery I do at arranging things.
This is not to try to gloss over how nasty fourth term is, and it's breaking the spirits of many, largely by just running us out of stamina, but for any going back and reading me, it does have the potential to get better.
I'm also feeling that calm sort of adjustment to island life that I was gawking at in 4/5/6th termers back when I was a wee first termers. Things like... we received an email that they're going to start getting all the stray dogs off campus, and they've reminded the police (who didn't know) that having unleashed yard dogs wander around, form packs, and occasionally attack people, is actually illegal. I figured "Eh, most of the dogs around here are easily scared off, and when I walk in areas that aren't as good, I tend to carry a big rock around to throw at any that aren't easily dissuaded." When I saw upper termers roaming around with rocks and sticks earlier on, I figured they were faux weapons to guard against *people*. Silly me.
Today, I treated myself to take out food, which was a combination of Indian and Chinese food, the latter of which was pulled out of a plastic container by hand, and I was advised to microwave everything when I got home so it would be warm. My response? "Mmm! Chinese food!"
Not bad either.
I know now to not only watch out for dog doo (see above), but also unconsciously avoid cow doo and goat doo when I'm walking on the sidewalk home from school.
I know the disinterested "move along" wave when reggae buses honk at me for a ride when I'm walking home.
I'm learning the flight schedules. Liat's had more of its evening flights leave on time, and when you're out near the Chinese embassy, British Airways always turns and flies over so close you feel like they're gonna skim your forehead.
I'm learning the best sunset points, and that locals with bottles and line can catch way more fish from them in forty-five minutes than I have in my entire life.
I'm learning that my shower is actually warmer when I just don't even bother turning on the switch for the heating coil.
I've gotten the perfect arc shot on tossing matches into the sink from where I light my stove rather than nailing the floor or my drying rack.
So it's coming. It's coming. Hopefully understanding endocrine will come as well.