Life as a 1st Year Medical Student

Maybe I’m googling wrongly, but there seems to be a dearth of information with regard to what life in NUS Med is like, which is why I’m attempting to write such a post – key word being attempting. In this post, I’ll try to give you a rough overview of what life as a first-year medical student is like, though everything expressed here is my own opinion, so don’t hold me liable to any damage to your sanity (did we even have any left after A levels???) if you enter med and realise it’s not like what I described.

A day in the life of an M1

(we’re M1’s, 2nd years are M2’s and so on)

  • The first lecture starts at 8.30AM; we normally have 2 to 4 hours of lectures every morning, with a 30 mins break in between to grab food
  • Lunch break!! How long you have depends on your afternoon schedule – or you might be able to go home on a good day
  • There may or may not be tutorials later on in the day, but they generally end by 4/5pm latest
  • In M1, we have 4 subjects: Anatomy, Physiology, Histology & Biochemistry
    • Anatomy: Lots of Latin and names of muscles you never even knew you had
    • Physiology: By far the most logical & interesting subject, cos it explains how the body works
    • Histology: 50 Shades of Pink; it’s been almost a year and I still can’t differentiate between the blobs
    • Biochemistry: Like H2 Bio all over again (memorising names and pathways) and thankfully not very significant in the syllabus
  • Anatomy hall is once a week, we get to examine the parts we’re studying on actual cadvers, thanks to our silent mentors (the people who donated their bodies to science)
    • Beware the fumes, and if you have a weak stomach…you’ll just have to get used to it.
    • It’s 100% free and easy, you can enter any time during your assigned 2-hour slot, and leave once you’re done with the session objectives
    • There are always many profs on standby to take your questions, so ask them anything/everything, cos they’re a treasure trove of info and can even give hints before exams 😛
  • Tutorials are compulsory, they take attendance
    • They’re for you to clarify stuff with your tutor if you’re the type who studies beforehand, or treat it as a 2nd lecture if you still haven’t caught up with the content
    • Is there anything more to be said about tutorials???
  • House system
    • You’ll be sorted into 1 of 10 houses at the start of M1. I’m in Honoris/House 8, so if any of you end up in our house, be sure to say hi to me!! 🙂
    • Each house has 30 people from your batch, and those are the people you’ll be stuck with for most of M1/M2, which could be good or bad, depending on how well you click with them. It’s pretty much like a JC class.
    • For our batch, they split each house into 4 CGs (7-8 people in each clinical group), and you’ll attend tutorials and visit hospital wards with them. If you don’t like your CG, don’t worry, you’re only gonna be with them for 2 years; from M3 onwards, you get to choose your own CG, so you can form it with your good friends instead! 😀

Read On: The good & the not-so-good


The (not-so-definitive) guide to applying for NUS Med/YLLSoM & NTU/LKCSoM

If you’re reading this, you’ve probably been looking around for more info on whether your grades will make the cut for local med, or what the application timeline is like. I remember being in your shoes last year, equally lost and worried as to whether I would be able to make it to a local medical school, and googling for tips didn’t really dig up any results. So, I’ve written this post to shed some light on the application process for NUS & NTU, as well as to give y’all some useless tips on how to prepare your portfolio and the subsequent Focused Skills Assessment + Situational Judgement Test.

Below are some of the topics I’ll be covering in this post:

  • Timeline for NUS
  • Grade requirements
  • NUS Application + Portfolio + EIS
  • NUS: FSA + SJT
  • NTU Application
  • NTU: MMI
  • Admission outcome & the waitlist
  • Is Medicine for you?

Timeline for NUS

Early March A-level results release
Mid March Submit application
End March Shortlisting for the interview + preparation of portfolio
Mid – End April NUS Selection (FSA + SJT)

NTU Selection (MMI)

Early May Notice of acceptance!!
May – End July Accepted/rejected + waitlist

Sorry but I can’t really remember the timeline for NTU, but if you follow the NUS timeline, you won’t miss any of the NTU deadlines either, cos both have extremely similar application processes. And you can’t apply for NTU unless you took the BMAT last November.

Read On: FSA+SJT+NTU Application

{Seoul, Part 7: Namsam Tower, Cat Cafe & Tax Refunds}

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7

Seoul is notoriously rainy in July, so we were worried that it would rain on the day we decided to visit Namsan/N-Seoul Tower, but thankfully, the clouds were on our side and kept it cloudy but not rainy for the whole day! We also went to Namdaemun and a cat cafe in Myeongdong on the same day; read on to be bombarded by more pictures of fluffy cats, you’ve been warned.


I’ll also be covering the process of getting a tax refund at the airport at the bottom of this post, so click on to find out more!

Read On: Namsan Tower, Cat Cafes & Tax Refunds @ Incheon Airport

{Seoul, Part 6: JYP, SM, YG Ent.}

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7

This post is for all my fellow K-pop fans out there and contains directions to navigate your way to the various K-pop entertainment companies (JYP, FNC, YG), INFINITE’s Hapjeong dorm, and I’ll also feature a wonderful shopping paradise – COEX Mall, plus loads of pictures of SM Town Land/SMTOWN@coexartium.

I visited JYP Ent, SMTOWN@coexartium and Coex Mall in one day, and went to YG Ent the following day. These places are a mecca of sorts for us K-pop fans, so if your itinerary has a blank spot, why not make a ‘pilgrimage’  to the very buildings the idols work and train in?


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You’ve been warned: this post is basically a flood of pictures and my fangirling.

Read On: Visiting JYP, YG & SM Ent

on chasing dreams & positivity: My New Year’s Resolutions

Don’t cringe at the excessively-long title. I know it sounds like the sort of inspirational quotes that those pretentious Instagram-ers enjoy posting, or something out of a self-help 101 book. But I really am writing a post on…positivity and how crucial it is to surround yourself with supportive friends when chasing your dreams.

Being the underachiever that I am, I made many New Year’s Resolutions, knowing full well that there’s a 99% probability that I wouldn’t be able to follow through with some of the more far-fetched ones like ‘Keep fit’ and ‘Stop being a k-drama addict’. But in that list, I also wrote down goals that I genuinely want to work towards, because they would improve the quality of my life and better empower me to be a more useful human being.

Credit: LunarBaboon
Credit: LunarBaboon

I’m posting this on a relatively public platform because I want to feel accountable to an imaginary online community (and my friends who are reading this), rather than let these thoughts stay unheard in my little diary. Plus, future me will be able to look back on these goals and see whether she actually managed to fulfil any of them.

My 2017/Life Resolutions

{Seoul, Part 5: Gyeongbokgung Palace & Insadong}

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 Part 7

Wow, we’re at Part 5 already, looks like this Seoul series is going to take forever to blog about. Anyway, in this post, I’ll be showing you the many sights of Gyeongbokgung Palace as well as the shopping in the traditional Insadong district. Oh, and I also watched a musical, “All Shook Up” on that day as well, more on that later!


Read On: Exploring Gyeongbokgung Palace & Insadong

Don’t Settle: A letter to my future self

Don’t settle for someone just because they fit all the boxes on your checklist; a person is more than just an amalgamation of adjectives. Does his soul feel like the home your wandering heart has always been waiting for?

Don’t settle for someone who hastily makes lofty promises of loving you for life; words could turn to dust within a day, or at least as soon as they find someone else more captivating to ‘love’. Wait for someone who doesn’t carelessly say ‘I love you’, so when they say it, you’ll know they mean it.

Don’t settle for someone because you’re afraid of missing out; if they’re the one, you’ll know it. If they’re not, spare both of yourselves the heartbreak of a love that was never meant to be, and wait for the right one.

Don’t settle for someone if it means compromising your own values; you matter too, and so do your beliefs. If their opinions and beliefs are too irreconcilably different from yours, it’s better to walk away than fight it out.

Don’t settle for someone just because you’re afraid you’ll never find anyone like him; maybe he’s handsome, intelligent or rich and he might seem like the prince you’ve waited forever for, but those things can be lost overnight. Wait for a love that nourishes your soul, not your materialism.

And the biggest fear of all: Settling for someone who isn’t willing to share your dream, and who makes you sacrifice it in the name of love. Someone who perfectly complements you in every other way, except that they don’t want to push you towards your dream (for whatever reason) or walk towards your goal alongside you. If you have to give up the most burning desire in your heart just to be happy with a person, don’t – you’ll regret and resent your choice one day, forever tortured with the question of ‘what if I had followed my dreams instead?’