James Marshall, like many first year students in the Doctor of Medicine and Surgery program, has packed his bags and relocated to Canberra for the next four years. Originally from Christchurch New Zealand, James was eager for the start of O-week. “I felt mainly excitement plus a little bit of trepidation at the prospect of getting lost on campus having never been there before. I was keen to meet my colleagues and see what they were like.”
For Taliesin Golembiewski there was a feeling of appreciation to be meeting on campus. “After all the restrictions on gatherings in 2020, I felt excited to be a part of a community again. I think the feeling of gratitude mostly stripped away any feelings of imposter syndrome or workload-related anxiety. I also feel blessed to have something valuable to do this year.”
Thanks to the organisation of ANU Medical Students' Society members May Erlinger, Year 2 General Representative, and Benjamin Wylie, Social Representative, plus a number of student volunteers, the Class of 2024 were welcomed with a fun-packed itinerary including a trivia night, a scavenger hunt, a number of mix and mingle events and an end of O-week party.
Luckily for April Thompson there was a combination of on-line and in person activities. “I was at home unwell for a few days so for me the best part was that I could still watch all the talks online and was able to socialise with some of my cohort over Zoom instead of missing out completely.”
April adds, “I was worried that the other students might already have their friendship groups but it seemed like everyone was keen to make friends, which is great for me. I’ve moved from the Central Coast of NSW and am missing home a lot so it’s good to know that there are others in the same boat as me looking for new friendships.”
“I was told that the people you meet in medical school will probably grow to become some of your closest friends. I never doubted this, but I didn’t realise how quickly such strong relationships would form," explained Taliesin of meeting his peers for the first time. "The ANU Medical School seems to know what they are doing when it comes to picking our future doctors. Every person I have met has left a very positive impression."
O-week punctuates the start of what will hopefully be a successful first year for the students.
“I'm hoping I can make it through the content okay, trying new study techniques and being more efficient with my time. I'm also hoping to get some income from tutoring with a friend who studies medicine in Brisbane. I’d like to move somewhere closer to campus with a garden,” James says of his plans for the coming year.
Taliesin has a more philosophical outlook on the year ahead, “My hope for year one is that the world starts to heal after an incredibly tumultuous year. I also hope that my cohort continues to work together in harmony to help each other overcome whatever medical school throws our way. In particular, I hope that we are all able to keep a level head in the face of the challenge that is ahead. For me the priority will be making sure that all aspects of my life can exist in balance.”