A BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO COMUI
THINGS I WISH I KNEW
First and foremost, congratulations are in order for the MBBS and BDS 2023 Set, who recently passed their Part I Medical Board Exams. It was a battle and you won. Remember that, always. We understand that you are still waiting to resume and as a gift from us to you, here are a few things you all need to know for when you join us on this side:
CELEBRATE YOUR WINS
As medical students, we tend to put a lot of pressure on ourselves. We set marks we hope to hit and forget in the process of striving to do it that wins, big and small, are worth celebrating. It is surprisingly easy to get tangled up in the thought that since you performed below your expectations, the performance regardless of its quantitative value is worth less, and this same line of thought leads a good number of us to not celebrate when we hit those marks we set for ourselves because, after all, we performed only exactly as we expected and as such, it is not worth commending. Always remember, a win is a win, and a win is worth celebrating.
COMUI IS COMUI
At this point, you have been in the system long enough to know how it works but I will reiterate because of peculiarities for this side of the battlefield. College of Medicine, University of Ibadan is COMUI and COMUI is the law. A few curveballs will come your way. They will shake up your world at intervals and leave you scrambling for your bearings. It is the way of things and as much as it will feel like a personal attack, it is not. It will be no more than an unfortunate turn of events. Knowing will not prepare you because just as COMUI is unrivalled in producing the most competent minds in this corner of the world, she is equally unmatched in the art of surprise. However, here are 3 steps to help you move past getting hit by a curveball:
- Rant – You have a communication platform full of sympathetic people going through the same experience, use it.
- Hit your low – Cry, scream, gym, etc. Pick your poison and take it early. Whatever your low is, find it and wallow for 3% of your time at that point.
- Rally – As tough as it might be, you rally. Pull yourself together, pick up your books or whatever it is you need, and go again.
INVEST IN THE LITTLE TEXTBOOKS
Perhaps a bit controversial but the little textbooks are the equivalent of the notes of one very serious student who attended nearly all the classes. They will take you far for the primary reason that they solidify your knowledge of the basics. Do not get me wrong, the advice here is not to not get the “big” textbooks or to get every “little” textbook. Every book has its advantages and disadvantages. The little textbooks allow you to grasp the basics in a short amount of time, and there is something to be said for that because being thrown headfirst into Medicine I or Surgery I without the knowledge contained in, for example, Falase (a small textbook), is a disorienting and terrifying experience. However, as you already know, no textbook works for everyone across the board. Be prudent about figuring out what works for you and make that your primary option.
ALEXANDER BROWN HALL, YOUR FOUND FAMILY
Alexander Brown Hall (ABH), the official hostel and Engelbert Beyer Centre, a private hostel within the premises and their people have your back. We are your comrades. Although both hostels are far from a utopia, they are places of like-minds, friends and yes, family. You will discover your people, your clubs, and the pursuits you did not know were right up your alley. You will also find entrepreneurs of every kind, ready to satisfy your needs. If you had any fears about where you will complete the rest of your medical school journey, allay them and keep an open mind. You will be in good company.
CHOOSE YOUR CLUBS WISELY
Speaking of clubs, there is one for just about everything. From philanthropy, politics and public speaking to religion, conversations and coffee drinking, ABH has you covered. All you have to do is decide where your interests lie and commit yourself. It is no secret that the spare time of a medical student is precious because it is sparse and fleeting. As you join clubs/organizations, keep in mind that they are student-run and comprised almost, if not entirely of students such as yourself; do not trifle with their time or yours carelessly.
It has been an interesting ride so far and it is going to get even more so. Congratulations to those joining us soon. Armed with these golden nuggets, I hope you find COMUI a little easier to navigate. To those coming a little later, I cannot begin to understand how you feel. I simply hope you do not lose heart. You have all of our best wishes. We hope to see you soon.