Enough with the polar vortex!

The polar vortex has struck again! Monday was cancelled, and today we had a two-hour delay, which on Tuesdays is really a three-hour delay because the 9:20 a.m. hour is club hour (no classes). This would have been the fourth cancellation we’ve had in one trimester. I’m not 100%, but I’d have to say this is a record. (Note to those in year-round warm-weather states: Winters in Iowa may be cold, but these extreme cold temps are not normal.)

At first it was awesome having surprise days off. Now it’s causing more trouble than good. We’re about three weeks from finals, and we’re four days behind in most classes. We’re really having to speed things along in every class so we are prepared going into finals. I’ve heard a lot of people saying they’re worried we aren’t going to get through the necessary material in time. So as awesome as having a surprise day off may seem, it will come back to get you in the end.

Playing catch up in seven or more classes isn’t the most pleasant experience, but we always seem to get through it. Then we get a nice break to relax and do something fun. Which is exactly what I recommend–spend  your breaks doing something fun. Travel, go on mini vacations, go on real vacations, relax, take time for yourself, visit family. Do whatever you can to get away for a little bit. If you don’t take time for yourself while you’re here and get away, you may possibly drive yourself mad.

Roller coasters at Adventureland--they also have a waterpark.

Roller coasters at Adventureland–they also have a waterpark.

A few things I have done on breaks to ground myself are going to Des Moines (we went to the amusement park Adventureland), took the train to Chicago for a weekend, visited my cousin in Ames, and took a weekend trip to St. Louis (all these places are between three and four hours away from campus). During the upcoming break, to celebrate having made it half-way through the program, I am treating myself to a trip to Las Vegas.

There are a lot of cool places to go that are just a few hours away from the Quad Cities to re-group after spending all your time focused on school. I find it very important to take time for yourself so you don’t get burnt out. This is a very demanding program, and some days you’ll just need a break. That way when  you come back your refreshed and ready to jump back in and get back to learning. Whether you believe it or not, the first time I went on summer break, which is our longest break (about three weeks or so), by the end of the break I was ready to get back into my routine and just get back here and start learning again. There will be days you  have no idea why you’re here, then you will leave for a little bit, and you’ll miss it. You’ll be ready to get back at it, because all along you’ll know this is where you really want to be.


Brrrrr … but in a good way! Kinda.

(Note: This post was actually written Thursday, Jan. 23)

Yay! Another too cool for school day! By cool I mean freezing cold (way below zero without factoring in the windchill), not I’m too cool for school and I skipped. Skipping is not good; don’t do it unless absolutely necessary. Luckily, with this freezing weather, the exam, practical and quiz that I had scheduled for today were moved until Monday. Which means I get to use this “snow” day to actually just relax and browse notes at my own leisure! It is 2:03 in the afternoon, and I have not left the comfort of my own bed. It’s too cold, and there’s no better place.

Get to know this guy really well--especially his spine!

Get to know this guy really well–especially his spine!

From my understanding, the second trimester kids got a treat today and had their Spinal Anatomy exam moved. You will hear lots of things about Spinal Anatomy. All I will say is I genuinely enjoyed the class. When I took the class, it was also in the fall trimester and we had an exam the Thursday before one of the breaks. We had the worst blizzard of the year that day, so our exam was pushed back to after break–which also meant having to study spinal over the break. Now most people would be excited for more study time, like in the case of my physical diagnosis exam for Monday. Not when it comes to spinal anatomy, though, after you have already prepared and prepared (and hopefully you have) and you’re just ready to take the exam and be done with it. So I was super disappointed when I had to continue to study and come back and take it. Either way, the experience was non-traumatic, and I obviously made it out okay because in just about a month I will be halfway done with the D.C. curriculum, I still love the profession, I still love this school and I still love what I do everyday.

Once you get  here, you’re going to hear a lot of things and get a lot of advice from other students. My advice on this is be choosy about what you believe. Everyone has their own levels of difficulty. If someone tells you a class is super easy and not to bother studying until a couple days before, take it with a grain of salt and find out for yourself. Never wait until a couple days before to prepare for any exam. Your idea of easy is not the same as someone else’s. You both don’t have the same background or learning style, so what comes easy to them may not come easy to you. When you choose to believe those things, then end up not preparing like you should and not doing as well as you like, then you start to get bummed out because that class was suppose to be easy! Don’t let those things get to you; everyone has a different class that they struggle with.

On the other end, there will be classes that people say are incredibly hard. Spinal II will no doubt be on that list. Those words of advice may freak you out and make you nervous, but just study hard and find out for yourself.

All in all, just try to enjoy your time here. It’s going to be challenging and it’s going to be tough, but it’s also going to be amazing. You’re going to have so many incredible opportunities and meet some fascinating people and make some of the best friends you’ll ever have. Embrace yourself and embrace chiropractic.