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graduate school

In graduate school on
November 3, 2017

5 Lessons I’ve Learned In My First Year Of Pharmacy School

When I first stated pharmacy school, I had no idea what I would be getting into. I knew that I would be learning how to take care of patients, what every drug was used for, and how to be an important aspect of the healthcare team. But I had no idea of all of the other lessons that I would learn along the journey. In this blog post, I hope to convey some of the skills and lessons I’ve learned during my first year of pharmacy school. Hopefully this will give you some insight on what it’s like being a pharmacy student.  

Related Reading: 5 Lessons My First Year Of Law School Taught Me

 5 Lessons I've Learned In My First Year Of Pharmacy School | Interested in going to pharmacy school? Makaela of Uniquely Mickie has you covered in this guest post featuring the five lessons that she has learned while attending her first year of pharmacy school.

Your Teachers Do Care

One of the greatest things about being a student is getting to know your professors. My first year in pharmacy school was a tough roller coaster because I had to re-learn how to study and how to study more effectively. I was able to utilize my professors as a resource by going to their office hours and asking questions in class to increase the amount of material I remembered. I’ve learned throughout my college career that your professors really do care about you and want to do whatever it takes to make sure that you pass respectfully.

How Do You Go About Asking For Help?

A simple email asking to speak to the professor about the exam questions, some questions you had on the course material, or just ask for some guidance on how to study the material. You’ll be surprised by their answers, but each of your professors have gone through a similar rigorous program to get to their degrees.

Your Teachers Are A Great Network To Have

In pharmacy school, the students get the opportunity to learn from the greatest professors in their field from practicing pharmacists to PhD professors who do research for the college. All of them have their own sets of networks that they’ve created that students have the opportunity to tap into.

Just asking some prodding questions to your professors could allow you to find an interesting fact about them that interests you. Some of your professors might know people who are doing clinical trials at a big manufacturing firm in Washington, D.C., but you would never know that if you didn’t ask a prodding question or show interest in that field.

Plus, the best part is that your professors want you to succeed in your career and most are more than willing to help you along your journey to your final destination.

Studying Is Different In A More Aggressive Program

Some students can simply read over the material once or twice the night before the exam and still receive a great grade on the exam. Well I promise you in pharmacy school, you won’t be able to do that anymore, and you don’t want to. The material that you are going to be learning is information that you’ll need to know and understand when you begin to practice and work with real patients, instead of the imaginary ones in class. Now you might have to write down your notes, watch educational YouTube videos, or maybe study in a group in the library at midnight. You’ll just have to figure out what works best for you with trial and error throughout the program.

Here are some ways that you can study in pharmacy school:

  • Make flashcards through Quizlet and test yourself
  • Make practice exams to take that are similar to your teachers teaching style
  • Study at the library in the quiet room
  • Study at a local coffee shop or at Starbucks
  • Rewrite your notes in a more simplified format that makes sense to you
  • Take great notes during class
  • Review your notes directly after class or on the same day of the class
  • Wake up early in the morning to look over previous notes or the notes of the day
  • Study in a group where you get to ask questions and work together
  • Create a funny song that helps you remember the testing material
  • Create a flowchart that contains all of the information for the test

It’s Better To Overestimate Than To Underestimate

The worst thing that you can do in pharmacy school is to underestimate the material or classwork that you’ll have to do. It’s definitely better to come overprepared than underprepared. So, take your time and learn how to prioritize your tasks so that you always have enough time to come prepared to class, whether it be for an exam or for the questions asked in class. It’s very similar to coming overprepared for an interview than coming underprepared.

So how do you come prepared to class at all times?

  • Review your notes the night before the class period
  • Keep a document of any questions that you might have to ask the professor during class
  • Rewrite any of your notes that are hard to read in your notebook or print outs
  • Print out your notes or save your notes on your computer before class starts

Who You Know Matters From Here On Out

I briefly mentioned how your professors have amazing connections all around the world in all different fields of pharmacy that you could tap into. Pharmacy is such a small community that basically everyone knows everyone, and if you don’t know someone, more than likely someone that you do know knows that person. That’s how small the pharmacy field is, but that’s not totally a bad thing either. The great part about building a strong network in pharmacy school is that you’ll be recommended for great opportunities just because of the people that you know who can vouch for you.

The best tip that I can give you about networking is to talk to everyone that you see and make a great first impression. You can even go to pharmacy related conferences or meetings in your area to connect with others in your field. Pharmacists or pharmacy officials love seeing students getting involved in their field and making an effort to make a difference. That doesn’t mean that you have to find a cure for cancer, but just getting involved is the best way to network. You’re going to meet some great, important people in the field of pharmacy, and I promise that they’ll remember you for years to come.


About Makaela

Hey, I’m Makaela Premont, a lifestyle and college blogger over at Uniquely Mickie. I’m also a current pharmacy student at the University of South Carolina College of Pharmacy. When I’m not studying drugs and discussing therapy options with doctors, I love reading, swimming, hanging out with friends, and being in front of a camera.

Click here to get access to the FREE pharmacy school interview workbook, in which I give some practice questions to get you ready to kill your entrance interview!

In graduate school on
October 30, 2017

The Happy Guide To Graduate School Self-Care With Tai Pei

Disclaimer This post was sponsored Tai Pei, all opinions expressed in my post are my own.

When I was in graduate school, I ate a lot of Asian takeout. Like, so much that I would never want to go back to the website I ordered from to add it all up. When I moved back to my hometown after graduating, I was always looking for something new to try and I found that in Tai Pei. I want to thank them for sponsoring this post, so I can offer you some great graduate school self-care advice (which may or may not involve finding a food you like and indulging in it every once and a while.)

Tai Pei’s delicious Asian food will help you when you feel hungry, and they are even offering my readers a $1 off coupon on any single serve Tai Pei bowl so you can enjoy their frozen fried rice!

I have put together a list of seven tips. Some of these will be more general, and some will be pointed for when you are studying or working on your coursework.

AD: The Happy Guide To Graduate School Self-Care With Tai Pei | Graduate school is rough, but it doesn't have to be. Today I have partnered with Tai Pei to discuss seven tips for taking care of yourself, even in graduate school. Click through for a post all about graduate school self-care. #TaiPeiFrozenFood #IC

Keep Reading, Darling

In fashion, graduate school on
August 18, 2017

5 More Things You Should Know Before You Go To Graduate School

Over a year ago now I wrote a blog post called 5 Things You Should Know Before You Go To Graduate School. Since you know that I recently got done with my MA degree, I wanted to add a couple of more tips to that list that I made back then. Also, to mix it up, I decided that I should add a few fashion photos here too. Let’s get started.

For this article, I really wanted to focus on the keeping yourself healthy side of the graduate school experience. While the last post I made on graduate school was true, it was also very rigid and study oriented. Today’s five things are equally important, it just took me a little while longer to realize that they were.

5 More Things You Should Know Before You Go To Graduate School | Graduate school is tough. After getting my Masters I wanted to revisit my post to share better tips on what you should know before graduate school.

Keep Reading, Darling

In Lifestyle on
August 7, 2017

Graduation 2017: I Am A Master’s Graduate!

Whew, this weekend was pretty crazy, y’all!

I am so excited to finally chat with y’all about this weekend and let y’all in on all the details of what I am doing next.

 Graduation 2017: I Am A Master's Graduate | Take a look behind the scenes of my graduate school graduation. Learn all of the thoughts going through my head as I shoved tons of bobby pins into my hair. Let's chat about what's next for The Happy Arkansan as well!

Being Really Confused By my Graduation Gown

I literally thought that my gown was a manufacturer error, y’all. Apparently Master’s gowns have these interesting flaps on the arms that go past the arm holes. It’s some real haute couture fashion. I had no idea that these things did that, and it was awkward AF to ask a question about it only to be told that it’s just what the gowns look like. It was so cool to be decked out in my robe, hood, etc.

Graduation 2017: bought to you by bobby pins

If you know the story of my college graduation, you know the story of my cap. My cap literally fell off my head while I was trying to shake the hand of the dean of my department. This is on video tape. It’s hella embarrassing. This year I embarked to find all the bobby pins and shove them in my cap so this wouldn’t happen. In total I added four bobby pins into my hair, and it worked like a charm. This was all the more important because this time my cap wouldn’t even give me the illusion that it was going to stay on my head. I found some community bobby pins, and I went to work.

A little later on I heard someone say that someone had took all the bobby pins and only left two. I wonder who that person could have been? If only they had seen the horror I’d seen in 2015.

Hurry Up & Wait

One of my least favorite parts about graduation is the hurry up and wait of it all. You have to be in the room at a certain time, but once you are there all you really do is wait. Luckily I had a classmate who was also graduating this summer so I just chatted with her during the time while I waited for us to line up.

On Being Super Close

This graduation I was super close to the stage. I was in the front row, in fact. This year my college (the College of Liberal Arts & Communications) was at the front of the second section of seats. Since I was getting a Master’s degree, I sat before all the people with Bachelor’s degrees. Therefore, I ended up sitting on the very front row. I was that close during my high school graduation because I was in the top five of my class, but when there are only 55 people graduating, everything feels close. This was a new level of close though since I was graduating with like 1,000 people.

 This is my dad. He is one of the best people I know and the photographer behind all of the blog pictures that I create in house.

This is my dad. He is one of the best people I know and the photographer behind all of the blog pictures that I create in house.

Shout Out To My Supportive Family

There were SO many times during this process that I was sure I wasn’t going to make it to see graduation day. This process was very stressful. Without my family constantly cheering me on and getting me to the finish line, I don’t think I would have made it past my first semester. Finishing this degree was awesome, but it was made more awesome because of my amazing family cheering me on every step of the way.

I want to thank all the people in my life who made this possible, especially my family.

 This is my girl gang. It consists of my niece, sister, and my mother.

This is my girl gang. It consists of my niece, sister, and my mother.

What’s Next For The Happy Arkansan

Well, I am going to be focusing on writing for the time being. I have literally been going to school since I was three years old so taking a break from it for a while seems great. I gave myself a year. During that year I will focus on deciding if getting my PhD is right for me. I personally couldn’t imagine jumping right back into school after the year I have had though.

I decided that during that time, I would take some time, and build up my blog and freelance career. Again, I am so lucky to have a supportive family that helps to support me during this time while I build up my blog. I am so excited about the things I have planned to take this blog to the next level this year. I will wake up every day with grace in my heart ready to tackle the next adventure so that I can grow this blog to bigger and better things.

 Another shot with my sister!

Another shot with my sister!

Thanks For allowing me to have fun doing what I do!

Without the support of my readers over these last few years I wouldn’t feel comfortable taking this huge leap of faith. Thank you for supporting my blog, continuing to come back for more encouragement, and making me excited about the future. I can’t wait to grow this blog with you over the next year. Let’s see where we can go!