For those of you about to start medical school, here are some items I use pretty much every day to make studying 8+ hours a day exponentially more bearable. Prices listed are with Amazon Prime, which is free for six months for students.
Moleskin Plain Notebook ($12.89): If you only buy one thing on this list, invest in this quality notebook. I use it to make my daily to-do lists, track studying hours, take small notes, and write down upcoming due dates. Having everything in one place makes keeping on top of responsibilities incredibly more manageable, especially with the avalanche of information coming your way every day in school. The Moleskin notebook has a durable cover, is easily portable in a laptop bag, and had enough pages to last me through the first semester (roughly four to five months). Seriously, get this notebook.
Foam Roller ($29.95). Scratch what I just said, this nifty piece of fitness equipment might be the best thing on the list. After a long day of sitting and staring at a computer screen for 8+ hours, a ten minute session with my foam roller does wonders for my posture. It’s the next best thing to a daily massage, which would be glorious but not very cost-effective.
Combination Rice Cooker/Slow Cooker ($36.92): This bad boy is my go-to kitchen appliance for cooking bulk meals. Functioning as both a rice-cooker and slow-cooker, it also comes with a steaming rack that I use to steam some veggies while cooking brown rice. Pro-tip: slow-cooking stews or meats for your classmates when they’re over for study sessions will make you look like the man in the picture below. The bar for quality cooking in medical school is almost comically low. Case-in-point, one of my friends considers peanut butter and salsa sandwiches to be a gourmet lunch option.
Quality Coffee Beans ($25.45). Ah, caffeine and the medical student. Was there ever a more perfect match made in heaven? After making the mistake of buying pre-ground coffee beans at Albertsons (and consequently drinking what can only be called “black looking water”), I’ve upgraded to buying whole coffee beans which I either grind on the spot with the grinder at the store or with a small portable grinder at home. The “Kick-Ass” blend from Kicking Horse is so good that I actually look forward to coming home to study sometimes. Fair warning, it’s a strong blend better suited for those who drink their coffee black.
Bose QuietComfort 15 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones ($299): Have a little extra cash? These headphones have been the perfect study tool- I have no problem sitting down in the middle of a busy Starbucks and studying while I’m wearing these headphones and listening to some music. After using them extensively on a daily basis, I’d highly recommend making the investment in a quality pair of headphones that have some noise-cancelling ability. Plus, they’re really good for making other students jealous.