By Hannah Heus

Introduction

Lockdown has impacted the whole world; it’s essentially put life on pause. All normal life has stopped, schools are shut, and shops are closed. There are two ways to approach this situation. The first way is to also put your life on pause, spend hours on TikTok, binge all of Netflix and treat online school as an option. Or you could use this time to your advantage and use it to enrich your CV, learn new skills and get ready for your career. If you’re reading this post, you’re most likely the second type of person. Welcome! In this post you will see the different ways you can use this time in lockdown efficiently and make the most out of it.

Mindset 

The first thing you need to address is your mindset. In order to have a productive and healthy lockdown you need to make sure you’re in the correct frame of mind. Think not what the lockdown has taken away from you, but what it can do for you. Think about it. Now you have time to do all the things you didn’t have time to do before. You can read that book, finish that course, catch up on notes and much more. 

Virtual Work Experience

One way that you can make the most of lockdown is by doing virtual work experience. Most in person work experience opportunities have been cancelled. This means that certain organisations are offering virtual work experience as a substitute. For example, Medic Launch has a “Doctor for a Day” work experience which is fantastic (I did it and I loved it so much!). Their next session is accessible via the website if you’re interested. Doing these courses will show universities that you are self-motivated and have initiative. You could also include them in your personal statement, and they can be great talking points at interview.

Volunteering 

A common interview question that was asked this year was “what did you do during Covid-19”. An ideal answer to this is that you volunteered, did charity work and helped others. These are the kind of people that medical schools are looking for, people that take care of their community and want to help everyone they can. There are so many opportunities to volunteer during lockdown. You could do your neighbour’s shopping so that they don’t risk going out, volunteer at vaccination centres and work with charities e.g. where you call people so they have someone to talk to, and much more. There is so much you can do, and universities will be very impressed to see this on your application.

Catching up on school work and making sure you don’t fall behind 

Your grades are the key to entering medical school. You could have thousands of achievements, but without that A*AA you won’t be able to get in. Lockdown is the perfect opportunity to catch up on your schoolwork. Use this time to make sure your notes are up to date, your folders are organised and that you understand all the content. You also need to make sure you stay on top of online school. I know it can be difficult to stay focused, but the content will be in your final exams, so make sure you pay attention!

University prep 

You could also use this time to do some university research. Make a list of what universities you were thinking about and what you like and don’t like about them. You need to be well informed to make sure that you choose a university you will love and have a great time at. The process can be quite time-consuming, so it’s best you get started now so you don’t do this when you’re knee deep in deadlines! It’s also worth seeing which exams you will need to do, for example the BMAT and the UCAT. Starting to integrate revision for them in your daily routine will really make a difference. You could also start working on your personal statement and perfect your interview skills. MedicLaunch has courses that could help you with most of these things!

Conclusion

Those are just a few of the amazing things that you can accomplish during this time. You can use lockdown to enhance your applications and impress medical schools. Make sure you are also taking care of yourself and are taking regular breaks. Remember that you don’t need to spend the entire lockdown working, make sure you’re doing things that you enjoy and you could even find a new hobby. You’ve got this!