A letter to my first-year self: Jacob

Jacob Bloor University of Liverpool

Jacob Bloor is a final year medic who is currently working as a foundation doctor at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Here, Jacob looks back at his time at the University and thinks about what he would tell his first-year self. Thanks for sharing, Jacob.

Dear First Year Me,

Sitting here at the end of final year all feels a bit surreal, and I know you were never sure you’d be in this position.

I’m currently sat on a plane writing this with the realisation that if medical assistance is required, you could actually be that person… scary!

Arriving in Liverpool five years ago marked a new chapter for you – one I know you were both excited and anxious for. For the first few months, I remember you felt unsure you’d made the right decision. Was medicine the right career choice? Was Liverpool the right city? What would the next five years look like?

Looking back now, I’d like to reassure you that you did make the right choice. There’s a reason you’re sitting there in the Henry Duncan building learning the stages of cell division and there’s a reason you chose to study medicine – it will lead to great things and working with some formidable people throughout the years.

I know those first few weeks weren’t easy. Every goodbye, each time visiting family and friends left, every lecture with difficult content and everyday challenges of your new independent life. The thing that sticks with me, moving from a small town, is transitioning from being a big fish in a small pond, to a small fish in a big pond. This takes some adjustment and realising you’re surrounded by a group of high academic achievers can be daunting. My biggest piece of advice is keep going and get involved in as much as you can. This is as much rewarding and a privilege as it is scary.

While five years may seem like a long time, it passes. And looking back now, it’s hard to comprehend just how quickly it has passed. Take every opportunity – both academic and social.

While studying is important, someone once told me that part of university is about ‘the experience’. I know you don’t believe this now, but it’s true. The friends you meet, the colleagues you work alongside, every single restaurant, every single bar, every single nightclub, every single social event – this is what makes the experience.

It is hard work, but nothing replaces that feeling of accomplishment when you see an email entitled, ‘Dear Dr Bloor’. It hasn’t quite sunk in yet for me, but luckily you have five years of preparing and I promise it’ll be worth it.

Work hard. Play hard. But most importantly enjoy the experience.



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