surviving pharmacy school

Enrolling in pharmacy school is a commitment. Students dedicate time to academic courses, labs, on-site clinical experiences, networking, studying, and more. The journey as a pharmacy student can be exhilarating and equally overwhelming.

Here are helpful tips from students at Concordia’s School of Pharmacy to guide and support you. These tips & tricks aim at bolstering the confidence of current and prospective pharmacy students as they navigate their educational path.

Academic Tips

  • Treat each class as if you’ve never taken it before. Taking an undergraduate anatomy, microbiology, or biochemistry class doesn’t make you an expert. Embrace each course because there is so much more to learn.
  • Make a calendar with important dates like exams, quizzes, and projects at the beginning of the semester. Being organized and knowing exactly what is coming and when is the way to go. There will be weeks when your workload is heavier. Using a simple calendar can help you prepare better and possibly reduce stress and anxiety.
  • Create a study group that fits your learning style and personality. Studying with others allows you to learn from those who may understand a concept better.
  • Study ahead of time. If you procrastinate it will be much more stressful and overwhelming.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Speaking up can lead to great discussions and help you to learn more about specific pharmacy topics. This includes not being afraid to visit a professor during their office hours.
  • Schedule study breaks. Taking care of yourself is essential for your well-being during school and beyond.

Extracurricular Tips

  • Don’t be afraid to explore student organizations! They are a great way to meet people and build connections with your peers. It’s good to have people who will continue to support you throughout your years in pharmacy school.
  • Take time to do an activity that you enjoy and that is relaxing. This is different for everyone, but find your thing and try to do it on a regular basis.

Pharmacy Career Tips

  • Be open to different pharmacy career paths. There are various opportunities to serve in pharmacy.
  • Talk to the professors about their specializations. They are eager to share their love for a specific field of pharmacy. Concordia has professors with experience in inpatient clinical pharmacy, ambulatory pharmacy, and compound pharmacy.
  • Keep your resume (CV) updated. You never know when you will need it.
  • Develop a network with other pharmacy students. You’ll develop lifelong relationships with some of your classmates. Additionally, get to know other pharmacists and professors who can possibly serve as mentors.

Well-being Tip

  • When you feel overwhelmed, take a deep breath. Imagine that breath collecting all the anxiety and scattered thoughts, so when you breathe out, you’ll be clearing your mind. Repeat as necessary.

Pharmacy school is rigorous. It’s meant to be so that you handle a variety of medications and patients as a licensed pharmacist. Learning and practicing with pharmacists will improve your skills and empathy. The more you learn and practice, the better you will become.