Congratulations to all of the incoming 1st year medical students! The 1st years just started orientation at my school and I was reminded of my first week of orientations. I remember thinking I was going to be the most awkward person with no friends and trying my best at small talk with all of my current friends. Very glad I am past that and have settled in well but I know that there are a bunch of you guys out there still nervous and anxious about the real priority- studying.

I have to admit that the first week of classes were overwhelming because I received as many lectures in one week as I did in one semester of college. Multiply that by 3 weeks of material and you have yourself a very anxious student with lots of PowerPoints and lectures to keep track of. 

One of my best friends showed me a checklist that her mentor had given her and I thought it'd be a great idea to keep track of all the lectures in one giant checklist. I made a checklist before every unit and sent it out to my class and it was pretty helpful. Just recently saw on my school's 2020 Facebook page that my tradition of these unit checklists have lived on! Because it has been so helpful to my class, the 2019 class, and now hopefully the 2020 class, I thought I'd share with you guys all of the checklists that helped me be successful in both school and boards! 

See the bottom of this post for the link to all of the checklists!

Below is an example of our Renal and GI unit checklist with all of the lectures, dates, hours, and check boxes for our exam. See the bottom of this page for the link to a template you can use for your course!

My trusty Sketchy Medical checklists for all of the microbiology and pharm videos. 190+ videos is a lot to keep track of!

If you are studying pathology, I highly recommend purchasing the Pathoma book and video program. It made pathology a piece of cake in class and boards. I have also included a checklist for this. *Thank you to my classmate Corissa who created this. I have changed the format to be more printer friendly for you guys

Hope you guys find these checklists to be as helpful as they were to me. 

Link to the downloads: download here


This is by far my favorite DIY I've done and I got the inspiration from my friend Nora’s bedroom setup. Because I move every couple of years for school, I wanted something that was inexpensive and that was easy to assemble. This DIY takes about 30 minutes if you are doing it by yourself but I'd recommend having someone help you. Below are the supplies you will need (with Amazon links):
  • If you can put nails and screws into your wall:
    • One expandable curtain rod with wall screws: I bought the cheapest but best looking one at Walmart for under $8.
    • You can follow the steps below but instead of placing hooks, you can place the screws that come with the curtain rod.
  • If you can't put nails and screws into your wall:
    • A straight expandable thin curtain rod: this should be able thin enough to sit in the 3M wall hooks
    • 2-3 large 3M wall hooks: here
  • A set of long white (or any color you prefer) string of Christmas lights. I had several left over from Christmas so it took about 3 of the 100 mini Christmas lights. You can always add onto the end of it. The tutorial will be based off these lights
    • Recommended: this set of twinkling lights are AMAZING and has a remote that can change how you want your lights to twinkle. I used these in my bedroom and it was much easier to assemble that the regular Christmas lights however, they are more expensive. Shout out to my friend Judson who accidentally got shocked putting these lights up.
  • 2 panels of 88” white curtains: I got mine here
  • 3M Christmas light hooks: here

  • Take your curtain rod and expand it to your desired length. *tip: the middle might sag if you are using a cheaper curtain so be weary of this. I also like to place tape around the middle so that the curtain rod doesn't shorten while I am working with it.
The next couple of steps are if you want to place your curtain rod perfectly in the middle of your wall. Skip if you just want to eyeball it.
  • Place your curtain rod against the wall on the floor and measure out an equal distance from the end of the wall from both ends. I.e. My curtain rod would be centered on the wall measuring 27” from the wall on each side.
  • Only for 3M hooks: Take the previous step’s measurement and add 2 inches (ex: 27 + 2= 29) and measure 6” from the ceiling. Take a sticky note or pencil and mark where your hooks should be on both sides. This step might be confusing so using my example, my marks should be 6” from the ceiling and 29” from the end of the wall on both ends. The extra 2” ensures that your curtain rod will fit into the hooks securely. If you are using screws, you do not have to add the extra 2".

  • Then take two 3M hooks and place them where you marked your measurements. Follow directions on package for extra security! You may need a 3rd hook in the middle of your curtain rod if it sags.
  • Put the curtains on your curtain rod and place them on the hooks to make sure they fit within the hooks. After you are satisfied, take it off.

  • Depending on the length of your Christmas lights, you may need to adjust where you put the next couple of small hooks. I used about 6 small hooks in between the 2 larger hooks in equal distance to each other. Then hook your Christmas lights in the hooks like I have below or in whatever pattern of your choosing. This step is the hardest because you may need to just a lot. *Tip, plug in your lights first so you know how far away the electrical outlet is.
  • Once you have placed the lights, place the curtain rod on the hooks and adjust the curtains to your liking.
  • And that's it!

Use this DIY in the bedroom (see below), office, living, or even your patio! I hope you guys enjoyed my first DIY!