If there is any characteristic of my own self that I can be proud of, its my compassionate attitude towards other people.
My exams are no less than over a month away - its a terrifying thought. What I find even more negatively spine-tingling is the titanic amount of nonsense that I hear through the grapevine in the IT labs, lecture theatres and laboratories.
In August last year, I learned that I had failed my second attempt in three modules. I am taking my third and final attempt at those exams in May. Five days after my world sunk to a undesired low, I met with the then module leader of one of the modules I had failed to review my exam paper - that one to one exam review session made me realise how naive, stupid and weak I was. Why?
Because I wasn't strong enough to form my own, solid opinion on matters regarding my studies. I allowed the callous and cynical attitude of some fellow students to influence me - for example, there I am sitting in the IT lab examining my notes for an upcoming oral defence and somebody walks in and sensationalises the whole assessment, saying things like "nobody will pass" or even "it is soooo hard, they ask you nothing from the syllabus" or maybe even "its impossible to pass, they'll cancel the exam".
That demonstrates nothing but a severe weakness and to an extent, is a dangerous thing to do. What if you, as a Pharmacist, behaved like that in front of a patient? How do you think the patient would feel? One of the strengths of a good pharmacist is compassion. And compassion is certinaly not walking in and making a big deal out of something tiny, particularly when it is unnecessary to do so. You have to consider the mental well-being of a patient - by scaring them, you are putting their recovery at risk and doing that violates the first principle of the Code of Ethics.
A vast majority of lecturers' are moderate and reasonable when it comes to carrying out assessments. Recently, my fellow third years sat a new exam in January; the average mark was under 50%. This led to unbelievable rumours that the school would disregard the whole exam during the ratification of the 2009/10 results. Why would they? They've considered all the positives and negatives of examining certain material, made a professional decision, spent money on hiring the exam hall, writing the paper, printing the paper, and they disregard the whole exam at the end simply because too many students did not pass? I couldn't believe some of the things some people were saying; it was ludicrous! Some people were simply in denial.
If I had passed last year and flown high in all my exams and coursework assessments then I wouldn't be writing this blog entry. I'm not suggesting you ignore everything your friends in the course say to you.
But, as a student, never go down the selfish route of thinking that you're the oracle of all knowledge when it comes to every last part of a module - you're not meant to be. You're not expected to be and you shouldn't try to be. You are a student. You are at University to learn. You are not expected to know everything. What are you expected to be, is to be an honest, compassionate and caring pharmacist.
You won't know everything, and its alright to admit that you need to brush up your knowledge every now and again. You are only a human being.