Hello hello hello!

After a year-long break from The Inside Word, I am back to enthral you all for another year! Want to start from my humble beginnings? Read my first year blogs here.

Nothing has changed since The Inside Word 2017

Literally nothing has changed since first year, except that I got my braces off…and that I am now in Medical School! I guess in first year I was blogging everything as life came at me – taking it one day at a time. I was a naive newcomer trying to survive in a mentally and emotionally demanding course. I’d love to write a blog reflecting on first year and what I wished I knew before starting medical school with my newfound knowledge and experience.

Don’t worry all memories of that stressful yet iconic first year will be ingrained in my mind forever (can’t say the same for first year course content though…), so I can still blog it like it was yesterday. And honestly, sometimes it feels like it WAS just yesterday I was sitting on the floor of the O’Rorke Hall dining room at 3am on the day of the exam with masses of notes surrounding me. Feels like yesterday, I was dancing around the living room when medical school offers came out. Feels like yesterday, I was sitting in a lecture theatre on my first day of medical school and it felt unreal. 

And now that I’m a third year, with a third of medical school under my belt, I feel (slightly) more qualified to give you guys advice. Although I’m far from perfect and still make the same mistakes every single year (note to future self: stop procrastinating, start studying!). Anyways, after 4 months of sweet pure relaxation, it’s definitely been a bit of a mission to adapt back to the busy University life. Here’s a quick look at how my first 12 DAYS OF UNIVERSITY looked like.



On the first day of University,

My University gave to me,

An 8.4km race around the sea.

Okay…bit of a cheat, this was actually the day BEFORE University started. I finally did my first ever Round The Bays in the University of Auckland medical student team. 8.4kms of great company, beautiful beach views, and our own little BBQ afterwards to celebrate!

Medpool. Photographed by ND Editors.



On the second day of University,

My University gave to me,

4 lectures and a beautiful ceremony.

As many of you might already know, a big part of learning anatomy in medical school is by respectfully working with cadavers: it’s a rite of passage to medical school and an experience we will remember for the rest of our lives. The day started off in the Human Anatomy Lab with a Whakanoa, a Maori ceremony to remove tapu (something that is tapu is sacred or under spiritual restriction) from the donors’ bodies before we start learning in the Human Anatomy Labs again this year. We then had a short and sweet introduction to Year 3 and went straight back into the grind with lectures for our first modules of the year: Nervous System and Sensory System.

Day One of Uni and I need coffee pls



On the third day of University,

My University gave to me,

A world of clubs and lots of pens for free.

Clubs Expo is always a very popular place to be during first week! Whether it’s a sports club, social club or clubs backing great causes, there’s a club for you at UoA. You could try out a new hobby, give back to the community and meet new people. The opportunities are endless! I was on the other side of the Clubs Expo this year, behind our very own stall for the Women in Health Network (WiHN).




On the fourth day of University,

My University gave to me,

An unforgettable sight, and some friendly rivalry.

In our first human anatomy lab of the year, we were looking at the brain, and holding a brain in my hands (which is a lot heavier than you’d think!) was surreal. Someone’s entire life – their memories, thoughts, hopes and dreams was once contained in this beautiful organ…No words. The day ended with some friendly rivalry at the annual Quiz Night run by the UoA medical student’s association.

Team Code Blue!



On the fifth day of University,

My University gave to me,

A party in the park and medical humanities.

This year, we got to choose one of many medical humanities courses offered within the Medical programme. Basically these courses provide us with an alternative perspective on medicine through a humanities lens. There’s courses related to medicine and art, literature, music, classics, history and more! I’m taking History of Medicine and I’m loving it so much already. It’s so refreshing to have a course that’s more than just anatomy and physiology, and is taught by someone who’s not a doctor or medical researcher. Celebrated the week almost being over, with Party in the Park – a super famous Auckland University wide event in which RÜFÜS DU SOL (who I love!) headlined an outdoor show in Albert Park.

A little rain never hurt nobody



On the sixth day of University,

My University gave to me,

A collection of clubs to complement my degree.

Today was the Grafton Clubs Expo – which is curated selection of clubs specifically targeting us students who study at Grafton Campus. A lot of people often ask me “Do you know what you’re going to specialise in?” Honestly, I have at least six years before I need to make that giant decision and considering I never plan or think more than a few weeks into the future…I haven’t really thought about it! But luckily, there’s a club for almost every specialisation (surgery, paediatrics, dermatology etc) so I signed up for a few to be inspired by events and conferences that they’ll be holding throughout the year.

Happy International Women’s Day! 08/03/2019


On the seventh day of University,

My University gave to me,

The free time to film a video blog: 25 things about me!

Go watch!

Still from my video blog: 25 Things About Me



On the eighth day of University,

My University gave to me,

Lots of stress that needed to be released.

Sunday’s are sacred. A day for a face mask, catching up on The Resident, cleaning, meal prepping and doing the weekly supermarket run! Look at me being a stellar adult.

I’m really good at pretending I have my life together. Photographed by Irra Lee.



On the ninth day of University,

My University gave to me,

A group of wāhine toa with a passion to succeed.

Skipped a couple lectures (with good reason!) to help set up for Women in Health Network’s first event of the year. Absolutely adoring working with these passionate young women for a great cause. In case you were wondering, Women in Health Network is a student-led club at the University of Auckland which aims to reduce gender inequities in the health workforce by building a community of up and coming woman health professionals. 

Who run the world? Girls.



On the tenth day of University,

My University gave to me,

A lecture in which I fell asleep.

I learned my lesson and doubled my dosage of coffee the next day.

Ice-cream shop just a few minutes away from Grafton Campus getting us through breaks between class



On the eleventh day of University,

My University gave to me,

A lab like no other indeed.

As part of our sensory module, we are currently on Ophthalmology i.e all things eyes and vision. We had a lab where we were all administered eye drops (with our consent of course) in one eye, which causes just that one pupil to become massive. And I mean truly MASSIVE. This means that we could gaze into each other’s eyes lovingly, and easily observe things behind the eye (with ophthalmoscopes). It’s also quite funny because the effects of the drug can last for HOURS after the lab so you’ll just be walking around with mismatched pupils…received a lot of concerned looks and even an “are you OK?” haha.

Before (top) and After (bottom). Insane!



On the twelfth day of University,

My University gave to me,

A hearty dinner made by Flame Tree!

Had our first mentoring session at O’Rorke Hall this year for first year Biomedical & Health Science students! If you didn’t know, I used to live at O’Rorke Hall in my first year (back in the day in 2017), so I was super excited to come full circle and mentor at the place I used to consider home (though not as excited to reunite with Flame Tree catered meals…).

O’Rorke will always hold a special place in my heart


Leave a comment or ask a question below, & let’s chat 🙂 

– Sonna