Anon Question: Pre-Meds and GPA
Congrats on your acceptance! I remember having a blast when I visited the area. Big fan of Rasputin Music and Top Dog. :)
That said, don’t transfer just to be around others. If you must transfer, do it for your own learning and passion. It IS nice to feel the solidarity and know you are going through the rigorous pre-med courses alone. But sometimes, especially during times of stress, there can be negative attitudes and bad behavior that erupts. So think about the type of person you are: do you do well when everyone is very similar, working towards a common goal or do you prefer some variety?
Personally, I made it a point to hang out with as many non-pre-med individuals as possible. I have weird lone wolf urges like that. The only one I did hang out with is now my roommate. I liked learning about different experiences and points of views. It was fun to hear about engineering projects, art portfolios, business classes, and philosophical debates.
Hope that helps!
Question: Undergrad Major
I don’t think I’ve been asked this question before! My major was interdisciplinary with a long, weird name. It was also DIY, so I focused mine on bioethics, pre-med science courses, and a dash of anthropology. I also minored in occupational therapy. :)
Thanks for the question!
Question: Cs and my med school journey
A simple question but a complex answer!
Cut, but I promise it’s a short story :)
Anon Question: Chemistry and Med School
Everything that we learn is an end unto itself, so yes, chemistry is important. As are biology, ochem, writing, and all the things you do!
However, if you worry that being weak in chemistry makes you ineligible for med school, fear not! That’s definitely not the case. I got Cs in the first semester of ochem and physics. And I absolutely hated biology not because I hated the subject, but I always seemed to get terrible instructors.
So if chemistry is your only fear, I promise that it’s going to be okay, and that you’re probably doing a lot better than I was when I was in undergrad! :)
hey-its-blake asked: Did you work during undergrad? If so, how did you balance, work, school and a social life?
Yep, I worked a little during junior and senior year of undergrad. Balance varies for everyone, and it doesn’t mean you get equal amount of time to pursue each one, that’s the tricky part about balance! I was fortunate enough to do a teaching job for school, and they encouraged us to schedule our work time around course time.
But the busier I am, the more efficient I become. Knowing that work, school, and life all need their due diligence, I devised ways to maximize efficiency. The best thing I did was learn to review on the go. For example, after class, I would grab lunch and immediately review my notes as I ate. Then, when I when home, I would look over the notes again, right when I got home and during a workout. These short bursts of repetitive studying really worked for me, especially because I only had short periods of time between work and school. Other things that worked for me were NO eating or daydreaming during class, blocking Friday night and Saturday night for friends and family, and learning to say ‘no’ to things or people that weren’t worth my time.
It sounds simple in retrospect, but it was a LOT of work and I’m pretty surprised/proud that I did it! If you’re in a similar spot as I was, I wish you best of luck! You can do it!
jessemaximus asked: What are your thought and/or experiences on a humanities or other than science major for an undergrad seeking admission to medical school?
What do I think? I think it’s great! Especially because my major had a very large humanities component, I really value and appreciated the humanities background I had that enriched my science courses.
When medical schools see applications from humanities and non-science majors, the key word is balance. Do enough humanities and non-science courses to enjoy yourselves and learn enough to get your major, and do the same for your science courses; don’t try to avoid them! They want to see that you can truly do both. Otherwise, they will tell you to hit the highway and go for a PhD in the humanities or the sciences, but not an MD.
That being said, the value of humanities is not to be underestimated when applying for medical school. The current trend is to seek students with humanities backgrounds or have science majors who are still well-rounded. This stems from an interest in fostering the multi-disciplinary nature of medicine. Thus, an individual with a non-science major can be seen as very appealing! But again, it’s a balancing act. The admission committees need to know that you’ll be able to take on the rigors of science courses, so remember to get breadth and depth in your science courses that can parallel your humanities courses!
If your concern is that it’s harder for those of us who aren’t science majors to get into medical school, it’s up to each individual’s resume and their willingness to be a well-rounded person. Those who put in this effort will not be disadvantaged; we are definitely not handicapped. Enjoy your passions, science or non-science in undergrad! Your ambition will show, and medicine values passionate, ambitious, balanced individuals!
I hope that helps, let me know!
thefat-girlchronicles asked: Hi I wanted to ask you for some advice on my undergraduate major if thats okay :) I want to be an md but right now I'm still slogging my way through community college and hoping to transfer soon. I was originally a bioengineering major, which I loved but everyone advised me to switch bc its a gpa killer and if I was going to med school I wouldn't need it. I've been thinking about switching to biology now, do you have any advice on which is best? :)
Hey there, houseof-therisingsun! By the way, I love that song. Total classic. :)
My current roommate was a bioengineering major in undergrad and had to make this tough call, too. I actually just popped into his room and asked him why he decided not to change his major in the end.
His answer: he didn’t change it because he loved it. Yes, there are some classes that are going to murder you and your GPA (his words, not mine). BUT he credits the more nurturing and friendly environment of the engineering major that helped him get through it. Biology, while having fewer ‘hard’ sciences and math courses, is filled with pre-meds. And many, unfortunately, can be less than kind or helpful. Worse, the professors often read ‘biology major’ as code for ‘pre-med’, and sometimes that means callous treatment.
He also liked how his engineering pre-med friends would help each other through pre-med and engineering courses. Through teamwork, every one of them (he had a core of 5 pals) got into medical school or is currently employed!
Ultimately, the decision is up to you. Look into the bioengineering program at the college to which you will be transferring. Talk to the advisors; talk to current students. Do people like the major? What courses will you be taking? Are there many of them who are pre-med, or more end up engineers? What IS the average GPA of the graduating bioengineering class? If you have trouble with your coursework, are there places or people from which to seek academic assistance? Then, turn around and ask the biology advisors the same questions. Do your homework by asking smart questions, and then make the decision that’s best for you!
Whatever happens, do what is right by you. Let me know how you decide, best of luck!
hey-its-blake asked: So I'm in undergrad now. I'm going by my school's degree plan for the Pre-Professional Biology degree and my schedule for next semester is Organic Chem 1, Physics 1, Cell Biology, and another 3 credit hour class, which could possibly be Calc 1, all my sciences have labs. Did you ever have a schedule this demanding? If so, how did you survive?
Thank you for your question, blake-hangloose! :D
Well, you are badass, my friend. All of us who pursued sciences in undergrad sympathize 100%. Welcome to the club!
For me, the nightmare was sophomore year. Let’s just say OChem was one of the many delightful ingredients. You asked how I survived, and I’ll be blunt: I barely survived, escaping with a C in 2nd semester OChem and a C+ in Physics.
But because of that, I learned some critical lessons. I made a rule to never take more than 3 science courses simultaneously in a semester. This was for some the reasons you’ve already mentioned: lab times and demanding course loads. With my spare units, I took at least one non-science course a semester. Be it a required course for my minor, video game quality assurance (aka video games for 3 hrs every Friday morning for a semester. Fantastic.) or yoga, something to give my brain a breather.
Another thing I should have done was something I hope you won’t have to: get rid of toxic ‘friends’. I had people in my life telling me to blow of school work; looking down on my dreams. If you have something or someone or some people not working for you, clean house and kick ‘em out! Then, with a balanced semester and positivity around you, you won’t just survive, you’ll thrive!
Much love and best of luck! Don’t hesitate to drop a line, I’m rooting for you. :)