Originally Posted by cloverpie
Things I wish I'd known before applying:
1) There is absolutely no need to challenge yourself and take the tougher courses in college. GPA TRUMPS ALL in medical school admissions. Sigh.
I disagree. I took a number of difficult, med-school level classes during college and I had a lot easier of a time transitioning between college and med school than many of my classmates (difficult in terms of depth of material, nothing will prepare you for taking multiple classes like this during school). However, I'd recommend taking these classes towards the end of your college career so you'll have a solid foundation. Don't fill your schedule with them but if you don't have the study skills that difficult courses require med school is going to be a rude awakening.
I also recommend taking time off. It wasn't my original plan but now I'm so glad I did. A year or two is nothing in the grand scheme of things but having a job, paying your own bills, and having some free time is priceless. It makes you a more well-rounded person and I feel a little sorry for my classmates that haven't known anything but libraries and books. Not to mention that when I come home from a long day at the hospital I can sit on my nice couch and watch my nice TV that I bought when I had a job instead of the cheap crap I had during college.