Hyoon

KStyle
Dec 25, 2010
12
0
Somewhere in Texas
Status
Non-Student
To summarize my whole ordeal, I ran into trouble second semester of my freshman year. Now I am entering into the start of my sophomore year and I am under academic probation with a 1.9223 GPA. Overall I tried to take too many hours Spring semester of freshman year and could not manage my time efficiently with mounds of classes and a research stream on top of that. I thought long and hard and want to go through with pre-med and see this thing through. I am going to take a lighter load of about 13 hours this semester to slow things down. However, my dad is really pushing me to take a semester to a year break after this semester so I can use that time as "study/preview" for upcoming harder classes such as ochem, biochem, physics, etc... Would med schools frown upon or question this kinda of break for "academic reason" as a red flag? I really want to try and grind it out and do my best for an underdog story, not take a break and seem like a candidate that is not strong enough to take strenuous tasks and difficulties.

Thank you
 

MedPR

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Dec 1, 2011
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Just use the summer to "study/preview" for upcoming classes. It certainly isn't necessary to take an entire semester off.
 
May 20, 2012
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If you need to preview the material just watch khanacademy. I watched all of his ochem videos and understood it, and i haven't taken college level chem yet.
 
OP
H

Hyoon

KStyle
Dec 25, 2010
12
0
Somewhere in Texas
Status
Non-Student
My dad is very stubborn and he is worried that I did not do so well last semester because I lacked skills due to me graduating from a smaller high school with less AP credit than some of the students from bigger schools. So he really wants me to get down almost all of the material before I take those classes.....
 
May 20, 2012
434
0
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Pre-Medical
My dad is very stubborn and he is worried that I did not do so well last semester because I lacked skills due to me graduating from a smaller high school with less AP credit than some of the students from bigger schools. So he really wants me to get down almost all of the material before I take those classes.....
Sounds like you had bad study skills more than it being not taking a couple of AP classes. if you don't mind me asking, how much did you study?
 
OP
H

Hyoon

KStyle
Dec 25, 2010
12
0
Somewhere in Texas
Status
Non-Student
I have to admit I did not study as much as I should have. I don't want to make it sound like an excuse but I think I could have better handled my course load (although still hard) if I took a regular lab as opposed to research.
 

gettheleadout

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Before you even think about pre-studying for organic or physics or anything else, you need to focus on how you're going to get A's when you retake the gen chem and bio classes (I'm assuming) you took this year and got C's/D's in (if that's the case.)
 
OP
H

Hyoon

KStyle
Dec 25, 2010
12
0
Somewhere in Texas
Status
Non-Student
The classes I ran into trouble was General chemistry II and Calculus integration/sequence and series.
I also realized I made a big mistake as the calculus class I took was not required as it was not required for pre-med but my BS degree in Biology which I have now changed to getting a BA which only requires 1 semester of calc that I took first semester. It was a semester of a lot of stress, mistakes, and agony....
 
Apr 7, 2012
1,159
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Hello, cold
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I think that when you have a gpa like that (I had one similar at one point) it is usually due to a lack of studying. If you overloaded and that was the only issue, then the problem should be fixed with fewer classes. If it was because you didn't study enough, however, I highly doubt time off to independently study will help you at all. If the problem is lack of motivation, how can you expect to have enough self discipline to pre study for all those classes? I would sign up for less classes, take a crack at it for a quarter, and work on becoming an efficient studier and more disciplined. Just my opinion.
 
OP
H

Hyoon

KStyle
Dec 25, 2010
12
0
Somewhere in Texas
Status
Non-Student
Yes, my thoughts exactly. But a concerned, stubborn, and stereotypical asian parent is pushing me hard to take the break. He does not even intend for the break to be a time off where I think about what I want to do and where I go from here. He wants this break AFTER the easier Fall semester of 2012 to better prepare for classes for a better grade. So I don't think I can really call this a personal reason. I am also afraid this explanation will raise some red flags with med schools as they might think I cannot handle heavy loads.
 

Ismet

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May 15, 2011
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My dad is very stubborn and he is worried that I did not do so well last semester because I lacked skills due to me graduating from a smaller high school with less AP credit than some of the students from bigger schools. So he really wants me to get down almost all of the material before I take those classes.....
The AP credit isn't an issue. You shouldn't even be using AP credit for pre-req classes because there are a number of med schools that will not accept it. You probably had trouble adjusting to the rigor of college classes, and like you said, you overwhelmed yourself from the beginning. You're doing right by taking a lighter course load next semester, see how that goes, and maybe seek academic resources at your school (my school had an academic resource center with workshops on study skills, time management, tutoring, etc). Reevaluate how you study. If this semester still doesn't go well, maybe take a break so you can really figure out what is going on. I don't think it's a good idea to take a break just to study/preview for classes, because that's not going to be possible later on down the road and you don't want to make a habit of it.
 
Apr 7, 2012
1,159
111
Hello, cold
Status
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Yes, my thoughts exactly. But a concerned, stubborn, and stereotypical asian parent is pushing me hard to take the break. He does not even intend for the break to be a time off where I think about what I want to do and where I go from here. He wants this break AFTER the easier Fall semester of 2012 to better prepare for classes for a better grade. So I don't think I can really call this a personal reason. I am also afraid this explanation will raise some red flags with med schools as they might think I cannot handle heavy loads.
It would be more of a red flag that your parent is controlling you and pushing you to do something that you don't want to do. Can't you just pre study this summer and compromise?
 

MedPR

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Dec 1, 2011
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Listen to your father. An underdog story is for students starting with a 2.5+; yours would be a miracle. You need to take a break, find out what it is that you want to do (if you haven't already) and determine what's holding you back from doing it. A concrete goal will be paramount in motivating you through the struggles you're likely to encounter in your pre-medical courses in college.

Time off may not be ideal, but it won't be as detrimental to your future as abysmal academic performance. A 2.0 GPA will be a permanent barrier to your success. Take a break, regroup and try again soon.
:( I started with a 1.41
 

0919mmk

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Oct 27, 2009
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Yeah, if I were you, I would definitely take some time off, but not to prestudy. You need to go out in to the world, get some experience, work a crappy job for a while, maybe travel. What you really need, imho, is to "find your motivation". I think that if you spend a little time off in the world, you will better understand why you are doing what you are doing, why you want to be a doctor. Take the time off and come back raring at the bit and determined to succeed.
 
OP
H

Hyoon

KStyle
Dec 25, 2010
12
0
Somewhere in Texas
Status
Non-Student
I know I am digressing a bit but, the second semester of calculus I did pretty poorly in come to find out was not a requirement for pre-med or graduating in BA for Biology. However, I already made the mistake of taking the class and doing bad in it. Would it seem like I gave up if I do not ever retake it because I found out it was not needed? In my opinion I should retake it but I was thinking more towards senior year?
 
Apr 7, 2012
1,159
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Hello, cold
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Yeah, if I were you, I would definitely take some time off, but not to prestudy. You need to go out in to the world, get some experience, work a crappy job for a while, maybe travel. What you really need, imho, is to "find your motivation". I think that if you spend a little time off in the world, you will better understand why you are doing what you are doing, why you want to be a doctor. Take the time off and come back raring at the bit and determined to succeed.
I don't know if this is always the best idea. The OP has hopefully identified the problem of taking too many classes and doing research fresh out of highschool. Not everyone who messes up needs to go soul searching, the OP might just need to figure out how to study and not overload as a freshman.

If the OPs main problem is lack of motivation then maybe do this, but doing this can really set them up for a road that is much more complicated and stressful then simply allowing themselves to have a schedule set up for success and fixing the problem straightaway.
 

0919mmk

5+ Year Member
Oct 27, 2009
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I don't know if this is always the best idea. The OP has hopefully identified the problem of taking too many classes and doing research fresh out of highschool. Not everyone who messes up needs to go soul searching, the OP might just need to figure out how to study and not overload as a freshman.

If the OPs main problem is lack of motivation then maybe do this, but doing this can really set them up for a road that is much more complicated and stressful then simply allowing themselves to have a schedule set up for success and fixing the problem straightaway.
I hear you, and this is reasonable advice, but from where I stand, the number one problem is that the OP's motivation seems to stem from his or her parents. If you're going to get to/thru med school, you need to have some serious drive, and it needs to come from within, not without. Spending some time away from Mom and Dad might help the OP get to that place.
 

Sephiroth

One-winged Angel
Oct 15, 2011
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:( I started with a 1.41
An underdog story is for students starting with a 2.5+; yours would be a miracle. You need to take a break, find out what it is that you want to do (if you haven't already) and determine what's holding you back from doing it. A concrete goal will be paramount in motivating you through the struggles you're likely to encounter in your pre-medical courses in college.

Time off may not be ideal, but it won't be as detrimental to your future as abysmal academic performance. A 2.0 GPA will be a permanent barrier to your success. Take a break, regroup and try again soon.
Who broke the space-time continuum?
 
Apr 7, 2012
1,159
111
Hello, cold
Status
Pre-Medical
I hear you, and this is reasonable advice, but from where I stand, the number one problem is that the OP's motivation seems to stem from his or her parents. If you're going to get to/thru med school, you need to have some serious drive, and it needs to come from within, not without. Spending some time away from Mom and Dad might help the OP get to that place.
You do have an excellent point. The OP must be certain that they are following their own dream instead of the dream of their parents as well. Personally, I started at a CC with a 1.9 and ended up taking dozens of random elective courses and spent four years of my life taking any class I wanted at a whim. After that long journey, I can say that I have been solidified in my decision to become a doctor, and me ending up here was a direct product of the discovery period I had at a CC. With that being said, my mom was always very easy going with anything I wanted to do, and it appears the OP doesn't have this luxury. I just don't want the OP withdrawing after a bad quarter to work full time if they think they know what the problem is and it is what they (not the parents) want to do. But I do see what you're saying..
 

gettheleadout

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235788

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:prof: Allow me to explain:

What gettheleadout is getting at is that Gold Donors may delete their own posts. In this case, I deleted my original post because I began with the statement "Listen to your father" (otherwise unchanged). Once my comment was posted, I noticed this was submitted prior to my writing my comment, but after I had submitted it:



At this point I realized Hyoon's father was likely part of the problem or at least causing Hyoon some anxiety. In light of the new information I revised my original post. However, the thread was quite popular and by that time MedPR had already quoted the original post. When I reposted my revised comment, it appeared out of chronological order.

I didn't take any AP classes and did just fine. I just studied the material and did the work. Simple as that.
 
Oct 9, 2011
56
0
Status
Pre-Medical
I was in a very similar situation. If you feel that you are able to change your habits and perform well in the classroom, then continue with your studies. In the meantime, I would recommend some volunteering in a hospital. I found that when you see what your working for, studying becomes much more bearable.
 
OP
H

Hyoon

KStyle
Dec 25, 2010
12
0
Somewhere in Texas
Status
Non-Student
I know I am digressing a bit but, the second semester of calculus I did pretty poorly in come to find out was not a requirement for pre-med or graduating in BA for Biology. However, I already made the mistake of taking the class and doing bad in it. Would it seem like I gave up if I do not ever retake it because I found out it was not needed? In my opinion I should retake it but I was thinking more towards senior year?
Can anyone give me an opinion to this question? :confused: