On vacation, I find myself browsing this site often. I see plenty of "what are my chances" from students with 3.8 GPAs and I can't help but feel a sense of jealousy. I wish my GPA was as high as that and I wish my transcript was a bit stronger...but then that stops when I look at myself again. I think of myself as someone who had to claw their way out of a bad spot during my first year of college. I had a 3.0, and like many other students in a similar situation on SDN, I was given the advice of "getting straight As from here on out and you'll be fine." Easier said than done. I did what I could for my second year and into my third. I came out with 3.5 and now I am looking at which med schools to apply to. Still, I am told my GPA is weak because it probably is but I like to look at the rest of my application when I see this and see an overall picture that I am proud of because it is my own and I gave it everything I got....with some energy left for the rest of the long-haul. I never did anything because I was told to do it. I found ECs, research, and activities that I loved and pursued them with an intense drive. I also chose to major in history because I was at a university that prided itself on the resources available which highlight American history. I have often held letters of historical Americans that have shaped the nation we live in today in my studies of history...and I loved every second it it. I don't look back once and tell myself that I should have done things differently or that I should have been a science major and taken more "upper level" coursework. I did what I could and I did what I enjoyed which almost always included my premed courses and ECs. I have decided that med students come in thousands of variations. We all don't have to be the same as far as coursework, GPA, MCAT, and ECs are concerned. I think one of the few problems with SDN is that a sense of conformity is often encouraged. We all want this bad enough that we spend hours on this site...we eat, sleep, and breathe med school. But I think many of us need to take a step back when commenting on others and remember that we actually DON'T need to fit the mold of the perfect premed student. This is not an excuse for me not doing better academically. A 3.8 will always look better than a 3.5...but so be it. I cant change that now and it is what it is. We all know what it takes to be a doctor these days. So I want to give this advice to those of you who are in a similar spot as I am...with a not so hot GPA, an immeasurable amount of stress, and a sense that you are a minority amidst hundreds of "perfect premeds". Work hard and don't quit. I can't tell you to get all A's because that is not always possible. Work hard and don't make any decisions which you will regret when your semester grades come back. Don't decide to go out one night when you have a test in 2 days and sacrifice that time that you know you should be studying. If you do this, then I guarantee your grade situation will improve. Study what you enjoy as long as you take your med school pre-reqs. Don't feel pressured to take upper level courses because you hear its what you need to do as per SDN. Visit a knowledgeable pre health adviser and discuss THAT with him or her. But again, STUDY WHAT YOU ENJOY...don't fall into the trap of doing everything that you THINK you need to do to get into medical school. These, among other messages, are ones that you will find regularly on SDN. Many posters are FULL of useful and very helpful information. But many other posters hide this useful advice behind comments of negativity and just flat out incorrect/discouraging information to fuel whatever sick motivation which exists in their own mind. It is this discouraging info that we often lock our minds onto because we are always looking for ways to improve. It is a natural reaction. As a "below average" premed that wants med school bad enough...I assure you that it is in reach as long as you want it bad enough. Choose your advice on SDN carefully and never give up. Words will remain words but only you can make it actually happen and work in your favor.