Sep 22, 2017
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Pre-Medical
I'm a freshman & I'm majoring in biology. I'm not taking any sciences this semester because I wanted to get a feel for college (academically & socially). The advisors at my school are not helpful at all so I'm looking for any advice on what I should get involved in this year and how I should set up my spring schedule & beyond. Any advice would be helpful!
 

Lucca

Will Walk Rope for Sandwich
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Oct 22, 2013
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Read the "Essential SDN Wisdom" Sticky at the top of this board. Excellent place to start.

Other than that: Keep your grades as high as possible. Have fun, college is a blast.
 
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Disciple of Sattar

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Aug 29, 2016
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You will get a lot of different advice, but I will tell you what I suggest based on my own weaknesses. I did not get very involved in volunteering/community service until my junior year (I applied the summer after senior year) but I wish I did, and not just for the sake of looking good to adcoms. Do as well as you possibly can in your classes, and start some sort of non-clinical volunteering, just a few hours a week. You don't have to be Mother Teresa here, but get involved in some projects that aim to give back to the communities around your school. Often, volunteering can be great at helping you add to your social network as well. If you are able, it wouldn't be a bad idea to start some clinical volunteering and shadowing as well.

Focus on getting the best grades you can, and if you can do that while getting some involvement in service and clinical exposure, you will give yourself a very solid foundation to build on for the next few years.
 
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May 10, 2017
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Pre-Medical
First of all, make school your #1 priority. Keep your GPA up, study every day, and develop study skills which work for you. Choose a major that actually interests you, not just one that you think medical schools will like. Once you have all your academic ducks in a row, my advice is:

- Make an effort to meet a lot of people and choose a supportive friend group. You want to surround yourself with people who will challenge you to grow personally and intellectually and who will help you get through difficult times.

- In regards to extra-curriculars, choose something that sparks your interest. Again, don't get involved in something just because you think it will look good on your resume. Find something you can see yourself committing to for the rest of college. Dedicate time and energy to the cause, work your way up into the leadership, and become an expert on the issue. It's easier to succeed in an activity and to talk about it in an interview when you're truly passionate about it.

- Unwind and have fun on the weekends. Take care of yourself so you don't burn out.

- That being said, practice good judgement. I knew several people in college whose futures were affected by one bad decision made for the sake of a joke or just to show off. If you're going to experiment with drugs (most likely alcohol, but also weed, psychedelics, etc), as most people do, be cautious and responsible. There will be people who don't understand how delicate the pre-med process is and who try to pressure you into doing something stupid. Ignore them. You know what you want and, in my opinion, those 15 minutes of fame are not worth a red flag on your application.
 
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PreMedMissteps

The Great West Coast
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Jan 27, 2017
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So, how's the adjustment to college going? You've skipped one hurdle by not overburdening yourself your first semester. I hope you're at a big enough school that offers enough courses off-cycle (meaning that they offer bio 1 and chem 1 in the spring.

What are you taking this semester? Hopefully you're getting some gen ed out of the way like english comp and psych and/or socio. What will you be taking next?

Protect your GPA. I know some think doing so is game-playing, but in the end, med schools don't give you brownie points for taking risks that hurt your GPA and they don't penalize you for protecting your GPA.
 

Blanky

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Mar 12, 2017
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1. Stay away from advisors and learn the system.
2. Biology is great but you arent married to it. If you find you enjoy another major more you will be fine majoring in that subject you enjoy.
2. Do not take the MCAT until you have consistent strong practice scores.
 
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el_duderino

Some men play tennis, I erode the human soul
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Jan 26, 2012
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Get involved in something productive in your community that interests you. It doesn't need to be volunteering at a soup kitchen. It can be coaching a Little League team or something. Whatever. Just interact with people and form social bonds and leadership ability.
 

jm192

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Aug 5, 2009
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Find sophomore, junior and senior pre-meds. Befriend them. Learn their ways.

Ask about the best professors, how to study, etc.

The single best thing I did was this. Networking is key every step of the way. Start now.
 
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golgi body

MS1
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Mar 25, 2017
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Try to get as high grades as possible. Speaking from my own experience, you don't want to spend your next three years digging yourself out of a hole from a freshman 3.0 gpa. I knew medical school admissions were tough, but I didn't truly understand the competitiveness until I started lurking SDN during soph year, and that's I realized it was time to wake up. Get good grades from the start and you won't have to worry about playing catchup for the rest of your college experience.
 

ChopinLiszt

2+ Year Member
Mar 22, 2016
577
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Pre-Medical
Yeah, I'm gonna agree with pretty much everyone here. Get A's. Get all the A's. Maybe find a good research situation with a faculty member that has a chance at publishing and will let you put your name on their paper if you work there long enough. If you can find a good long-term volunteer gig, that would help. Learn Spanish.
 
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