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Advice for the downtrodden persons

Discussion in 'Pre-Pharmacy' started by Al-Qahhar, Nov 19, 2005.

  1. Al-Qahhar

    Al-Qahhar جديدة على شبكة الإنترنت,
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    Here's my story. I'm looking for advice about my situation and my pre-professional advisors do not seem to care enough to address my questions. (I know enough English to communicate but it seems my accent impedes it, plus I live in "The South" and I'm told that adds to it?)

    I came to the US in 2000 and enrolled in a local community college a year later. My first year GPA was a 1.6 and my second year GPA was a 2.5. (First half= 1.5/Second Half=3.5) Shortly before the Spring semester, I realized what exactly I wanted to do and made the effort to get the grades. (At first, it was Dentistry but my hands made it impossible and my goal was lost until I discovered Pharmacy) I took the bulk of the prerequisites in my third year and made a 3.7 GPA. I transfered to the main state university this year and I'm on pace to continue the trend of making acceptable grades. (3.0+)

    So, my community college GPA was a 2.6 and it looks like I'll be continuing to get it up to a 3.0 but here are my questions:

    Do I have a reasonable shot to make it into a Pharmacy school now or should I go ahead and try to complete a BS in Microbiology and then apply?

    I just started a job as a Pharmacy Tech. this past summer and I'm really enjoying it but I'm beginning to think my transcript will ruin me in my attempts to gain entry to a school.

    I know it was really long, for that I sincerely apologize. Please let me know if you've encountered a similar situation or have any advice to give. (Apologize for glaring English mistakes)

    EDIT: I thought I mention the schools I'm looking into: ESTU's new school and UT-Memphis are my priorities, among others.
     
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  2. DHG

    DHG Senior Member
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    It sounds like you have made a lot of improvements (possibly due to becoming more comfortable with the language since you have been here?) since you first started taking classes. If you can bring up your GPA to a 3.0 or better, and you show a consistant improvement in grades, that will help. I interviewed at UT Memphis on Thursday and the dean specifically said that they look at trends in the student's records... So steadily improving grades is a definate plus. Make sure that your core sciences are A's and B's (General Chem, Organic, Calculus, Physics, Biology, etc)...

    UT also said that they try to look at the whole picture... not just the numbers. So you could have a really low GPA but a high PCAT and you could still be accepted. Or a low PCAT but high grades... In any case, the steady improvement is good. I do think you would have a better chance if you had a degree. They also said at UT that having a degree would definately help you get in, though I would say to go ahead and apply while you are working on it because you never know.

    By the way, your english (at least in print) is very good. Where are you in Tennessee? I'm in Johnson City.
     
  3. Al-Qahhar

    Al-Qahhar جديدة على شبكة الإنترنت,
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    I have thought about using this to make an excuse for my low grades, but it would be quite untruthful. I've been speaking English for many years but only recently have I began to write it. (Left to right is confusing) I do not have many material possessions as I arrived in this country with very little.

    The truth would be that I was unsure of my place in this society and what direction my life needed. There are no aspirations to make good grades when one does not want to be in school or even know why they are there. My grades improved when I discovered this website and created an affinity for Pre-Health careers. I took a job as a Pharmacy Technician and learned that this would be the only occupation in which I could find happiness. I sincerely appreciate the response and look forward to any subsequent respones from other posters.

    I'm currently located in the city of Memphis. I have not been to the Eastern portion of this state, but I have been told it is very different. I am still unclear whether or not that is good or bad! (I would imagine good) :laugh:
     
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  4. starrfishes

    starrfishes Member
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    :)
     
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  5. Glycerin

    Glycerin Commercially Unavailable
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    I was born and raised in Memphis, and I have family in Knoxville. I haven't lived in Memphis in more than 5 years (if that tells you anything about how quickly I wanted to leave there). ;) The eastern part of the state is much nicer, in my opinion. The topography is much different, since there are hills in the middle of the state around Nashville, and the elevation continues rising from there. The eastern 1/3 of the state is mountainous.

    Perhaps, if you can afford to, you should take a road trip to ETSU to view the area and the campus and see if you like it. That way, it'll give you a chance to talk one-on-one with people at the school as well as give you an opportunity to see that part of the state. :)
     
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  6. ultracet

    ultracet 1K Member
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    alright......
    i'll say it....

    when talking about NE TN you may run into people who are not as familiar with minorities as those in larger cities...

    Ignorance occasionally breeds intolerance.

    also ETSU is going to be expensive so that may play a part in your decision
     
  7. wheelsonfire

    wheelsonfire Senior Member
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  8. DHG

    DHG Senior Member
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    Oh I just gotta say, "what-EVER"... :laugh: *eyes rolling*
    There are assholes everywhere, not just in NE Tennessee. It is a college town, and there are a lot of minorities here. For a small town it is pretty diverse. And you can hop just over the hill (45 min away) to Asheville, NC, which is probably the MOST accepting/diverse city in the Southeast. Johnson City is not intolerant. It's a really nice place to live. Maybe out in the contryside there is more ignorance, but the same is true 20 miles outside of Memphis.

    I also think you should travel to ETSU and see if you like it here if you can before you apply.
     
  9. wheelsonfire

    wheelsonfire Senior Member
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    I didn't mean to suggest that there is no diversity in that town. I'm a proud Southerner myself and the attitudes of some people in some southern small towns can be overwhelming if you look in the wrong direction. I just wanted to say that an outsider shouldn't let a few bad apples discourage attempts to find a place or persue a lofty goal.
     
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  10. DHG

    DHG Senior Member
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    THat's true. Sorry If I seem a tad defensive, I'm just tired of the attitude that "Tennessee ends at Knoxville"... which is how it has been for-ever.... East TN is kinda the red-headed-step-child of the state, I guess : :laugh: And I also get tired of the stereotypes (even the IMPLIED stereotype that bb muffin brought up in her post) that everyone up here runs barefoot and has a gun rack in the back of their pickup, and that everyone here is racist... Because it's just not true. Johnson City is a college town, and has all that comes with it. The university and med school have introduced a LOT of diversity to the region.
     
  11. wheelsonfire

    wheelsonfire Senior Member
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    I'm totally with you. I was born in Arkansas and I've lived in Texas for over 20 years now. My family tree does fork and we don't all wear boots or have a horse or vote Republican. It's just not true.
     
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  12. ultracet

    ultracet 1K Member
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    :laugh:

    i love SDN

    of course I know absolutely nothing about the region...

    so please ignore me and have a great time!
     
  13. DHG

    DHG Senior Member
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    Then why perpetuate steroetypes about the region? I know you have ties to the area. That's why the comment confused me. :confused:
     
  14. ultracet

    ultracet 1K Member
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    i'm not perpetuating stereotypes about the region.
    what i said was completely valid

    i think that people should be aware that there are those who are ignorant to other cultures in this great "melting pot" of a country.

    i do think that ETSU would be a better option for these people than another school in the area... say grundy....

    but it is still something that they may encounter

    after all....

    it has been posted on this forum before about how racist birmingham is....

    did i go all crazy about that being ridiculous? no
    i simply said that i had never encountered it....

    was it perpetuating a stereotype of the South? sure.... but it was someone's experience.


    I have never suggested that everyone there is like that.... They op may encounter a few in their time there and needs to be aware of that so they can be ready and not be all hurt or something....
     
  15. Swenis

    Swenis Member
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    I totally agree with this, DHG. I was born and bred in Asheville and currently attend UNC-A. It's a nice place, and you are certainly right about it being extremely diverse :laugh:
     
  16. DHG

    DHG Senior Member
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    OK, now I'm really confused :laugh:

    But seriously, what you say is true everywhere... Not confined to East TN, so I just didn't see the point laying it out that way. The OP is from Memphis, still very much in the south. He's been here a while now... and has obviously (from his post) been told by people that East TN is "scary" or whatever, and I was saying that it ISN'T. It's really a rural/urban thing we're talking about here, not a east/west or north/south thing. But because someone somewhere told him that east TN is full of rednecks and he shouldn't come here, he'll be afraid to come see for himself, and that's a shame.

    But whatever. You can continue to spread around that kind of unease if you like, but I have lived here for years, and seen the town grow and change a LOT in the last 20 years. It's a growing region, with an increasing minority population (which is Great!) and an increasingly sophisticated populace. I don't feel the need to send out vague negative anecdotal reservations about the "iffiness" of the region into the internet... And it surprised me that someone who has been here (you have been here, right?) for more than a few days would even imply that it was any worse than anywhere else in the south as far as racism goes.

    Of course what's important for the OP is to visit and decide if he is comfortable here or not. He should try to visit both schools he has interest in before making a decision. There IS a difference in lifestlyes between Johnson City and Memphis, so it all comes down to what environment the OP feels more comfortable in. Personally, I think the people up here are for the most part very freindly and open. Maybe even more so than in the big city of Memphis.
     
  17. ultracet

    ultracet 1K Member
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    like i already posted....

    i know nothing about the region....

    just ignore me and have a fantastic time.
     
  18. Al-Qahhar

    Al-Qahhar جديدة على شبكة الإنترنت,
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    Actually, I am supposed to visit my Uncle in Knoxville in a few weeks. Compared to Memphis, he says people are really passionate about Christmas decorations and that I will see numerous houses lit up in Christmas lights, like the movie A Christmas Vacation. Normally, I tend to avoid Christmas but it is growing on me, especially as I have learned you do not need to be a Christian to partake in Christmas festivities. Perhaps that was off-topic, like the gist(?) of this thread! :laugh:

    I believe I am going to wait and apply next cycle, so that will be determined soon. I appreciate all feedback, especially the ones on the insight into this particular area. I would love to hear more from those with similar schooling experiences, and how pharmacy schools generally look upon low grades.
     
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