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Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Farrah, May 2, 2004.
what do you all do when u get bogged down with premed crap? what inspires u to keep going? what keeps u going? i read about a lot of premeds who overcome obstacles, reapplying and stuff and i was wondering what is it that has kept u going at it and helped you through.
Be heavily involved with stuff that have absolutely no connection with school. Dump premed clubs and all that unecessary bull****. An honor society or two isn't bad though, but many of them aren't worth anything. Stay away from the non-Greek honor societies.
If you're involved with stuff outside of school and being premed, a lot of the stress is removed.
Oh yeah, and as fight club indicates, get in a fight or two or at least spar once in your life -- it will really put things into perspective.
Chill out. You're going to get into a school, assuming you're not only willing to become a doctor if you can go US MD.
I definitely agree with getting some sparring in through martial arts or the like. It is a great way to destress and keep in shape. Also I agree with having interests outside of the premed stuff, but I would also recommend having at least a couple of friends who aren't premed who you can hang out with and not even think about the premed BS while you are with them.
keep it real..keep it cool..stay away from early burn out..don't get too involved in SDN
this may not work for everyone, but i stayed completely away from anything medically related until my senior year, when i worked a measly 5 hours a week doing clinical research. my only 'pre-med' activity was taking the classes and the mcat jr. year. i also only had 3 pre-med friends and never never never dated a pre-med.
since i got to spend college (and the 2 yrs since) doing utterly non-medical stuff that i love (environmental activism, education, public policy research), i never burnt out. well, except for the week before the mcat, but that's behind me now and i feel ready to dive into med sch headfirst.
don't be a pre-med! be a person!
look not everyone who wants to can be a doctor, otherwise there would be too many doctors. you have to show that you have what it takes to be a good doctor, and some people just dont have it. not everyone can be models, actors, world leaders, there has to be some people in the world doing menial tasks. we cant all be chiefs, there has to be indians too. so if you dont get to be a doctor, maybe its gods way of looking down on you and saying "sorry kid, you just cant cut it, but maybe you would be a great <insert other career here>"
Have non-pre-med friends.
Most pre-meds I know I just sort of study with. I only hang out with 3 pre-meds regularly. The typical pre-med drives me nuts since if it's not grades they're talking about, it's classes and career. I guess it's cause they figure since you're pre-med, you actually care.
I hate to stereotype but Humanities majors are the coolest people.
Yes but elementry education major's party the hardest...and its great to have a few friends who know how to have a good time.
I hang out with Pre-Veterinary people. They study hard, but are a lot more interesting to talk to than someone who you're competing with.
Come see the peer counselors at your school to gripe! We love having clients =).
...or...like me, join the peer counseling group. At my school, we have training every week that involves on each other ..really helps get the stress out. Also, you're guaranteed to meet a bunch of nice, empathetic people.
Yup, I'm actually pretty depressed these days. Its easy to do when it seems like you're the only one who has to study all of the time (I swear my friends never have to study) But all you can do is keep going, right? And get some nice anti-depressants.
I try to relax a lot though. I read ton of med school / medicine related books, I find them to be pretty inspirational. I've got quite a library these days. I also am a total movie junkie, I'll watch just about anything. Seriously OP, if you're honestly clinically depressed get on anti-depression meds, you'll thank yourself when you do.
I just got finished with the whole premed torture session. You are certainly not alone if you feel depressed. I knew tons of people who were depressed but I felt many of them didn't really talk about it...I felt they tried to keep a tough front in the face of biochem and physics.
Actually, the fact that there are so many depressed premeds doesn't really shock me that much. You are dealing with a bunch of very competitive kids who aren't afraid to go for the jugular. Not to mention that almost everything you read about medical schools is daunting...they all have high GPAs and MCATs and demand strong/well rounded applicants. In a way going premed in college can be a very discouraging process...but in the end it only makes victory that much more sweet!
If you want relief you might consider psychoanalysis. Talking about your anxieties may help relieve them and you don't need to worry about the high price of prescription drugs.
I see that the thread is over four years old.. but I'd still like to say something. The depression only hits me when I stop working and think about how much I've become detached from myself over the course of undergrad. Attempting to be as emotionless as possible has helped periodically in blocking out inconvenient thoughts of sadness.
However, sooner or later I find myself unable to function for two days straight due to feelings of misery and wanting to completely throw away all I've done so far.
So, its a method of postponing your dealing with emotion that somewhat works for me.
The premed process of studying/applying/rejection/acceptance is not really what bothers me, but rather its the detachment from the things I used to have time for and love doing. I'm in my third year of undergrad now.. I have done really well in classes, but the psychological toll is high.
What is particularly saddening is the thought that there is so much more that I would have like to have done in my relatively care-free youth and that I will never again have the opportunity/time to enjoy life the way I could have.
I was googling for a forum for depressed Uni students and this came up so thats why I'm writing here.
What keeps me going is that I have only 8 or so months left of the most grueling part of this process and I'd hate my self for pissing on all that I've sacrificed thus far.
I just thought I'd share that with anyone who may end up clicking on the same google search result.
As they say, ignorance is bliss. Smart people often have intense bouts of depression. For me, it is triggered by different things like the realization I will never know everything, or the "imposter syndrome" where you feel as if some day, people will find out you're a fake, not really sure what you are doing...
Hey man hope you feel better. PM me if you want to talk to someone about this.
Responding to a four year old thread, but working out is definitely a good idea for stress release.
Don't live in the past, live for the present, dwelling on what could have been will get you no where. Start doing some of the things you want to do. This process isn't over anytime soon for you assuming you are planning on going on to medical school. During med school and residency you need to sacrifice a lot more than you had to during undergrad. Take advantage of your remaining time before you truly find yourself without free time. Also I agree with the above poster, exercise is a great way to help relieve stress and usually gives me a boost if I am feeling down or lose perspective.
Be a real person, a real human being with a story. Don't focus on things that would only make you look good on paper. Sure, being able to make the cut on paper is important, but you want to enjoy what you have, who you are, and look forward to who you will be. You can't do that when you're focusing solely on getting a 4.0 and a 45T.
I get down too sometimes. Ahhhhhhhhhh just had to let it out! I moved to the USA from another country and adjusting to life here is so difficult sometimes, especially being so far from all of my family. Them being Chinese too does not help; they do not offer the emotional web of support like other cultures do. Plus these silly, neurotic, overachieving pre-meds here in Berkeley used to drive me to drink like a Budweiser delivery truck. I've dropped that habit though, killing time and stress with the typical: music, film, exercise, and sports. Very much looking forward to graduating to live other lives before medical school.
This is a very serious issue, depression is not something that should be taken lightly. Remember, undergraduate is a lot less work than medical school, and honestly, I think you should have fun in college. Yes, its important to do well in order to get into med school, but #1 priority should always be your own health. The way I personally, and most of the other people I know, keep sane in med school with so much work is by relaxing at certain times and doing something we like, whether its some EC, or chilling with friends, working out, and just putting work aside for a night and watching TV instead.
If you feel like you are sad all the time, please talk to someone about this, a friend, a family member, a professional. Depression is too common these days and that's not a good thing.
How can you even tell if you have depression? Hell, not caring has become a defense mechanism for me. I guess that's what happens when you toss yourself into a failure-shame cycle.
I'll just go ahead and gripe on here...
You think you can handle everything, right? And then suddenly you try, and oh god, guess what? I'm not good enough. Ok, so all As and president of every club doesn't sound realistic. But I should be able to do something worthwhile. And can you imagine me in the future? God, this is just high school.
First, congratulations on being able to continue to do well despite feeling terrible. I really cannot underestimate how great of a skill this is. Several of my friends are extremely intelligent people who ended up with less-than-stellar grades because of depression or other mood disorders. This is also something that I've struggled with for many years, and after all this time there really is no easy answer. It's always a struggle. But there are things that help. I very much advise that you talk to a professional about this and consider medication, even if temporary. Good luck.
i was pretty depressed through some parts of undergrad. what did i do? i went shopping, ate comfort food, and worked out to work off the comfort food. it helps to have non pre-med friends too.
Thanks for all the replies and advice. It definitely does help to just hear from other people about their experience and methods of dealing with feeling down. I spent half of a day sitting by a local lake and that has also helped with clearing my mind... Again, thank you.
I've made plans to see friends I haven't seen in ages this weekend - we're going to a small comedy show. So maybe just being among people and enjoying "human activities" will be a positive change as some of you have suggested. Thanks.
This semester has to be the worst semester ever because I've never been so busy in my LIFE. Right now I should be studying for a test that I'm about to take in a couple hours and i'm on SDN in stead anyways. I LOVE sports, our school has a great competitive sports program where anyone can join and students can volunteer to coach. The best part is, the coaches get to play too!(in most sports) So i'm coaching swim AND ultimatefrisbee while having the best time practicing, getting in shape, and meeting new people. I get leadership experience AND get to have fun I also love singing so i'm in our school Men's Choir which is also awesome and I actually have a performance this weekend and next weekend which i'm totally stoked about!
College is about working hard but its also about having fun. you need to take advantage of all the opportunities of enjoying the activities you love in college. Take a dance class or take guitar lesssons. Join a club that has to do with something that interests you. For example the breakdancing club or something lol. Just find out your hobby/interest and DO IT!
Been depressed, but have since recovered. The trick is to avoid taking medication. If you grit your teeth and work hard you will eventually solve your problems, but if you take meds, you will develop a dependency that will be extremely difficult to break.
i disagree with this but its an individual thing i suppose. has anyone written about this kind of thing on apps?
sorry can you explain apps?
med school applications lol.
Maybe you shouldn't be trying to handle everything at once...
People are entitled to their personal opinions, but I have to STRONGLY disagree with this statement. There is nothing wrong with taking medication and it is hardly a "dependence" to rectify a lack of serotonin in your system by some genetic mishap. A four-generation history of mental illness is more than a coincidence and I will be the first to readily accept that my depression is more than just feeling sad than live my life the way my relatives did. I've worked too hard to get to this point in my life and I'll be damned if I let that get in the way of making my dreams a reality because somebody may think I'm dependent on medication and talking just won't cut it. Sometimes you can't just grin and bear it.
After all, is it so terrible for someone with a heart condition to take Beta-blockers? Absolutely not - and we don't consider it a dependency. It is just like any other medical condition yet has more of a profound impact on life because it has so many symptoms: an impact on the ability to function, concentrate, and even socially interact. I will be the first to admit that it is tough to acknowledge that I may have to be on medication for the rest of my life for it...but there are other people out there dealing with the same thing.
Sorry, this is something I feel quite passionately about. Not a personal attack.
Thought never crossed my mind, but now that I think about it, if it affects your field of interest (ie, psychiatry) then why not. Its a big risk to kind of expose yourself like that during an interview or an essay, but its also something that everyone can relate to. And with all the depressed pre-meds/med students/residents/doctors out there, why not?
As for you JeanLuc, talk to someone and don't try to handle it all alone. I know exactly where your coming from. Clearing your head and spending some time outside is wonderful, exercise, find a new activity to keep busy. Definitely keep in touch with people because it feels good to fit in and hang out. But the hardest part isn't over and that's something that none of us can prepare for because we haven't been through it yet. Yes this whole process SUCKS and we know that...but the best thing you can do right now is figure out how to handle the stress, be it through talking to someone (and if need be, taking medication - but not medication alone) or just learning how to relax. Just remember that you're not alone.
This actually isn't an issue that goes away with acceptance or residency or fellowship or beyond. Medicine is an extremely rigorous career and finding a healthy balance between it and the rest of our lives will always be a challenge.
"Struggling in Silence" is a documentary about untreated depression amongst physicians and the stigma of mental illness in the medical profession.
Just make sure when you start to feel this way and it doesn't correct itself through stress management that you talk to someone. A friend, a family member, or a mental health professional.
But at as far as the run of the mill "mini-burn outs" that we all experience from time to time, don't beat yourself up about it. Give yourself time to do something fun. Take a step back from typeA pursuits.
I personally play the guitar when I get stressed. I suck at it and that's what I like about it. It's the one part of my life where I'm allowed to royally suck at something and enjoy it.
I'm aware this thread is YEARS old but I was also googling how to cope with depression during pre med. The worst thing is that I haven't even started the whole process yet and it gets me down because I see so many people saying that if we're already stressing, are we really strong enough for med school and being a doctor? I have major depression and anxiety (had it for almost 5 years now) and while I try to really relax this summer, it being my last "free" summer per say, I always come back to something that's bothering me. What helps me is watching movies or tv shows I love and making lists helps relax my anxiety. Lists of what I need to do and what to prioritize. But also I've made a "pact" to stay away from any pre med topics for the rest of the summer besides my volunteering. I'm taking medication and ranting to my friends always helps SO much. I think having a strong support system is important but I am also still trying to cope with it, especially in the upcoming year.
I drink alone and play RTS games on easy difficulty to simulate the feeling of having control.
unhealthy but common
Yes. I'm depressed majority of the time. But the drive makes me more power hungry.