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Anyone else feel like they wasted their time in undergrad?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Raamy, Apr 10, 2007.

  1. Raamy

    Raamy New Member 2+ Year Member

    Jun 26, 2006
    i just graduated two weeks ago and i've been thinking back on the last few years of undergrad and i think i've come to the sad realization that i may have wasted the last 4 years of my life in school. i was a biochem/cell bio major and i learned some great things, but i can't help but feel that it was somewhat of a waste to ONLY major in this considering that i'll probably be learning like 50% of the material (at least the bio stuff) all over again in half the time in med school. looking back i wish i had at least double majored in something else in addition to biochem/cell bio like maybe history, poli sci, literature, or maybe even physics or something. at least that way i could say i did something else besides learn how a neuron fires an action potential in 8 separate classes over the course of 6 years. anyone else kind of feel the same way?
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  3. sejin8642

    sejin8642 5+ Year Member

    Oct 18, 2006
    Yeah~ i get the same kind of feeling too every time i watch football.
  4. Tired Pigeon

    Tired Pigeon 7+ Year Member

    Jan 27, 2007
    Did you at least enjoy it while you were doing it?

    Your post should be REQUIRED reading for every SDN poster who asks "What should I major in? Is bio or biochem better for med school?" Please share your experiences the next time this topic comes up (it's usually about once a week!)
  5. HumbleMD

    HumbleMD hmmmm... 7+ Year Member

    Sep 22, 2006
    East Coast
    A little bit. I was a biochem major also, and felt that some details were mundane. I do wonder, however, if we're being short-sighted in that we're forgetting the ways the study of biochem helped us with the MCAT, and perhaps added credibility in interviews, or helped us get into a research lab for experience. Luckily for me (at least) I had a really fun minor in Latin American culture which kept me sane throughout the years, and a really fun near-blowoff senior year.
  6. ggman

    ggman 2+ Year Member

    Sep 26, 2006
    Well, I'm a physics major so I've never really felt like I'm wasting my time in the sense that i'm gonna have to relearn the same material again in med school. It's actually really exciting to know a lot of physics, because there is A LOT of physics research that is being done in medicine, and there is every indication that it will only increase, because compared to bio and chem not much of the human body has been explored from a physics perspective.

    On the other hand, I have to admit that I'm kind of intimidated by my relatively poor knowledge of biochem. My girlfriend is a bio major and from what i've seen she is gonna have A LOT easier time learning the biochem material in med school because i'm light years behind her.
  7. etf

    etf Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Apr 27, 2005
  8. bbabul01

    bbabul01 5+ Year Member

    Aug 5, 2006
    I didn't go to college for my major. I was BioPsych. My 10 classes were just something I had to do to graduate. Some were interesting, some weren't. But I learned a lot of other great things in college, and had a really good time, and that's what counts.

    Your major is really just a way to make college look legit. The truth is, it's a 4-year transition period to teach you to kind of live on your own. If you can do that, college wasn't wasted.
  9. MChitty

    MChitty 5+ Year Member

    Feb 9, 2007
    Not for a second! I met my best friends in college, plus I got to eat ice cream for breakfast!

    Joking aside, undergrad was a time for me to actually figure out what I wanted to do. I was a social science major who became premed in my senior year. So for me, undergrad was invaluable. I suppose if it was merely a means to an end, it would seem like a waste.
  10. lina123321

    lina123321 ralph: im a unitard 5+ Year Member

    Jun 20, 2006
    over the rainbow
    same here
  11. TheRealDrDorian

    TheRealDrDorian Dr. Acula SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

    Nov 4, 2006
    Being an EE major, I understand I will never (99% sure) use any of my circuit or signal processing knowledge in my career. So in that sense, I worked extremely hard to earn a degree that might go nowhere.

    However, more generally, throughout undergrad I was able to work hard and solve problems in an extremely competitive environment, making friends and helping others around me in the process. It disciplined me a lot, helped with my time organizational skills, and made me a much more responsible individual as I pursue a medical career.

    I don't really think I could've asked for better preparation for med school...
  12. Kraazy

    Kraazy 7+ Year Member

    Feb 17, 2007
    I was a bio major, took a bunch of classes in other fields, and loved undergrad overall. (Yay for liberal arts!) I just went with what I liked and was interested in for the most part, save a few dreaded reqs like physics.

    I guess the key is not to think of it as a means to an end. Not studying what you want in undergrad is one of the best ways to spoil those 4 years. 2nd best would be studying all the time and not having any fun.
  13. blargh

    blargh Banned Banned

    Oct 24, 2006
    that's why i went with bioengineering. i won't learn this stuff again in med school, but it will be useful later on (kind of).
  14. juleswinfield

    juleswinfield Bad Mother F*#ker 2+ Year Member

    Dec 4, 2006
    Baltimore blew it...

    Did you at least party alot?
  15. IceMan0824

    IceMan0824 Holy crip, he's a crapple 5+ Year Member

    Dec 7, 2006
    I don't feel like I wasted my time. I had fun, majored in a non-science with a non-science minor. Enjoyed my time. Met my to-be fiance. Sounds great if you ask me.

    Still, even for you. It's not wasted unless you have the need to feel some regret. Even with a bio/biochem major, you learned some useful stuff, and although you might re-learn it again, it is nice to at least have some foundation when you begin again.

    If that doesn't help, go out drinking. That always take the edge off...

    P.S. I am not condoning that you drink and drive now. Just drink, then ride a bicycle. Friends always let friends drive and ride.
  16. lina123321

    lina123321 ralph: im a unitard 5+ Year Member

    Jun 20, 2006
    over the rainbow
    u can get a dui if ur drunk and riding a bike
  17. IceMan0824

    IceMan0824 Holy crip, he's a crapple 5+ Year Member

    Dec 7, 2006
    Unless otherwise stated, my posts may be considered entirely satirical, comical, cynical, masochistic, misogynistic, misandristic, sarcastic, or down right misanthropic. Proceed with caution.

    Wow, you found that part of my post. Congrats.:laugh: :laugh: :laugh:
  18. TheGreatHunt

    TheGreatHunt High Performance 7+ Year Member

    Jan 5, 2007
    I'm a bio and chem double major here, and I think I've learned a heck of a lot. I mean, somewhere down the road if I get a lab or something, I'll be able to draw on knowledge that I learned in undergrad.

    Physical Chemistry Professor - "Education is what remains after you forget everything"

    It's really true, and if I do forget a lot, at least I know how to get back to where I came from. Undergrad isn't useless, especially if you have some way of making it relevant in the future again.

    That said, my aunt is a Medical Doctor in Finland, and it seems like they get in and out of med school much faster than we do(6 years of total schooling after high school vs 8).
  19. baylormed

    baylormed On the Search 5+ Year Member

    Dec 4, 2005
    Right behind you
    The only reason why I feel that I wasted these last 4 years is because I didn't do enough. But then again, if I'd done everything on the list that comes to mind right now I would have never had time to show up to class. :p
  20. public5656

    public5656 Banned Banned

    Mar 9, 2007
    I feel that most of my time was wasted. The only class that I feel that I got something out of was Human embryology and biochemistry. Other then that, it was nice to learn how molecules are named and how chemical reactions take place (even though the average person won't understand what the heck I would be talking about anyways).

    I flat out told a lot of people that I was getting a useless biology degree. Of all of the things a person can do with a basic biology degree, I have no interest in any of it (meaning not have any advanced schooling). Therefore, I said F't and just get the dang degree and move on with life. So I just completed the degree and got the heck out of undergraduate school in 3 1/2 years and went onto graduate school (which was well worth my time!!!!!!!!!).

    I found that I learned the most on my own. It seems like the time I wasted in lecture was for nothing. I can read the book and learn more then having to hear the annoying students talk about others behind their back and ask stupid and annoying questions when it says how stuff is done in the book (like any questions ever asked in a general undergraduate course leads to novel breakthroughs.....graduate school was a different story, thank god!!!!).

    By the time I was a junior I had already taken genetics, embryology, organic, general chem, general biology, botany, and the basic requirements needed for graduation. I was so fricken board by taken the other requirments for graduation (seminar, human anatomy and physiology, nutrition, speech, spanish, and many other courses).

    Life got a lot more interesting once I got away from all of those 18, 19, 20, and 21 year olds who think they know how the world works, and that they are gods gift to the world.

    Graduate school was a lot more fun because you are around people who actually care about the materal we learned and wanted to ask the hard and interesting questions (intro courses are so boring), have matured mentally, have a FRICKEN LIFE, and actually understand how the real world works (expcept for those sticken 18, 19, and 20 year olds who should not be in graduate school....too dang young and inmature bubble heads). I was lucky and only had to do with one 19 year old and 1 20 year old (I was 26). The rest of the people I was around where 23 years and older and actually worked in the real world.
  21. sirus_virus

    sirus_virus nonsense poster 2+ Year Member

    Nov 6, 2006
    I have been saying the same thing for the longest time. Do not major in biology or it's retarded friends(biochem etc). If you plan on going to medschool, you have an opportunity to diversify on your way there. Get some other degree that gives you extra options.
  22. theraball

    theraball Panned 10+ Year Member

    Nov 22, 2005
    Glendale, AZ
    Was college a waste? Depends on what your goals were. If you went in expecting to become a better person and came out feeling sort of the same, then maybe you just haven't yet achieved self-awareness to know how much you've changed.

    If you went in expecting a good education, got a bad one, and left in bitterness, again it was a waste (of your parents' money, typically).

    If you go to college with an open mind, full of hopes and dreams and aspirations to greatness, and meet many like minded people, learn in the classroom as well as at the pub, then you succeeded and you'll achieve great things.

    College is an intellectual awakening. Your mind grows and develops dramatically between 18 and 22, fed and nurtured by a stimulating environment. Probably, if you're like most people, you'll look back on undergrad and recall it as the best years of your life, regardless of how mediocre it felt at the time.
  23. 63768

    63768 Guest 2+ Year Member

    Mar 5, 2005
    i had a little too much fun, which is why i'm struggling to get into med school now. hahaha.
  24. GreenShirt

    GreenShirt 10+ Year Member

    Feb 6, 2007
    I majored in Political Science before switching to Biology and I can tell you what I learned in Bio was so much more valuable even though PoliSci seemed "interesting. It could have been how the department ran, but in PoliSci we never learned any basic concepts. It consisted mostly of doing research on a random topic and writing a paper on it. I decided that I could read PoliSci things for fun in my free time and that I wanted to learn something that actually gave me a useful body of information.

    With Bio I felt that I was learning concepts that everyone in the world learns when they open a textbook, unlike the random mish mash of polisci. My Bio knowledge is a good foundation for med school. Although I didn't go for bio just b/c it was good for med school, I did it b/c I was interested in DNA.

    My opinion: Biology Degree=useful, all the random liberal arts requirements I had to take=waste of time.
  25. Raamy

    Raamy New Member 2+ Year Member

    Jun 26, 2006
    thanks for all the responses. theraball, your post actually is the epitome of what my college experience was like. for what it's worth, i would not trade those four years of intellectual growth, maturation, and self awareness for anything. i am who i am today because of it. and i actually had a great time in college, met some awesome people, and generally just had a good experience. i just kind of wish i had diversified a little in my academic preparation for med school. i took some great literature classes and such for my general ed requirements and wish i had taken more. i love biology and things related to it, that's why i did the major. but i feel there was too much redundancy, that's all. either way, thanks to everyone for your thoughts. to all high school students or anyone considering medicine for that matter, i would suggest you double major in something you're very passionate about outside of biology AND some sort of biology major (since it is basically just all the premed requirements with just a couple extra bio classes). i think you'll be better off for it, and you'll still have the biochem down pat :smuggrin: .
  26. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California Moderator 10+ Year Member

    Jul 23, 2004
    I find it interesting that these "undergrad was a waste of time" threads tend to be started by science majors.

    Is this because lots of folks who decide to major in science do so thinking it will help them get into medical school? And therefore undergrad just becomes something to endure on your way to becoming a doctor?

    Or is it because folks who are driven to science have a tougher time enjoying life?

    Or something else?
  27. TexanGal

    TexanGal 5+ Year Member

    Sep 28, 2006
    I think it's wasting your time if you don't like it- you know? But if it's something you truly enjoy and are truly curious about... you don't really feel like it was time wasted but that it was time well spent :]
  28. medfool24

    medfool24 A-Squared 5+ Year Member

    Jan 25, 2006
    Yes, I definitely wasted my time.
  29. mlle3000

    mlle3000 2+ Year Member

    Apr 10, 2007
    i can understand where you're coming from....i often wish i had taken more humanities courses or pursued other interests....

    ...but think of it this way....if you hadn't crammed your schedule with all those bio courses, you may not have gotten that 12 in BS on the MCAT (i dont' know what you really made, obviously...) and besides, who'd want to learn all that stuff for the 1st time in med school? already being exposed to some of the topics will hopefully give you extra time to focus on the stuff you haven't learned yet....
  30. eikenhein

    eikenhein my cat is awesome Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Apr 9, 2006
    Well, that is better than me. I don't remember most of what I learned in my undergrad.
  31. Davjc2009

    Davjc2009 2+ Year Member

    Jan 2, 2007

    My best subject is chemistry. It's my major... is it what interests me the most? No way.

    Just some of my anecdotal evidence.
  32. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California Moderator 10+ Year Member

    Jul 23, 2004
    So out of curiousity, why major in chemistry? Why not major in a subject that you are more interested in, while still taking all the necessary prereqs?
  33. old_boy

    old_boy Contrarian 10+ Year Member

    Dec 8, 2006
    Anyone who felt they wasted their time in undergrad had their priorities all wrong. My advice (and I will give this advice to my children):

    #1: Girls (or dudes if you are a girl... or gay)
    #2 (all tied):
    Learn interesting things in your classes
    Beer and hanging out
    Skiing (or surfing or biking or whatever)

    So you see, boys and girls, even if you fail at enjoing your classes (as a lot people who spend their undergrad years in a lab do), you can still get a lot out of college.
  34. kakashi74

    kakashi74 2+ Year Member

    Oct 8, 2006
    I was an EE major. I forgot most of what I learned BUT I do remember the basics and the major principles. So when I look at a computer, HDTV, CDMA cell phone, etc. I actually know a little more about the technical aspects. (will this help me out in life? who knows, but I think it is more useful compared to a lot of other majors)

    While taking my medical school prereq's I did notice a lot of the material was repetitive. For example, action potentials are covered in intro Bio, cell and molecular bio, and physiology. Each successive class went into a little more detail, but it was just more memorization.
    I can imagine as a bio major how you could feel it was a waste of time, especially if you don't go into medicine or anything bio related. You will never remember the details, and all of the general concepts were covered in the first two semesters of bio.

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