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Bad freshman year start but strong upward trend...what are my chances?

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MrRager

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Hello everyone, thank you for taking your time to read this. Alright, so I am a Junior in College and have interests in applying to Med Schools in California, but I also have other options as well. My concern is the grades I made during high school concurrent enrollment for college credit and my freshman year's first semester. During high school I was just getting a little bit lazy because of senioritis, but my first semester of college was pretty hectic. My mom and grandma both had to have surgery at different times. Now the situation at home was like this; my family owned 3 businesses, each in different states but only 3 hours away from our motel business at home. My mom had eye surgery and had to stay at the city which is a few hours away, and my dad had to go with her, so basically I was forced to handle the motel office and skip lectures and class because we couldn't find a desk clerk and someone had to watch my little brother at home. My grandparents were in San Francisco this time btw. Soon my grandparents came from California, and with the hope of my grandmother (who is not a citizen) getting health insurance, she could have her knee surgery right in town, but because the state denied it initially, and then gave us a long process to go through, we decided to have her knee surgery in California where she does have insurance. So my grandparents went back for a while for the surgery, and the situation at my dad's second motel came into play, the family managing our motel just decided to let us know they are leaving to another business in another state, just a week before their last day. So with no one running the business, my dad left to run the other motel, my mom was still recovering from the eye surgery, and once again I was forced to come home due to crappy New Mexico health insurance laws or just my luck. Anyways I really f'd up that semester, however I killed the final exams and pulled A's on the exam cramming for 2 extra units in Chemistry and taking 4 units at once, saving my grade from an F to C.

So here are my stats now
Concurrent Enrollment Grades
Comp 2-C
Poly Science-C
College Alg- B

First Semester in College
Chem1-C
Art History (hated that class so freaking hard)-C
Intro into Religious Studies B

2nd Semester College
Calc 1-A
Zoology-A
Zoology Lab-A
Chem 2-A


Summer Intersession
Psychology-A
Calc 2-A

3rd Semester in College
Org Chem-A
Physics-A
Intro into HES-A
Intro into Buddhism-A

4th Semester in College
Org Chem2-A
Physics2-A
Intro into hinduism-A
HES (health and exercise science) course-A

I havnt gotten my Junior year fall semester grades yet, but im positive they are all A's.

Anyways, as you can see, I was on the grind 24/7. I have over 300 Hours Volunteering and 80 Hours Shadowing. I plan on taking the MCAT soon, also been studying for it and I will begin taking practice tests.

Anyways, what should I improve on? What should I critique? Is my situation going to hurt me? I want to apply to California schools as my main target but I am open to other schools as well. Should I get into research?
 

unhappytnt

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Well, since you're applying to Cali schools it'll be harder to get admission, so don't just limit your targets to CA and apply broadly. Other than that don't worry about poor freshman grades. You have pulled off straight As after that and admission committees like to see that you have an upward trend.
 

MrRager

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Substantive research experience seems to be particularly desirable for California schools. Leadership and Teaching are also valued.

What is your overall GPA now? And your BCPM?

overall GPA is 3.48 ~ and BCPM is 3.57~ i believe. If I retake classes will med schools take the new grade into action over the previous one or what? Cause if I retake Gen Chem 1 then I can get an A and boost my GPA to a 3.5 or 3.6 then I will do it.
 
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MD schools average a retake in with other classes just as if it were newly taken coursework, so there's no advantage to redoing the class since you got an A in the second course of the series, as well as all your OChem. (It's DO med schools that replace a grade.)

So at the rate you're going, if you earn all As for junior year, you'd be near a 3.6. Then, with another year of As, maybe 3.7ish, right? With a steep upward grade trend and a decent MCAT score you'll be competitive.
 

MrRager

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MD schools average a retake in with other classes just as if it were newly taken coursework, so there's no advantage to redoing the class since you got an A in the second course of the series, as well as all your OChem. (It's DO med schools that replace a grade.)

So at the rate you're going, if you earn all As for junior year, you'd be near a 3.6. Then, with another year of As, maybe 3.7ish, right? With a steep upward grade trend and a decent MCAT score you'll be competitive.

Ahh I get you. So I should wait an extra year before applying right?
 

MrRager

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Since you're from California and don't have a lenient state school, you might give the idea some consideration unless you totally kill the MCAT.

Sorry if there is a misunderstanding, but I am not from Cali, but I assume it's the same either way since most California schools don't give priority to instate appliers right? Atleast thats what I've read from the school websites.
 

MrRager

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Loma Linda, USC, UCSF, and Standford all have a decent number of OOS matriculants. The two California DO schools might too, but I don't know that for sure.

Is New Mexico your state of residence?

yes it is
 

MrRager

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You are fortunate then as NM's median acceptee stats are a 3.6/29, and there are a low number of in-state applicants (206) of which most are interviewed (188, with a better than 1/3 matriculating from that number=73).

that would be for my state yes, which I am open to as well, but I'd rather be in California where the majority of my family is living and where my parents are moving to in a few months. I have family in India and Canada moving there as well very soon, some already starting to, I would just hate to be stuck in New Mexico, but if I have to do it then so it be.

What is your opinion, though, on what the impression I will give to the med schools I am applying to? Will they say "oh his GPA isn't too competitive" because I still have a year left, and I'll admit, anything can happen. I can get all A's again or I can have a few B's and screw up my GPA even further. Or will they say " He had a bad first 20 credit hours, but he made up for it and turned his attitude and lifestyle around overnight just to pursue his dreams."?
 
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What is your opinion, though, on what the impression I will give to the med schools I am applying to?

a) Will they say "oh his GPA isn't too competitive" because I still have a year left, and I'll admit, anything can happen. I can get all A's again or I can have a few B's and screw up my GPA even further.

b) Or will they say " He had a bad first 20 credit hours, but he made up for it and turned his attitude and lifestyle around overnight just to pursue his dreams."?
If you can maintain a high GPA from this point on, then they'll say b) of the above.
 

MrRager

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If you can maintain a high GPA from this point on, then they'll say b) of the above.

Thanks man, I think I am just extremely paranoid. I have been since freshman year. Anyways I will continue to annihilate all of my classes, and hopefully I do the same to the MCAT.
 
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