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Big dreams.

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by void, Feb 27, 2007.

  1. void

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    I'm 18. Freshman at NYU. First semester so far, 3.67. I will most likely major in Economics, and I'm pre-med also. I already have an internship at one of the best laser eye surgeons in the country, and am on a study for oxygenated eye drops. I am also employed at an AIDS clinic, with one of the best AIDS doctors in the country. I am doing incredible at both of these jobs, and they expect a lot from me in the upcoming years [as do I.]

    While I understand that I'm still a baby, essentially, and that I have no idea what I'm getting myself into in terms of workload, pressure, stress, etc. I'm still at a point where I can potentially be something great. So why not have lofty goals?

    This is a thread not about medical school, I know the basics of that. This is a thread about (not to offend anyone) the best medical schools in the country.

    I am open to all sorts of advice, and will be a good, sponge-like pupil to my wiser colleagues on this forum. How can I get into:

    Harvard
    John's Hopkins
    Stanford
    Columbia

    Thank you, and I appreciate all that can be said.
     
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  3. epigastric

    epigastric Stewart U. Class of '11

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    Unless John's Hopkins is a rare disease, and just in case it's some obscure foreign medical school you've fallen in love with, an excellent start would be to spell Johns Hopkins correctly. :rolleyes:

    Also helpful would be your anticipated MCAT score.
     
  4. FemalesCANTDriv

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    Columbia isn't even a top 10 school my friend. :smuggrin:
     
  5. psipsina

    psipsina Senior Member

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    There is no magic formula for getting into any medical school . . . your stats could look fabulous on paper but you could bomb the interview and never get in. All you can do is be the best that you can be. Get the best grades you can get, be an interesting person (try to have some unique activity that will make you interesting other than all the clinical/research crap that every premed has), get clinical experience, do some research, get the best MCAT score you can get, start writing your amcas essay and getting your reccomendation letters in order a year ahead of when you plan on submitting your amcas, submit your amcas as soon as you are allowed, don't only apply to the top 10 schools (aka have some humility), return your secondaries ASAP, don't come off as a homicidal maniac during your interview . .. and have some luck. Beyond all this realize that most freshman who state that they are premed will not be by the time that they reach their junior year, . . . don't be soo focused on being a premed that if it doesn't work out for you in the end you regret some of the choices you made. Major in something that would be useful towards pursuing a backup career, not something that you think makes you a better premed, etc. Its great to have dreams but its also good to acknowledge reality.
     
  6. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    Lofty goals are the ones that have the furthest to fall. This path is all about baby steps -- Learn to walk before you can fly. So first, take the prereqs and get a high GPA. Next do well on the MCAT. While doing all that, rack up those cool ECs you already seem to have excellently started. Then see where you are. If your stats continue to be solid, you will have a shot at the good places.

    But realize that many thousands of people show up to college thinking they might want to be premed, and 90% of them are no longer premed by the time they graduate. Courses like orgo tend to send a lot of people packing, while a decent percentage simply gain exposure to other things they like better. Of those that actually apply, half don't get in anywhere allo. And only a very small percentage of successful applicants get into the top 10-15 type places (let alone narrowing it to 4). So your first step is to get through college successfully, and your next step is to get into any med school, and it is a third step to actually pick a specific one.

    And FWIW, medicine is an evolving field, with increasing hours, paperwork, and decreasing salaries, so it might not even be exactly the same profession a few years down the pike. You have to really be into it to get past some of the negatives. Best to explore multiple options before selling yourself so early on this one path. Just food for thought. Good luck.
     
  7. gsmithers68

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    Get good grades and worry about your ECs more when you get closer to applying. Med schools aren't going to care as much about what you did at the age of 18 compared to what you do the year before you are going to matriculate, etc.

    Oh and do keep in mind that you are 18. Have fun. Don't become a gunner at such an age. It is bad for your health. :laugh:
     
  8. void

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    Hah, whoops.

    -----


    I'll always try to be the best that I can be, I just want to have an enlightened perspective to push me. I'm going to major in something I am very interested in, Economics, and it isn't to just boost my pre-med standing. I understand that I'm young and may change my mind down the road, but regardless of what I want to be I want to be the best in it, and since my current dream is to be a doctor I might as well do my best in it, right?

    As for the non-obvious extracurriculars, I forgot to mention that I'm dedicated in my school's Model UN club. I've been to the UPENN conference and won a modest award individually and third in terms of school award, and I'm going to another one at the University of Virginia in late-March. Other than that I play badminton and brazilian jiu-jitsu, though I'm not as dedicated in those pursuits [yet.]

    In our school, we submit an application to get rec's from each of our teachers in each of our classes, each year. It turns into some board review or something, so I'm not sure how the end product would turn out but so far I've been very unique and insightful [at least, I'd like to think] in my classes.

    Of course I will apply to schools of all backgrounds, of course I may change my mind, of course things may go south, and of course I may have an epiphany that'll cause me to live with a tribe in Indonesia rather than pursuing a career in medicine. But I'm telling you all right now, that this is what I want to spend my life doing, and once again I appreciate all the advice that I have/will have received.

    And I AM having fun, I love this school and the people and everything about this city. I'm perfecting my time management skills, and I love how much I'm growing. But let's stick to the topic!!
     
  9. TheAmazingGOB

    TheAmazingGOB It ain't easy bein' white

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    Pick a different major. I don't know how it is at NYU, but at my school Econ majors are a joke. I know they say major doesn't matter, but if you want to get into a top school, you better have a stellar GPA with a tough major. Also, it's harder to get a good research job (and publications) unless you are a science major, so take that into consideration. Also, get that GPA up, you go to NYU, not Harvard.
     
  10. Kikaku21

    Kikaku21 Senior Member

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    It doable... He is only a freshman... :laugh:

    those schools are what 3.7 - 3.8 ish?
     
  11. etf

    etf
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    what's the difference?
     
  12. DrVanNostran

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    Makes me realize that my 3.6ish from my small LAS means s***.

    OP, lots of good advice on here, but also check out some of the MDAPPS for people who got into those schools. Besides numbers, they have accomplished some great things. Good luck to you :luck:

    -DVN
     
  13. TheAmazingGOB

    TheAmazingGOB It ain't easy bein' white

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    Are you serious? One is debatably the best school in the nation while the other is borderline second-tier. A 3.67 GPA at Harvard will be much more respected than a 3.67 GPA at NYU. Sorry, prestige does matter in this process when you are shooting for the best medical schools in the country.
     
  14. ssquared

    ssquared Member

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    Seriously. Don't make the mistake of calling it John Hopkins or anything else. My mom went to Hopkins and she's pretty brutal to people who can't get the name of the school correct.

    And to the OP: keep up your grades, keep working hard, and buy any good luck charms you can. It's a crapshoot, unless you manage to find a cure for cancer between now and when you apply.
     
  15. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    Ah, the naivite of youth. Odds are always that while you can do your best, you probably won't be "the best". Only one person can be, and statistically, you have a better chance of winning the lottery. But you should realize that the best doctor in the world needn't have gone to any of those four schools (and likely didn't). Med school is just an arena to prove yourself and then you do it all over again and again in residency, fellowship, your job, life. It is a launching pad -- and has relatively slight bearing on where your ultimate trajectory will put you.
     
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  17. Green Pirate

    Green Pirate Neurotic Neuro Enthusiast

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    if Harvard and Hopkins is filled with guys like OP, I'd much rather get an education of equal quality at a mid tier school. Good god man... premeds are neuortic by nature, but no 78 year old half blind lady gives a rat's ass where you came from as long as you know what you're doing. Just chill and go with your instincts. The money and respect will follow regardless of the invisible name behind the MD title.
     
  18. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    Unlikely, considering he is working on eye drops. Maybe if he finds a cure for cataracts.:)
     
  19. etf

    etf
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    um, yeah. i think my comment was meant to be more of a knock on the big h than a complement for nyu. prestige only matters when you are talking to people who are impressed by that kind of thing, and i believe most adcoms aren't - maybe you get a second look, but you're also competing with the harvard 3.8s.
     
  20. epigastric

    epigastric Stewart U. Class of '11

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    You never know. Perhaps oxygen is the new Avastin for retinoblastoma, or ocular melanoma. C'mon, you're not trying to knock CAM here as well? Gotta be creative these days to get into dream schools. ;)
     
  21. turkleton

    turkleton Capeless Crusader

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    In general, I find those type of people annoying.

    While I'm sure this will be construed as me insulting someone's sweet mother who I don't know and will never know, I can assure you that I'm not, just an observation.

    OP, NYU is a pretty solid undergrad. How did you get in there? High GPA, high SAT's, captain of every EC. Med school is no different. As far as school name, go nuts in shooting for those few, but most graduating med students will tell you that it really doesn't matter much irrespective of your career aspirations. You will find chairman of departments from state med schools and private practice nobodies from Harvizzle.
     
  22. DrZeke

    DrZeke yzarc gniog ylwolS

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    :laugh: :smuggrin: :rolleyes:
     
  23. FemalesCANTDriv

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    :thumbup:
     
  24. LeafNinja

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    I'm a freshman too. Not at NYU.

    Dude, just keep doing what you are doing. Don't let these old geezers destroy our dreams. If everyone posted their background before every post, then I would be able to scrutinize their advice, but unfortunately they don't do that. Keep in mind who these anonymous people are, and where they are coming from, including myself.

    One mistake I made is listening to the crowd too much. Seriously, if you do what MOST people do, then you will BE like MOST PEOPLE. Nothing you do will be unique and basically you'll end up in a few years giving the same crappy advice to another kid that was like you in the past.
     
  25. Stolenspatulas

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    hah. that is true, though i think many people pick columbia over schools in the top 10 consistently. who wouldn't want to live in NY during their 20s?
     
  26. LeafNinja

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    ok just what the hell is that supposed to mean?

    Too lazy to type? Jesus Christ, at least TRY to hide your jealousy a bit, champ! :laugh: :smuggrin::rolleyes:
     
  27. turkleton

    turkleton Capeless Crusader

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    Read this post 8 years from now sweetheart. Experience matters in this field.
     
  28. Stolenspatulas

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    calm down. you guys are freshmen i take it? wait until you take the mcat and the entire suite of premed classes. there is no damn way to judge if you are capable of even interviewing at top 10 schools at this point.

    the reason people are being pesudo-rude here is because they are being HONEST. in reality, chances are neither of you will even remain premed once you've gone through the premed track (there are boatloads of students that have already outlined their lives and change their mind after a breakdown during orgo II or physics or after the third time taking the MCAT).

    none of this means you cant dream for awesome schools. you do, however, have a fu<kin long way to go and should realize what some of these posts are suggesting.
     
  29. baylormed

    baylormed On the Search

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    I think it's the fact that the OP lists his/her credentials and mentions "with one of the best [specialty] doctors in the country" twice, then mentions his not stellar but obviously good gpa, is 18 years old and barely starting, and then asks how he can get into 4 Ivy League Schools.

    It's like saying "Hey, I have good credentials so far, and I'm looking for someone to inflate my ego and tell me I'm doing great and that I'll have no trouble getting into these schools!".

    To the OP: Your credentials so far are good. I would concentrate on raising your GPA and then studying so you can get a 30+ (preferrably 35+) MCAT score if you want to shoot for a top 10. But even then, nobody, NOBODY, is a shoe-in at any place, all top 10 schools reject applicants with obviously good credentials, and some of these good applicants end up with no top 10 acceptance.
     
  30. turkleton

    turkleton Capeless Crusader

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    The problem is "pre-allo" is too broad of a category. You get posts from prepubescent neubies here who are going to save the world one day while the rest of us 'geezers'- mid 20's by and large by the way- don't know what we're talking about.
     
  31. Stolenspatulas

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    i would say for a top ten you should have at least a 34 and a 3.8 (i know those are around the averages for some top schools but in all honesty unless you have ridiculously sick ECs and just happen to have a very lucky awesome interview, you're out of luck for a top school with just a 30+ mcat).

    also, i think i may be one of those numbers people that doesnt get into a top 10 school. ahh!! :scared: :scared: :scared: (though if i get into columbia this monday i will consider it top 10 :D since its friggin awesome)
     
  32. DrZeke

    DrZeke yzarc gniog ylwolS

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    Thank you Baylor and StolenSpatulas for explaining my smileys. I don't have to say grow up in this case, because haha... I will say that I agree with Baylor that the OP was quite overt in his statements about best doctors in the country. I only laugh at the statement about the high GPA in the first semester, because lots of people plummet when they come across certain classes and you cannot always plan or predict everything.

    In addition, I went to a top 20 international (including US) school so I didn't really have the option of majoring in basketweaving and calling myself pre-med because I took a few classes in basic sciences and spread them over four years. Suck on that.
     
  33. psipsina

    psipsina Senior Member

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    I don't think any of us are trying to stomp on your dreams, but being a semester into undergrad and targeting specific competitive medschools is a bit over the top and needs to be brought into perspective. You guys have no idea how you are going to handle the premed weedouts or the MCAT . . . of course you should give it your all, but there is no need to contemplate specific schools until you know that you are capable of completing the prerequisites and that you'll still want to trudge through 4 more years of medschool (which gets even more intense) and then 3-7 more years of residency before you start living that dream. I know plenty of people who were great smart people but just couldn't hack it in the weed out classes. I know plenty of great smart people who after the weed out classes realized they would be miserable pushing thru the extensive and stressful training. I know plenty of great smart people who couldn't rock out the MCAT no matter how hard they tried. I know plenty of great smart people who made it through all of the above only to not get in when they applied and end up in the carribean, at a DO school or in nursing. The point is that of course you need to go for your dream, but realize that for now your dream should be rockin out a stellar gpa in undergrad and especially your prereqs and doing some fun extracurriculars keeping your ultimate goal of being a MD someday as motivation but not fixating your life around it. Who am I to tell you all this, someone who has done all of the above and is in medschool. Someone who dreams of neurosurgery but realizes that I'm only a MS1 and I have a long way to go, so instead I focus learning the preclinical curriculum. I wouldn't go on the neurosurg forum and ask them what I need to do right now to get into the barrow institute's residency program, cause I know that they would snicker at me and give me a somewhat rude introduction to reality.
     
  34. baylormed

    baylormed On the Search

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    Oh, sweetie, sorry to break your bubble but no one's jealous. Many of us have already taken the MCAT, done well in it, completed 3 or more years of college, and many more of us have already gotten into great medical schools. You think we are jealous of someone who's just out of the first semester? Please. :rolleyes:

    If anybody finds the truth offensive (as in real, honest advice...and that includes when we tell you 1 semester of undergrad lets us predict absolutely nothing) then don't ask for advice in the first place.

    And no one is "destroying" anyone's dreams. Good advice has been given regarding gpa's, MCAT scores, etc, necessary to have a chance at a top med school. I fail to see how that is "destroying" his spirit.

    If you just wanted us to inflate your ego then you came to the wrong place, you should have gone to your mom.
     
  35. smq123

    smq123 John William Waterhouse
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    Some questions for you:

    1) Why do you want to be a doctor?

    2) Why do you want to go to Harvard, JHU, Stanford, and Columbia? Are you actually looking at important stuff (i.e. what research they do and what programs they offer), or is the prestige factor dazzling your eyes?

    3) Why did you specify that you're working with one of the top AIDS doctors and one of the top laser eye surgeons? Just curious.
     
  36. ryandote

    ryandote Member

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    Lame, lame, lame. Spoken like somebody at a lame school with a lame economics department.

    Real, math-based economics is no joke...it makes the world go 'round. Seriously, though, I've heard of schools where economics is a pseudo-business degree and you never do any calc or econometrics. I graduated from a school who actually had a "business" major and we took the econ fairly seriously. After intro, micro1, micro2, and macro we were required to take 2 econometrics courses - then the rest of the required courses and electives were based on quantitative methods. My econ degree was much more strenuous that my bio degree, by far.

    It is a mistake to assume that all econ majors are a joke, and it is a mistake to assume that admissions committees will look at econ majors as a joke. By far, though, the biggest mistake would be to not pursue studying a topic that interests you.
     
  37. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    Precisely. Well put.
     
  38. smq123

    smq123 John William Waterhouse
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    I'm 24, which hardly qualifies as an "old geezer." And keep in mind that if you do manage to get into med school (the # of applicants is rising exponentially every year, by the way), then the "old geezers" that you so blithely referred to will be your supervisors, teachers. Hopefully, by then, you'll have a little more respect for their experience.
     
  39. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    The OP is 18 -- that makes you ancient, pops.:laugh: Better stock up on stewed prunes.
     
  40. etf

    etf
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    hmm, that actually sounds like a good idea...
     
  41. baylormed

    baylormed On the Search

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    Well, I'm 20...maybe they'll take my advice more seriously. ;)
     
  42. Auraraptor

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    You are doing fine. Get your grades up (though they are good enough, your list calls for upper 3.7s to lower 3.8s average, so you might as well meet or exceed that)

    Relax a little and enjoy yourself too. :D
     
  43. gsmithers68

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    I think we can all agree this thread is rather premature... And people have a good point about why we, the peanut gallery, are being a little rude and short with our answers...

    More or less you have a lot of hoops to jump through and the toughest courses to come. And keep an open mind about the schools you want to go to... don't set yourself on 4 schools most people apply to ~10+ Some even 25*cough* Cali residents *cough*
     
  44. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    That joke's getting as tired as your username.
     
  45. smq123

    smq123 John William Waterhouse
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    Haha - we're in our psych block right now, and I realized that I probably wouldn't pass the mini mental status exam. I can barely spell "world" backwards, I forgot how to subtract during MS1 so the "serial 7s" is out, I didn't remember the date, and I had a hard time remembering who was the president before Reagan. Maybe I am old. ;)
     
  46. NonTradMed

    NonTradMed Perpetual Student

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    First of all, focus on getting through your premed courses, doing well in your classes and taking the MCAT. Most people who manage that and acceptable (i.e competitive) scores are already way ahead of the game. Statistically, an 18 year old freshmen will have about a 10% chance of seeing the inside of a medical school classroom come four years.

    As for getting into the schools you mentioned, that's REALLY tough. We are talking about some pretty incredible stats here coupled with a bit of good luck. While your 3.67 overall GPA is decent, it's probably not going to cut at those schools you mentioned. Also, your science GPA will be even more important than your overall GPA, so saying you have a 3.67 guarantees nothing.

    However, the line that separates a top candidate from your average med school candidate is their MCAT score. If you look at the stats from the most competitive schools vs. the stats from your run of the mill med school, it's the MCAT score that separates the wheat from the chaff.

    While my med school and top schools may both require around the same GPA (3.7-3.8, although I have to mention that top med schools also proportionately see people from top undergrad schools than my public med school), my school's average MCAT is only a 30 (a good score) while top schools can have averages going all the way up to 37 (WashU). And the MCAT is NOTHING like the SAT I/II, ACT, any AP/IB exams. It's much harder, especially once you hit above the 33+ range.

    My advice? Focus on academics. I know people say that top schools want 'well rounded' individuals, but in order to be even considered for top med schools, you need to be academically qualified. No amount of internships/research/publications from the best/top whatevers will compensate for your GPA and MCAT at med schools.

    When I attended college, it was filled with ambitious premeds such as yourself that thought med school was a shoo-in, and the goal was to apply to the best of the best. However, by year's end, half the class had dropped premed, and the rest were being run dogged trying to maintain the stats to keep their dream alive. Most people at my school who made it to senior year got into med school, but most did not see those acceptance letters coming from a top 10 med school.

    The kids you'll compete against were valedictorian at their high schools, APed their classes, scored perfect SAT I/II scores, published, won regional/national awards and may even have accepted and refused offers of early admissions medical school programs. I know this because a few of my college roommates did all that. My engineering school by itself saw 1/4 of their class graduate valedictorian from high school. And you have to compete against that and come out on top to have a strong shot at a top med school.

    It's good to aim high, but one also need to know the reality of the situation, which is that you are going to compete against some very top notch students for that spot at Harvard.

    For now, do your best in school. You seem to be on the right track. Don't push yourself too hard or you'll burn out (like me). And remember that any med school in the US can take you where you want to be, but you only have these brief years to really enjoy college so try to experience it for what it's worth. Good luck.
     
  47. LeafNinja

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    To everyone else:

    mmm....yeah older people are always right. You should go write a paper on that or something because you have me confused with someone who cares. I respect my elders' advice, but that doesn't mean I will be a sheep and listen to them when their advice is flawed or detrimental.

    Next...

    This is good advice. Realistic advice unlike that BS cookie cutter copy-paste advice like "oh do ECs, be prez of a club, high gpa, high MCAt, blah blah, I just like to type stuff I hear from other ppl!!11"

    Focus on your grades first. Sure you will need the other stuff later on, but YOU NEED TO GET IN THE DOOR FIRST. YOUR OTHER STUFF IS WORTHLESS IF YOU CANNOT GET IN THE DOOR WITH GOOD NUMBERS.

    Peace guys. Flame all you want, but remember this:

    Being bitter is screwing up at life, knowing full well that you were responsible for it, but still trying to hold something or someone else accountable.

    Don't be bitter...:thumbup: :cool:
     
  48. LeafNinja

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    See the bold stuff? That's the natural sign of a defeatist. Approach it with caution because the defeatist is known to have sharp talons that can claw out one's eyes, the guide to one's dreams.:eek: :scared:
     
  49. baylormed

    baylormed On the Search

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    ^ Somebody's feelings got hurt ^

    Older people aren't always right, but people who've been through the process and have more (MUCH MORE) experience do.

    And no one crushed anyone's dreams, so stop crying about that. Grow up.
     
  50. Green Pirate

    Green Pirate Neurotic Neuro Enthusiast

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    :laugh:

    this has to be a joke account...
     
  51. Stolenspatulas

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    You're so right. im just incredibly bitter because i have failed throughout my whole life. i apologize.
     
  52. psipsina

    psipsina Senior Member

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    The entire point of SDN is people who have been there and done that giving you advice on how you too can be there and do that. We aren't infalible or anything, but we are better informed than those that are asking the advice because we are further along in the process. If you don't want advice I reccomend you don't read the preallo forum on SDN. We don't ask that you blindly follow our advice, but respect the fact that most of us have survived the battle, with wounds that may make us seem like a bit of a downer, but we do have some idea of what it takes to make it through to the other side.

    You imply that we are bitter because we have failed at something and are placing blame . . . which makes no sense. We are the ones that have played the game called pre-med and won our shiny acceptance letter. If we were bitter we wouldn't be on the pre allo board offering advice to try and help the next generation survive the battle. Sometimes surviving necessitates a dose of reality which is what we've been trying to give the op.
     

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