Mar 26, 2013
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Hi nontraditionals. I am going back to college this Spring after 10 years out of school and need some guidance based on your experiences prior to beginning school again. I have 2 babies (2yr and 4mth old) and very supportive husband. I work full time with a choice to remain full time to support my family. Therefore, I am prepared to take longer to get the undergraduate work done.

Anyone have any good advice on the approach to take (knowing I have to take classes after work at night or on Saturdays)? For instance, should I start out with one class or shoot for two. My undergraduate degree is in Comp Sci :)

Spr '14 - Intro to Chem w/lab
Sum '14 - Gen Chem 1 w/lab
Fall '15 - Gen Chem 2 w/lab and Physics 1 w/Lab?

Thanks much!
Jessica
 

SN12357

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Apr 23, 2013
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Hi nontraditionals. I am going back to college this Spring after 10 years out of school and need some guidance based on your experiences prior to beginning school again. I have 2 babies (2yr and 4mth old) and very supportive husband. I work full time with a choice to remain full time to support my family. Therefore, I am prepared to take longer to get the undergraduate work done.

Anyone have any good advice on the approach to take (knowing I have to take classes after work at night or on Saturdays)? For instance, should I start out with one class or shoot for two. My undergraduate degree is in Comp Sci :)

Spr '14 - Intro to Chem w/lab
Sum '14 - Gen Chem 1 w/lab
Fall '15 - Gen Chem 2 w/lab and Physics 1 w/Lab?

Thanks much!
Jessica
Working full time and with family obligations I would say two classes MAX, and look at the time commitment for things like required lab/sections closely.

However, if your comp sci background means you have strong math/problem solving skills, you'll have an edge over most premeds in chem and physics.

A slow start (one class only) for your first semester back is probably a good idea, particularly if it's a lab class.

Good luck!
 
Mar 26, 2013
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Thanks SN12357! Yeah, totally agree with 2 classes max! No way I could swing more. I will definitely check out the lab schedules. Thanks much!
 
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Epi Geek
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Agree with starting with one class the first semester back. Then maybe two max with little one's and a full-time workload. The most I've sanely managed for grad school classes and fulltime work with no kids is 3. 4 was too nutz.

I did have a question about your above chemistry sequence. Are you required to take intro chem before gen chem 1. Or are you using that as a warm up to get exposure and get familiar with chemistry basics?

Good luck, welcome to the wild non-trad ride.

Oh it's always a good idea to try and look at a syllabus to try to gauge the workload as credit hours can be deceiving. My most insane semester of undergrad was only 12 "easy" credits and was way harder than the semester I took 18, just by sheer volume of paper writing and work outside of class.
 
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milski

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Working full time and with family obligations I would say two classes MAX, and look at the time commitment for things like required lab/sections closely.

However, if your comp sci background means you have strong math/problem solving skills, you'll have an edge over most premeds in chem and physics.

A slow start (one class only) for your first semester back is probably a good idea, particularly if it's a lab class.

Good luck!
Be very careful with that part. I have a very strong math/comp sci background and it is very helpful for classes like chem/phys. With that said, the helpful part is mostly about math not getting in the way and not having to think about it. The problems will definitely require plenty of new knowledge and skills.

What I am trying to say - the background will help you a lot but you still have to do plenty of work.
 
Jan 18, 2011
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I'm in a similar situation, I started class this fall. I'm in the middle of Gen Chem 1 right now. I work 40 hours and have three kids that my wonderful wife takes great care of! Do you really need to take intro to chem? I didn't have any chemistry experience (no chem in high school) and am doing just fine... I actually could have taken an additional class, but I wasn't sure so I started with one to see how it worked out. I'd suggest one class this semester then you can ramp it up based on your experience. I sometimes have study time at work so I can easily fit another class in, maybe two more if they don't have labs as well. Start with one, and you can let your brain loosen up and get into learning mode. you can see how much time you spend studying and whether you'll have room for more next semester. It's not a race!
A radiologist colleague told me the other day, "be sure to enjoy the process". So start gentle; that way you can keep the stress levels down and feel your way forward!
 
Mar 26, 2013
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Thanks wholeheartedly and hawkbit! Let me go check the pre-reqs again. I checked a few times, but perhaps I can pass it up and go straight into General Chem 1.

Hawkbit, how is it going...your class? I am anxious, nervous and excited to go back. I already told my husband, since I am going to be taking classes on T and TH nights, we can perhaps hire an after daycare person to help out :)
 

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oh Nolasd, another thing to keep in mind if you've been out for awhile is that there are soooo many great resources online if you're not getting what you need in lecture. There are free online lectures from great teachers on tons of topics in physics, chem, and ochem, etc. So by all means use office hours, TA's etc, but don't forget the good old google if something isn't clicking. It's such a great development since I did undergrad a long time ago to be able to supplement my learning like that.

Also, don't forget, it's not just about learning to get good grades for a test or the transcript and you can't forget the info right after. Try to learn stuff so you'll remember it long term because you'll have the MCAT to contend with later.
 
Mar 26, 2013
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So double checked again and here is the pre-req for CHEM 200 - GENERAL CHEMISTRY I LECTURE.
There is no way I could pass the exam. I haven't taken Chemistry since high school. :) Then again, I could try and study some fundamentals and take it and see... but not likely going to swing it. Still can't hurt to talk to the school about jumping into Gen Chem 1.

Comments:
BEFORE ENROLLING IN CHEMISTRY 200 STUDENTS MUST COMPLETE CHEMISTRY 152 AND 152L OR MUST PASS QUALIFYING EXAM. FOR EXAM DATES: CALL 619 388-2686 CHEMISTRY 200: TAKE LECTURE AND ONE CHEMISTRY 200L LAB
 
Mar 26, 2013
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Thanks again wholeheartedly! My brother is graduating with a chemistry degree and he sent me the link to this person; khanacademy.com. He said this helped him through some tough chemistry classes and the guy has a great way of teaching should I need help. I will use every resource I can. It truly is a new attitude to studying after being in the workforce and having some big responsibilities. :)

So excited!
 
Jan 18, 2011
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Hawkbit, how is it going...your class? I am anxious, nervous and excited to go back. I already told my husband, since I am going to be taking classes on T and TH nights, we can perhaps hire an after daycare person to help out :)
I've run into the basic concepts before, but never did any of the calculation stuff. When I asked my brother what chemistry is, he said it's just another form of math. I'd have to agree. You'll need some basic algebra skills, and time to work through problems. That's about it so far. I echo the sentiment that there are some great supplemental sites if you need something extra. Google is your friend. :thumbup: The other day, the prof was trying to explain the first law of thermodynamics and enthalpy. I felt like he was just tossing bricks out... each time one hit my head it just felt foggier. :laugh: I did some reading and searching on my own after class to clear the matter up! Seems like about half the material he explains well, the other half is self taught. I feel really good about the class so far though, after a mediocre 1st exam I aced the second exam, the prof said generally the second was the lowest scoring in his classes. So don't let a poor test score get you down, just figure out what you need to do to different!
 
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