Virgil

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-General Question: Is it possible to undertake Organic Chemistry I, Physics I, Microbiology (each class has a lab), an Honors English course (15 credits), as well as a few extracurriculars next fall semester and receive all A's? My class standing would be that of a sophomore...

-Background: My freshman year was concluded with a 3.34 GPA (50 credits, including AP from HS).

• C's: I have received a C+ in Calculus 2 and a C in Biology (Professor did not utilize +/- scale).
• Pertinent coursework: I received an A- in General Chemistry I and a solid B in General Chemistry 2 (Both professors used a +/- scale).
• The rest of my grades, except for Biology II (Plants, etc...I received a B+) were all A's.
•Planned Extra-curriculars:
1. Volunteering in the ER (~5 hours/week, maximum)
2. President of a pre-medical club (need an estimate for approximate hours needed to successfully fulfill my duties)
3. Boxing classes (~6 hours/week, maximum)

-Personal Notes; long, not entirely necessary for the answering of this question: During my freshman year, I was undergoing an "identity and purpose" problem, as I like to call it. My freshman year, in fact, was spent in an entirely depressed, bitter and lonesome state and I discovered religion in an attempt to ease my problems. At that point, I resolved to drop out of college after the conclusion of the semester (as I felt that my interests lied in my new-found love for religion), due to a case of naiveté. As I had no motivation to study whatsoever, I spent all my time researching this subject of my choice (religion), and as a result the majority of my studying for pre-med courses had taken place during the night before/day of the test, approximately 90%+ of the time (for finals I might have studied a day or two prior to the examinations), due to the fear of public and social estrangement. Feeling entirely "burnt-out" and derailed, I took the summer off from college and began working in a pediatric clinic and taking boxing classes, as well as studying religion. Since then my motivations and goals have changed.

I initially felt that studying medicine was my path in life because I thought the subject was interesting. I now find that this motivation is not enough, at least for me, to get me through uninteresting science classes or otherwise. I soon found out that the process to get there is not that of "easy gains and a short journey." I have now come to realize that my love for both subjects (medicine and religion) do not contradict each other; rather, they are complementary to each other as the parable of two hands, each washing its counterpart. I now feel that I am equipped with a necessary purpose and drive that we all need to suceed, and am no longer torn between myself in a petty inner-battle. I have resolved to undertake the long and hard journey to the best of my ability.

Finally, I have now just come back to reality. I do not want to come off as arrogant, but I can, with 100% certainty, say that I did not even come near half my academic potential as displayed by my former year of college. I feel that I have been blessed with a great mind that can be applied to noble causes, although I squandered this great blessing for many years. Feeling set-back by not taking any classes this summer, I feel that I must undertake this proposed course-work of 15 credits. Additionally, it is necessary to raise my GPA considerably, since it has received quite a beating last year.

My final amended question is this: Given my past academic history, the inherent rigor of these courses my new determination and drive, is it possible to for me to undertake a semester of Organic Chemistry I, Physics I, Microbiology I (all with labs), an Honors English course as well as a few extracurriculars and escape with an unscathed GPA?

Thank you in advance for any and all potential advice. :)
 

BozoSparky

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honestly, i think it will be very difficult...but not impossible. some people can do a million things at at time, if that's you, it sounds perfect!
 
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ADeadLois

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Virgil said:
-General Question: Is it possible to undertake Organic Chemistry I, Physics I, Microbiology (each class has a lab), an Honors English course (15 credits), as well as a few extracurriculars next fall semester and receive all A's? My class standing would be that of a sophomore...

-Background: My freshman year was concluded with a 3.34 GPA (50 credits, including AP from HS).

• C's: I have received a C+ in Calculus 2 and a C in Biology (Professor did not utilize +/- scale).
• Pertinent coursework: I received an A- in General Chemistry I and a solid B in General Chemistry 2 (Both professors used a +/- scale).
• The rest of my grades, except for Biology II (Plants, etc...I received a B+) were all A's.
•Planned Extra-curriculars:
1. Volunteering in the ER (~5 hours/week, maximum)
2. President of a pre-medical club (need an estimate for approximate hours needed to successfully fulfill my duties)
3. Boxing classes (~6 hours/week, maximum)

-Personal Notes; long, not entirely necessary for the answering of this question: During my freshman year, I was undergoing an "identity and purpose" problem, as I like to call it. My freshman year, in fact, was spent in an entirely depressed, bitter and lonesome state and I discovered religion in an attempt to ease my problems. At that point, I resolved to drop out of college after the conclusion of the semester (as I felt that my interests lied in my new-found love for religion), due to a case of naiveté. As I had no motivation to study whatsoever, I spent all my time researching this subject of my choice (religion), and as a result the majority of my studying for pre-med courses had taken place during the night before/day of the test, approximately 90%+ of the time (for finals I might have studied a day or two prior to the examinations), due to the fear of public and social estrangement. Feeling entirely "burnt-out" and derailed, I took the summer off from college and began working in a pediatric clinic and taking boxing classes, as well as studying religion. Since then my motivations and goals have changed.

I initially felt that studying medicine was my path in life because I thought the subject was interesting. I now find that this motivation is not enough, at least for me, to get me through uninteresting science classes or otherwise. I soon found out that the process to get there is not that of "easy gains and a short journey." I have now come to realize that my love for both subjects (medicine and religion) do not contradict each other; rather, they are complementary to each other as the parable of two hands, each washing its counterpart. I now feel that I am equipped with a necessary purpose and drive that we all need to suceed, and am no longer torn between myself in a petty inner-battle. I have resolved to undertake the long and hard journey to the best of my ability.

Finally, I have now just come back to reality. I do not want to come off as arrogant, but I can, with 100% certainty, say that I did not even come near half my academic potential as displayed by my former year of college. I feel that I have been blessed with a great mind that can be applied to noble causes, although I squandered this great blessing for many years. Feeling set-back by not taking any classes this summer, I feel that I must undertake this proposed course-work of 15 credits. Additionally, it is necessary to raise my GPA considerably, since it has received quite a beating last year.

My final amended question is this: Given my past academic history, the inherent rigor of these courses my new determination and drive, it is possible to for me to undertake a semester of Organic Chemistry I, Physics I, Microbiology I (all with labs), an Honors English course as well as a few extracurriculars and escape with an unscathed GPA?

Thank you in advance for any and all potential advice. :)
Are you taking those classes together because you have to, or just to prove something?
 
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Virgil

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ADeadLois said:
Are you taking those classes together because you have to, or just to prove something?
Thank you for your replies.

Fortunately, the days of me trying to prove myself due to jealous animosity and social pressures are over. I want to take the best route to medical school. I am afraid that 12 credits may viewed as too little despite the rigor of the courses, and I do not feel comfortable taking any of these classes in the summer (except the English course, but even so, I want to relax via study abroad next summer). I also do not want to delay taking the MCAT by leaving one of the science courses out. What would be the ideal combination of classes?

Once again, thank you very, very much for your replies. :)
 

ADeadLois

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Virgil said:
Thank you for your replies.

Fortunately, the days of me trying to prove myself due to jealous animosity and social pressures are over. I want to take the best route to medical school. I am afraid that 12 credits may viewed as too little despite the rigor of the courses, and I do not feel comfortable taking any of these classes in the summer (except the English course, but even so, I want to relax via study abroad next summer). I also do not want to delay taking the MCAT by leaving one of the science courses out. What would be the ideal combination of classes?

Once again, thank you very, very much for your replies. :)
At the pace you are going, it appears as though you will be completed with your science pre-reqs at the end of your sophomore year. This is advantageous with regards to the MCAT, but keep in mind that it is not entirely necessary. Have you considered taking a year off? This will allow you to space-out your pre-reqs over another year, so you will not have as intense of a class schedule. It will also allow you to pursue other academic interests.

Also, keep in mind that there is no right/wrong time to take the MCAT, at least with regards to your class standing. (Just make sure you try to take it the April before you apply).
 

Compass

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Take a brush-off/relaxing course if the option applies.
 
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Matth52 said:
Could you take a non-honors english, or maybe an easier elective?
Some things I forgot to point out:

• The Honors English course is touted to be very easy. Due to a reality of grade inflation, an amazing student to teacher ratio (around 20 students per teacher) and the selection of a compassionate, interesting professor, this course should be easier than its non-Honors equivalent. I intend for this class to be my "brush-off/relaxing course."
• Microbiology is scheduled to be taught by my pre-med advisor, who knows me very, very well. He is also regarded as the best microbiology professor on campus (in terms of ease and teaching capability). I have no guarantee of him teaching the following semester or over the summer, so I feel it is necessary that I take Microbiology this semester.
• I am not so sure about Physics and Organic Chemistry.
• I have no idea as to who will be TA'ing my 3 labs...

Despite any perceived "breaks" I may be getting, I am by no means going to slack off, God-willing. I reckon that the majority of these subjects are inherently difficult by nature anyway.
 
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Virgil

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ADeadLois said:
At the pace you are going, it appears as though you will be completed with your science pre-reqs at the end of your sophomore year. This is advantageous with regards to the MCAT, but keep in mind that it is not entirely necessary. Have you considered taking a year off? This will allow you to space-out your pre-reqs over another year, so you will not have as intense of a class schedule. It will also allow you to pursue other academic interests.

Also, keep in mind that there is no right/wrong time to take the MCAT, at least with regards to your class standing. (Just make sure you try to take it the April before you apply).
Your recommendation sounds very appealing. Essentially, I want to take the absolute best route to medical school, thereby maximizing my GPA, MCAT, EC's, personal development, and making the best use of my time. I really have to think about the opportunity cost of taking the MCAT later...I initially wanted to take it right after my sophomore year, anticipating that the knowledge I gained in my science courses would still be fresh. Nevertheless, it looks like I learned next to nothing in these courses since all my studying pretty much took place the day before/of the test anyway, so taking it right after my sophomore year may not be as advantageous as I once thought.

If you were in my position, retaining little if any information from your pre-req classes, how would you remedy this problem so you can be ready for the MCAT? And further, would it be frowned upon if I took 5 years to graduate?

Thank you for the wonderful advice, ADeadLois!
 

xanthomondo

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i dont think that schedule is bad at all, you really shouldnt have a problem getting all As

not to mention if u learn it now and you take the mcat in your junior year, all of your refreshment reading should be relatively easy...it should come back to you
 

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I thought this thread title was referring to a person. Imagine my dissappointment. :thumbdown:


;)
 

ADeadLois

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Virgil said:
Your recommendation sounds very appealing. Essentially, I want to take the absolute best route to medical school, thereby maximizing my GPA, MCAT, EC's, personal development, and making the best use of my time. I really have to think about the opportunity cost of taking the MCAT later...I initially wanted to take it right after my sophomore year, anticipating that the knowledge I gained in my science courses would still be fresh. Nevertheless, it looks like I learned next to nothing in these courses since all my studying pretty much took place the day before/of the test anyway, so taking it right after my sophomore year may not be as advantageous as I once thought.

If you were in my position, retaining little if any information from your pre-req classes, how would you remedy this problem so you can be ready for the MCAT? And further, would it be frowned upon if I took 5 years to graduate?

Thank you for the wonderful advice, ADeadLois!

With regards to the MCAT, I wouldn't worry about not retaining information from your pre-reqs. You'll have to re-learn most of the information anyway, and there's no guarantee that stuff you might remember from the classes would be on the test anyway. When you take the MCAT will depend on when you plan on applying. If you decide to matriculate after you graduate, then taking it August after your soph. year or April of your Jun. year is the best bet. If you take a year off, push back that timeline a year. It's entirely up to you; I don't think WHEN you take the test will have as much a bearing on your score as HOW you prepare. Take it at a time when you feel you will have enough time to prepare.

I'm not sure how medical schools will look at graduating in 5 years. When I say taking a year off, I mean taking it off AFTER you graduate.
 
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I think the courseload you have outlined is going to be tough but doable. Orgo by itself will keep you quite busy. I worked part time, and only took 12 credits a term and got all A's, but you're going to be busy that's all I have to say.
 
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Virgil

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Would upper level biology and chemistry coursework help for the MCAT? Well, I'm sure that it will help by solidifying information learnt in the pre-reqs (although I know it is not necessary...), but would it be better to take the MCAT after I take courses such as Microbiology, Immunology, Mammalian Physiology, Molecular Biology, A&P, Biochem I & 2, and Genetics or would I be waiting for too long?
 

ADeadLois

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Virgil said:
Would upper level biology and chemistry coursework help for the MCAT? Well, I'm sure that it will help by solidifying information learnt in the pre-reqs (although I know it is not necessary...), but would it be better to take the MCAT after I take courses such as Microbiology, Immunology, Mammalian Physiology, Molecular Biology, A&P, Biochem I & 2, and Genetics or would I be waiting for too long?
The only course I would imagine helping for the MCAT beyond the pre-reqs would be physiology. The science you need to know for the MCAT is very basic.
 

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i took basically the schedule you are thinking about one semester (except it wasnt honors english, just regular english), and i got all A's. i did research and volunteering at the same time. i think it really depends though on the person and how much time you are willing to devote to studying. i had little free time and slept 5-6 hrs a night, but it is possible to take that course load.
 

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What's your major because those sciences you plan to take are what alot of people have to take to be able to graduate with their degree ontime or apply ontime don't compress it unless you have too, cause b's and c's are alot easier to make than A's. i did something similar to that for a few semesters and its tough not something you would want to do if you were studying for the mcat for sure.
 

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In my opinion, if you can get an A in all of those classes individually, then you can get an A in all of those classes simultaneously. The real question then, given your academic history, is whether or not you can get an A in each of them individually. The cumulative effect of taking them at once I don't believe will be the deciding factor.
 

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I did it, and it was the most stressful semester of my life. I didn't exercise and it wasn't fun, but I studied studied and studied and got all As except a A- in Micro. Its doable, but you must be on top of your stuff, or just be willing to give up alot of other stuff to study alot.
 
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Virgil

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Looque said:
In my opinion, if you can get an A in all of those classes individually, then you can get an A in all of those classes simultaneously. The real question then, given your academic history, is whether or not you can get an A in each of them individually. The cumulative effect of taking them at once I don't believe will be the deciding factor.
Individually, I can pretty much guarantee an A in each class. However, I feel that many variables are introduced when you take them together, such as dwindling time and increased stress as opposed to taking them individually. In the past, my competence or ability were not the deciding factors; rather, they were stress and lack of time. Hmm, I think I should be O.K. :)
 

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Don't do it unless you are willing to completely give everything you have to doing well. Based on having a 3.34 post-freshmen year it seems that you need to pace yourself more and focus on getting better grades then simply taking a big/heavy course load. I would integrate a gen-ed, etc... class in there... it will make you more diversified and it will probably allow you to focus more on the science classes you are taking.

Virgil said:
-General Question: Is it possible to undertake Organic Chemistry I, Physics I, Microbiology (each class has a lab), an Honors English course (15 credits), as well as a few extracurriculars next fall semester and receive all A's? My class standing would be that of a sophomore...

-Background: My freshman year was concluded with a 3.34 GPA (50 credits, including AP from HS).

• C's: I have received a C+ in Calculus 2 and a C in Biology (Professor did not utilize +/- scale).
• Pertinent coursework: I received an A- in General Chemistry I and a solid B in General Chemistry 2 (Both professors used a +/- scale).
• The rest of my grades, except for Biology II (Plants, etc...I received a B+) were all A's.
•Planned Extra-curriculars:
1. Volunteering in the ER (~5 hours/week, maximum)
2. President of a pre-medical club (need an estimate for approximate hours needed to successfully fulfill my duties)
3. Boxing classes (~6 hours/week, maximum)

-Personal Notes; long, not entirely necessary for the answering of this question: During my freshman year, I was undergoing an "identity and purpose" problem, as I like to call it. My freshman year, in fact, was spent in an entirely depressed, bitter and lonesome state and I discovered religion in an attempt to ease my problems. At that point, I resolved to drop out of college after the conclusion of the semester (as I felt that my interests lied in my new-found love for religion), due to a case of naiveté. As I had no motivation to study whatsoever, I spent all my time researching this subject of my choice (religion), and as a result the majority of my studying for pre-med courses had taken place during the night before/day of the test, approximately 90%+ of the time (for finals I might have studied a day or two prior to the examinations), due to the fear of public and social estrangement. Feeling entirely "burnt-out" and derailed, I took the summer off from college and began working in a pediatric clinic and taking boxing classes, as well as studying religion. Since then my motivations and goals have changed.

I initially felt that studying medicine was my path in life because I thought the subject was interesting. I now find that this motivation is not enough, at least for me, to get me through uninteresting science classes or otherwise. I soon found out that the process to get there is not that of "easy gains and a short journey." I have now come to realize that my love for both subjects (medicine and religion) do not contradict each other; rather, they are complementary to each other as the parable of two hands, each washing its counterpart. I now feel that I am equipped with a necessary purpose and drive that we all need to suceed, and am no longer torn between myself in a petty inner-battle. I have resolved to undertake the long and hard journey to the best of my ability.

Finally, I have now just come back to reality. I do not want to come off as arrogant, but I can, with 100% certainty, say that I did not even come near half my academic potential as displayed by my former year of college. I feel that I have been blessed with a great mind that can be applied to noble causes, although I squandered this great blessing for many years. Feeling set-back by not taking any classes this summer, I feel that I must undertake this proposed course-work of 15 credits. Additionally, it is necessary to raise my GPA considerably, since it has received quite a beating last year.

My final amended question is this: Given my past academic history, the inherent rigor of these courses my new determination and drive, is it possible to for me to undertake a semester of Organic Chemistry I, Physics I, Microbiology I (all with labs), an Honors English course as well as a few extracurriculars and escape with an unscathed GPA?

Thank you in advance for any and all potential advice. :)
 
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Virgil

Virgil

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doctajay said:
I did it, and it was the most stressful semester of my life. I didn't exercise and it wasn't fun, but I studied studied and studied and got all As except a A- in Micro. Its doable, but you must be on top of your stuff, or just be willing to give up alot of other stuff to study alot.
How were your study habits? I mean, were you studying daily for each class? Because freshman year was very "stressful" for me, although I usually studied the night before/the day of for exams (sometimes it was the first time I ever saw the material!) and rarely went to class. You think I can do it if I attend each class and study daily? I've never done it before but I am sure that it will definitely help. I find that in other areas of life that it's the small, consistent efforts that pay off, as opposed to the single, long and strenuous efforts I'm so used to but dread.
 
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