First Year performance stories and adjusting to college

viva117

10+ Year Member
Jan 15, 2008
58
24
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Pre-Medical
I messed up my first year by being childish and lazy. I went through the usual parties and skipping class phase, but this poisoned my GPA and Science GPA. Heck, when I went to classes I'd find myself sleeping. The only time I studied was the day before the test. I did minimal homework, never read the textbook, and went to my larger classes possibly 5 times each semester. I just look back and realize how stupid I was for messing up the chance for a higher education which some can only dream of. I seriously want to buckle down and develop a study method.

First Semester - 1 D in Intermediate Spanish composition [lowest]
overall 3.0 GPA

Second Semester - C in General Biology II [lowest]
overall 3.0 or 2.9ish GPA again

So did I completely mess up my chances by being an immature jerk-off my first semester? And what are some tips you could give me for sophomore year i.e. study methods and classroom tips.
 

Cegar

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Feb 17, 2008
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A 3.0 for two semesters wont completely **** you over. Assuming the same number of credit hours every semester, your maximum achievable GPA is ~3.75. Furthermore, your first year is generally not given as much weight as the subsequent years. That is, upward trends are taken into consideration.

The University of Washington School of Medicine explicitly shows the formula they use to consider GPA.

UWSOM said:
CUM. FRESHMAN GPA X 1 = A A+B+C
CUM. SOPHOMORE GPA X 2 = B 6 = WEIGHTED GPA
CUM. JUNIOR GPA X 3 = C
from http://uwmedicine.washington.edu/Education/MDProgram/Admissions/FAQ.htm

I skipped a lot of classes my first year too. And I (generally) only studied the day before an exam. It depends on the difficulty of the class.

As far as tips go:

1) Read the textbook.

2) Go to lectures if they are useful.

3) Work practice problems (especially in Organic Chemistry, Physics, and Math)

4) Take advantage of any material the instructor hands out. Problem assignments, practice tests, et cetera.

5) Know the syllabus. These, if well prepared, are very useful. If stressed for time, you can easily figure out what you can pare time from and how it will affect your grade.

6) Calculate your grades and grade projections. What will my grade be if I don't study very much and get an 86% on this test? What will my grade be if I don't do this homework assignment? You may well have to juggle time and neglect things. This combined with knowledge of the syllabus, you will easily be able to figure out what you can and cannot skimp on.

7) Talk to people. Find out which professors are good and try to get into their classes. Ask what others what professors focus on, how they structure their tests, and how they grade.

8) Stay motivated and keep things in perspective.
 

186321

Guest
10+ Year Member
Jan 29, 2008
322
1
Status
Pre-Medical
I messed up my first year by being childish and lazy. I went through the usual parties and skipping class phase, but this poisoned my GPA and Science GPA. Heck, when I went to classes I'd find myself sleeping. The only time I studied was the day before the test. I did minimal homework, never read the textbook, and went to my larger classes possibly 5 times each semester. I just look back and realize how stupid I was for messing up the chance for a higher education which some can only dream of. I seriously want to buckle down and develop a study method.

First Semester - 1 D in Intermediate Spanish composition [lowest]
overall 3.0 GPA

Second Semester - C in General Biology II [lowest]
overall 3.0 or 2.9ish GPA again

So did I completely mess up my chances by being an immature jerk-off my first semester? And what are some tips you could give me for sophomore year i.e. study methods and classroom tips.
You're fine as long as you work hard from here on out and do well on the MCAT. Try to maintain a GPA of 3.7-4.0 from here on out though.
 

XerxesOfPersia

M.D. - Makes Decisions
10+ Year Member
Dec 18, 2007
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To echo the other responses, upward trend is looked at often and can sometimes work in your favor because it demonstrates maturity and the ability to adapt to difficult course work, etc. Just manage your time better, keep a higher GPA throughout, and do well the MCAT and you should be fine.
 

Techmed07

10+ Year Member
Jul 5, 2007
1,184
11
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Pre-Medical
Yeah you can def turn it around just do what was stated above. I would also say, that the sophomore slump will not affect you a bit.
 

WellWornLad

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Feb 5, 2008
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And what are some tips you could give me for sophomore year i.e. study methods and classroom tips.
Before you start studying, take a look at your tuition bill/loan statements. Worked for me.
 

BabyJ

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Mar 19, 2007
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My high school was significantly harder than my college curriculum. I slacked off nonetheless.
 

fizzle

New Member
10+ Year Member
Aug 23, 2006
1,033
3
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Medical Student
I don't get it. I've seen that equation before, but what does it mean for the many people who apply after senior year? That senior year grades don't count?

The University of Washington School of Medicine explicitly shows the formula they use to consider GPA.



from http://uwmedicine.washington.edu/Education/MDProgram/Admissions/FAQ.htm

I skipped a lot of classes my first year too. And I (generally) only studied the day before an exam. It depends on the difficulty of the class.

As far as tips go:

1) Read the textbook.

2) Go to lectures if they are useful.

3) Work practice problems (especially in Organic Chemistry, Physics, and Math)

4) Take advantage of any material the instructor hands out. Problem assignments, practice tests, et cetera.

5) Know the syllabus. These, if well prepared, are very useful. If stressed for time, you can easily figure out what you can pare time from and how it will affect your grade.

6) Calculate your grades and grade projections. What will my grade be if I don't study very much and get an 86% on this test? What will my grade be if I don't do this homework assignment? You may well have to juggle time and neglect things. This combined with knowledge of the syllabus, you will easily be able to figure out what you can and cannot skimp on.

7) Talk to people. Find out which professors are good and try to get into their classes. Ask what others what professors focus on, how they structure their tests, and how they grade.

8) Stay motivated and keep things in perspective.
 

nu2004

10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Mar 7, 2008
861
4
Los Angecagoveland
Status
Medical Student
I messed up my first year by being childish and lazy. I went through the usual parties and skipping class phase, but this poisoned my GPA and Science GPA. Heck, when I went to classes I'd find myself sleeping. The only time I studied was the day before the test. I did minimal homework, never read the textbook, and went to my larger classes possibly 5 times each semester. I just look back and realize how stupid I was for messing up the chance for a higher education which some can only dream of. I seriously want to buckle down and develop a study method.

First Semester - 1 D in Intermediate Spanish composition [lowest]
overall 3.0 GPA

Second Semester - C in General Biology II [lowest]
overall 3.0 or 2.9ish GPA again

So did I completely mess up my chances by being an immature jerk-off my first semester? And what are some tips you could give me for sophomore year i.e. study methods and classroom tips.
no, you did not completely mess up your chances. however, i think you should consider going all the way through college and then applying after your senior year. this way, once you get to med school, you'll have been off for at least a year and will have gotten any of this residual childishness out of your system.

i'm speaking from experience, here, not a position of judgment ;)
 

maristella

10+ Year Member
Oct 2, 2007
85
0
Status
hey i feel you!

i had almost an identical GPA my first year of college. then i further screwed myself over by graduating in 3 years, so that year's GPA carried more weight. I would advise against doing that:)

however, i took a year post-bacc, ended up with a reasonable 3.57, and got into med school this year. it can be done!

my only words of advice are, re-prioritize, stay on top of your classes, and don't be afraid to ask for help. professors, TA's, that kid that kills the curve in every class, all of them! i was amazed at how much that worked. i still skipped class, stayed active in my sorority, and partied. so you don't have to kill yourself studying all the time, just study smarter...hope that helps! good luck!:luck:
 
OP
V

viva117

10+ Year Member
Jan 15, 2008
58
24
Status
Pre-Medical
thanks for the great tips

I plan to look at my tuition bills :laugh:

I plan to come back to this thread next year and keep looking back for motivation.

Time management will be key.:thumbup:
 

redlight

Senior Member :D
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5+ Year Member
Jan 10, 2008
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ha, ive been looking for this link for a while... thanks!
Before you start studying, take a look at your tuition bill/loan statements. Worked for me.
:thumbup:
very true, it does help.

and im very honest with my grades when my friends ask how i do on tests and stuff when they ask so i use that thought as motivation.. ya never want to be embarrassed about your grades:p

My high school was significantly harder than my college curriculum. I slacked off nonetheless.
thanks for your input? lol
(jk)
I messed up my first year by being childish and lazy. I went through the usual parties and skipping class phase, but this poisoned my GPA and Science GPA. Heck, when I went to classes I'd find myself sleeping. The only time I studied was the day before the test. I did minimal homework, never read the textbook, and went to my larger classes possibly 5 times each semester. I just look back and realize how stupid I was for messing up the chance for a higher education which some can only dream of. I seriously want to buckle down and develop a study method.

First Semester - 1 D in Intermediate Spanish composition [lowest]
overall 3.0 GPA

Second Semester - C in General Biology II [lowest]
overall 3.0 or 2.9ish GPA again

So did I completely mess up my chances by being an immature jerk-off my first semester? And what are some tips you could give me for sophomore year i.e. study methods and classroom tips.
nope, you aren't completely screwed, but you'll have to be more serious here on out.
my advice is to try and make use of t.a.'s, office hours, and if necessary try getting a tutor through academic advising. i know people who went from crappy grades to A's with the extra help and attention they were getting.

also, make studying a weekly thing so tests arent too bad. make time in your schedule to study/make sure you keep up with the material and work through practice/hw problems.

good luck
 
D

da8s0859q

being an immature jerk-off my first semester? And what are some tips you could give me for sophomore year i.e. study methods and classroom tips.
I laughed. :laugh:

Studying... man, find what works for you, and cling to it for dear life. Flash cards. Books. Notes. Rewriting notes. Tablet PC notes. Laptop notes over handwritten notes. 100% lecture attendance. Skip lecture and read your non-jerkoff self crazy. Whatever. Just do what makes you most comfortable during - and after - your tests, and run with it.

For example, I have not touched a textbook in seriousness for a long, long time (except to sell the damn thing(s)). I compensate by always attending class and taking my semi-shorthanded notes. It worked for me, as my GPA seems to reflect.

Yeah you can def turn it around just do what was stated above. I would also say, that the sophomore slump will not affect you a bit.
Agreed! Hang in there, OP. You'll be okay.
 

Springhill Mike

10+ Year Member
Jul 26, 2007
101
0
Status
Pre-Medical
I go to a very hard liberal arts school and my high school did not prepare me for what I would encounter. I made a 3.02 first semester and a 3.44 second semester so I am catching on. I was never lazy I studied at least 50+ hrs a week and I performed like that but I did not manage studying times good as far as switching between subjects.
 

Rowany

10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Apr 29, 2008
28
5
Status
MD/PhD Student
Hey, also remember that medical schools generally look at applicants with a holistic view. You are fortunate in that you realized your weakness early, so from here on out you can work on strengthening your extracurriculars in addition to your grades. Find something that you're passionate about, and commit to it for college, start undergraduate research EARLY, maybe look at options for study abroad.

In other words, don't freak out so much you go the other direction and get rejected for studying SO hard you don't have a life!

As for studying habits, the power of sleep and healthy eating can not be underestimated. Cramming has been proven to worsen memory, so 1) spread out your studying and 2) review what you studied after a good night's sleep.

gl!
 

anomalous738232

10+ Year Member
Nov 12, 2007
146
0
Status
Pre-Medical
try to make it to all your classes until the first midterm. over-study for the first midterm-- read the lectures, take notes, read the book, practice problems, whatever. based on how you do, you can gauge what you need to do for the rest of the semester. for example, if you find that lectures are completely pointless, don't go. use that time to sleep or self-study. if you find that the test is based off of lecture, stop reading the text and focus on lecture notes. you get the idea. try to make friends with people who have similar goals and curriculum as yourself.
 

bcat85

10+ Year Member
Nov 5, 2007
1,781
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I messed up my first year by being childish and lazy. I went through the usual parties and skipping class phase, but this poisoned my GPA and Science GPA. Heck, when I went to classes I'd find myself sleeping. The only time I studied was the day before the test. I did minimal homework, never read the textbook, and went to my larger classes possibly 5 times each semester. I just look back and realize how stupid I was for messing up the chance for a higher education which some can only dream of. I seriously want to buckle down and develop a study method.

First Semester - 1 D in Intermediate Spanish composition [lowest]
overall 3.0 GPA

Second Semester - C in General Biology II [lowest]
overall 3.0 or 2.9ish GPA again

So did I completely mess up my chances by being an immature jerk-off my first semester? And what are some tips you could give me for sophomore year i.e. study methods and classroom tips.

1. No
2. Go to class, only party when you don't have other things to do (school)


You should be fine if you do those two things