Nov 16, 2010
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So my freshman year was pretty lackluster due to lack of motivation/partying/bad study skills blabla. Ended up with a 3.11 gpa with (among other non-stellar grades...) a B- in Chem 1 and a C+ in stats 1 and intro philosophy.

So this year; i'm trying to get back on the path i was so determined to go through in high school. The only problem is i'm kinda lost. This semester I overhauled my course load (Chem II, Bio II, Calc 1, Physics) and will be getting all A's and probably a B in biolab. Yet my EC's and campus involvement are basically zilch. What can I do to strengthen this area? I'm going to start volunteering 3 hours per week at my schools onsite hospital next semester, but what else can be done? I really want to realize my dream... though hopefully it's not too late. I'd really some info thought about how to buffer those lower stats and chem grades i received.
 
Last edited:
Jun 25, 2010
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So i had a pretty lackluster first year.. lack of motivation/partying/bad study skills blabla. Ended up with a 3.11 gpa with (among other non-stellar grades...) a B- in Chem 1 and a C+ in stats 1 and intro philosophy.

So this year; i'm trying to get back on the path i was so determined to go through in high school. The only problem is i'm kinda lost. This semester I overhauled my course load (Chem II, Bio II, Calc 1, Physics) and will be getting all A's and probably a B in biolab. Yet my EC's and campus involvement are basically zilch. What can I do to strengthen this area? I'm going to start volunteering 3 hours per week at my schools onsite hospital next semester, but what else can be done? I really want to realize my dream... and hopefully it's not too late.
Your GPA is in serious trouble. I would hold off on most ECs until you bring it up to the 3.6 range. Until then, study your ass off and try to volunteer in a clinical setting regularly, and do some research for credit on the side. That should be good enough to set you up for medical school.
 

Catalystik

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Your first priority is a high GPA. Without that, the ECs are pointless for getting you into a med school. Keep getting As, even spending an additional year in college if necessary before applying. As you continue to be academically successful (great job this term, BTW), slowly add in ECs. I think the 3 hour per week clinical gig is fine for now. Maybe try to get in some shadowing over school breaks. Look into a research experience for next summer (February isn't too early to make inquiries). Clubs don't help you unless they are a springboard to leadership or community service.
 
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JJMrK

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If you're getting all As with that course-load you're doing something right. Do it again! Remember that admissions committees are looking for continuity, so if you start volunteering now be sure that you can keep it up for a year or two. At some point you're going to want to look into research opportunities; don't be afraid to email PIs who are doing things you're interested in. Look for 1) a lab that publishes often 2) a lab where you will be heavily involved in the project (not just washing glassware) and 3) a lab that will pay you.
 

phltz

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May 13, 2010
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Figure out what's going wrong academically. If you're unmotivated, find out why, and come up with a plan to get motivated. If your study skills are lousy, talk to people who can help you develop them. If you're getting distracted by all of the various college distractions, sit down and think about your priorities. Figure out what is most important.

If you turn your academic performance around, it is absolutely not too late to have a stellar application. Volunteering is a plus, yes. Some clinical experience will help your application. Clinical experience should also help you figure out if this is the right path for you. It may help you get motivated to buckle down and work hard for this path. Or, who knows, maybe it will realize that this is wrong for you, and that you'd be better off putting your efforts into something else. There's no shame in that, and it's better to figure these things out sooner rather than later.
 

Ursa

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Oct 19, 2010
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So my freshman year was pretty lackluster due to lack of motivation/partying/bad study skills blabla. Ended up with a 3.11 gpa with (among other non-stellar grades...) a B- in Chem 1 and a C+ in stats 1 and intro philosophy.

So this year; i'm trying to get back on the path i was so determined to go through in high school. The only problem is i'm kinda lost. This semester I overhauled my course load (Chem II, Bio II, Calc 1, Physics) and will be getting all A's and probably a B in biolab. Yet my EC's and campus involvement are basically zilch. What can I do to strengthen this area? I'm going to start volunteering 3 hours per week at my schools onsite hospital next semester, but what else can be done? I really want to realize my dream... though hopefully it's not too late. I'd really some info thought about how to buffer those lower stats and chem grades i received.
I had a 3.17 after my first semester and graduated Cum Laude with a 3.75. It can be done.


Your GPA is in serious trouble. I would hold off on most ECs until you bring it up to the 3.6 range. Until then, study your ass off and try to volunteer in a clinical setting regularly, and do some research for credit on the side. That should be good enough to set you up for medical school.
This... I disagree. Having been in your (almost exact) situation, I know that it will take you until senior year to have a 3.6. Therefore, start getting EC's before this point, as you will not have enough time to build a strong EC base before applying if you wait until having a 3.6. Just my $0.02
 

normtheniner

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Aug 20, 2010
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My freshman year GPA was a 3.1 as well.. I worked hard and applied with a 3.66 overall (3.72 science)... all hope isn't lost. You just have to bust your tail from here on out.
 
OP
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Nov 16, 2010
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My freshman year GPA was a 3.1 as well.. I worked hard and applied with a 3.66 overall (3.72 science)... all hope isn't lost. You just have to bust your tail from here on out.
nice turn around norm! What kind of grades did you have to pull out your ass for that one?


Also, thanks you to everyone for all the supportive tidbits. I somewhat dropped the ball a bit during my finals (had 3 on the same day..), but I ended out pretty decent this semester. A's: chem2 and lab. A-: Calc1, Bio2. B+:Bio2 lab and Intro Phys.

Anyhow this semester I'm taking Orgo I, Physics w/ cal, Calc2, and Genetics.. and maybe a human sexuality course. Let's just hope i can keep up with all this >_<. Anyone have any advice about dealing with such an insane schedule?

Oh! Also I have an interview to start volunteering at my schools on campus hospital and will possibly be joining a pre-professional fraternity that a friend of mine recently became an executive in. Things may be looking up; as long as I can keep it all together..
 
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Chamahk

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Nov 2, 2009
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Wow. I also just got a 3.11 due to the same reasons as you. :( Nice inspiring and encouraging story, man. I was hoping there was hope for me to get it up to a 3.9 by the time I have to apply