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Hi, I'm new here.

I know that getting into medical school requires a high gpa. Because of this I take classes I know I can get A's in, despite the fact I want to take more interesting classes that I'm not guaranteed to do well in. For the most part I don't have a problem with this and do take risks because life is too short to miss out, but I still plan on taking the hardest classes in my major after having applied the end of my junior year.

My friends think I'm an idiot for doing this, saying I shouldn't waste out and should take what I want regardless of my gpa. Furthermore, they make me feel guilty and seem disgusted when I flat out say the sad truth about getting accepted mentioning some of the low things one has to do. Volunteering, just for the sake of getting into med school is an example that comes to mind.

Is there a way I can keep from feeling guilty for doing what I need to do?
 
Mar 16, 2010
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I don't know if your feeling guilty for forcing yourself to do volunteer work, take courses that don't interest you, or both? Please clarify
 
Apr 9, 2010
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I feel guilty partly because I feel I'm paying a lot to go to a school well known for academics, and I'm not taking full advantage of it. I am interesting in the classes I'm taking, but at the same time I feel I have to miss out to ensure a high GPA.

The volunteering (to clarify non-medical volunteering) really doesn't interest me. I feel if I do it, I'll be faking it just to reach my goal. People look down on me because of this. Really, I want to spend my time doing research and use that as a tool to do medical research.
 

CaliGirl14

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Hi, I'm new here.

I know that getting into medical school requires a high gpa. Because of this I take classes I know I can get A's in, despite the fact I want to take more interesting classes that I'm not guaranteed to do well in. For the most part I don't have a problem with this and do take risks because life is too short to miss out, but I still plan on taking the hardest classes in my major after having applied the end of my junior year.

My friends think I'm an idiot for doing this, saying I shouldn't waste out and should take what I want regardless of my gpa. Furthermore, they make me feel guilty and seem disgusted when I flat out say the sad truth about getting accepted mentioning some of the low things one has to do. Volunteering, just for the sake of getting into med school is an example that comes to mind.

Is there a way I can keep from feeling guilty for doing what I need to do?
If your friend is a pre-med, he's going to feel like **** when he realizes in a couple of years that he should have done what you did. Who cares if you don't take interesting class. It's a dog-eat-dog world out there, and you need to do whatever it takes to get into med school. I know most people will betch and whine about what I just said, but it's the cold hard truth. No one would be taking classes/volunteering/shadowing if it wasn't to get into med-school. Don't be fooled by your friend.
 
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I feel guilty partly because I feel I'm paying a lot to go to a school well known for academics, and I'm not taking full advantage of it. I am interesting in the classes I'm taking, but at the same time I feel I have to miss out to ensure a high GPA.

The volunteering (to clarify non-medical volunteering) really doesn't interest me. I feel if I do it, I'll be faking it just to reach my goal. People look down on me because of this. Really, I want to spend my time doing research and use that as a tool to do medical research.
any type of job, a good paying job as in you are going to be hired by good companies would like you to have a good GPA, so, conclusion. to make college productive you should try to have a good GPA while completing your major.
 

Curlyfriez12

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Don't let those tools make you feel guilty. They are just trying to feel good about themselves by telling you how much you suck. Truth is maybe they're a little intimidated by you. I myself did the same thing. Study, volunteer, work, research. Not much of a life. BUT IT PAYED OFF BIG TIME. Keep your eyes on the prize.
 

Frazier

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Hi, I'm new here.
Hi there.

I know that getting into medical school requires a high gpa. Because of this I take classes I know I can get A's in, despite the fact I want to take more interesting classes that I'm not guaranteed to do well in. For the most part I don't have a problem with this and do take risks because life is too short to miss out, but I still plan on taking the hardest classes in my major after having applied the end of my junior year.
Do you believe in divine intervention? Because your plan sounds straight from heaven.

My friends think I'm an idiot for doing this, saying I shouldn't waste out and should take what I want regardless of my gpa. Furthermore, they make me feel guilty and seem disgusted when I flat out say the sad truth about getting accepted mentioning some of the low things one has to do.
...While your friends sound straight from hell.

Volunteering, just for the sake of getting into med school is an example that comes to mind.
Don't stop there. Leadership experience, EMT license, research, shadowing, nonclinical volunteering... the check-off list can grow quite lengthy.

Is there a way I can keep from feeling guilty for doing what I need to do?
Just remember that you're a freaking wolfwarrior for crying out loud! Do you think any of the other wolfwarriors feel guilty when they go out and massacre whatever it is that wolfwarriors massacre? Of course not. Feeling guilty over this, you're going to have to change your name to LambPuff. [And I doubt anyone wants that demotion being brought up in their med school interview.]
 

oaklandguy

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I wouldn't feel guilty for volunteering. You are doing something great that has a positive influence on your community, no guilt there. Plus your doing it to get into med-school so you can become a doctor and help people. It's all for a good cause in the end.

And you have to be smart about your gpa. I don't think you should leave yourself with a crazy intense senior year and you need to take upper level sciences to impress the adcoms, but I would put myself in the best position to succeed. If I would've known about certain profs before taking them I might have a 3.9 now instead of a 3.7. It's dirty, but the system makes us play dirty. You're not cheating the system, you're playing the system for what it is because it is flawed.

And doing what you want to do isn't going to get you into med-school, I'm sick of hearing that b.s. I want to party every weekend like my friends do. I want to work-out everyday of the week. I want to play poker at least once a week. Those things are sacrificed due to the necessity of studying involved in preparation for my classes as well as the time needed to conduct research, volunteer, shadow, etc. If I put I am a beer-pong champion on my application it's definitely not the same as volunteering at a hospital. Face it, we can't all do what we want, just cause you want to be wiping feces off of an elderly patient doesn't mean that is what the average pre-med wants.

maybe you should do what you like.
 

tennis1234

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i feel you just need to balance classes where you can get good grades with classes where you're interested. many times, gened classes are the most interesting classes (so when faced with a choice i've typically picked one that has nothing to do with my major and is also in some way interesting). I was in your shoes for sure. I'm a bio major and had time to do either pol sci, spanish minors, or chem major. I took one class of int relations, and found i wasn't as interested in pol sci as i once was. I studied abroad in spain and found that I was done studying spanish. But I also felt I should work towards a goal...chem major. Another reason I chose this is cuz I've done worse in my non science classes than in my science ones. I feel that I had a chance to enjoy other field, but that i needed to boost my gpa by taking science classes. But it's so important to take classes you're interested in, trust me. It opens your mind and you'll be able to understand something you've never understood before. You'll learn more than you have in a field where concepts come easily. For instance, after taking macroecon, i feel i've been exposed to something that every civilized person should know. But everything must be done in balance. GPA is very important, as is being well rounded.
 
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I do the same, interesting classes is a small price to pay when I have the rest of my life to do the one thing I enjoy the most.

Besides you should never be guilty over volunteering, even if your reason of doing it is... shallow.
 

austinap

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Hi, I'm new here.

I know that getting into medical school requires a high gpa. Because of this I take classes I know I can get A's in, despite the fact I want to take more interesting classes that I'm not guaranteed to do well in. For the most part I don't have a problem with this and do take risks because life is too short to miss out, but I still plan on taking the hardest classes in my major after having applied the end of my junior year.

My friends think I'm an idiot for doing this, saying I shouldn't waste out and should take what I want regardless of my gpa. Furthermore, they make me feel guilty and seem disgusted when I flat out say the sad truth about getting accepted mentioning some of the low things one has to do. Volunteering, just for the sake of getting into med school is an example that comes to mind.

Is there a way I can keep from feeling guilty for doing what I need to do?

It sounds like you already know the answer, and I think that SDN is going to give you terrible life advice in this area. Do what interests you, do what you find interesting and what makes you an interesting person. If you go the med school route, you won't get a chance to take the interesting classes later, so you'd better do it now if you think you may have regrets about it. Despite the SDN standards, you can take difficult classes and still maintain a reasonable GPA, and a sub-4.0 GPA can still get you where you want to go.
 

Ischemic

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The end justifies the mean. Getting into med school is knowing how to play the game. This is a ridiculous system to begin with making our lives hell, why not use the system to your advantage. It's not cheating... it's smart. I woulda done the same if I had known this back in college.
 
Apr 6, 2010
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I feel the OP. I've taken classes that range from upper division English like Milton, Chaucer, to upper division math like real analysis. My major ended up being in engineering.

I was the kind that really didn't know what I wanted to do, and wanted to explore in college. My GPA suffered somewhat as a result, because I was also at a very hard school (UC Berkeley). I don't really know how I feel about it now that my goal is to go to med school, but I feel that things will work out at the end, and I was lucky that my GPA is still at an acceptable level.
 

LizzyM

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Be sure to take a W if you see that your grade for a course will be less than an A. It helps us to identify the students who worked hard to keep a 4.0 gpa.



:rolleyes:
 

Suenya

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Hi, I'm new here.

I know that getting into medical school requires a high gpa. Because of this I take classes I know I can get A's in, despite the fact I want to take more interesting classes that I'm not guaranteed to do well in. For the most part I don't have a problem with this and do take risks because life is too short to miss out, but I still plan on taking the hardest classes in my major after having applied the end of my junior year.

My friends think I'm an idiot for doing this, saying I shouldn't waste out and should take what I want regardless of my gpa. Furthermore, they make me feel guilty and seem disgusted when I flat out say the sad truth about getting accepted mentioning some of the low things one has to do. Volunteering, just for the sake of getting into med school is an example that comes to mind.

Is there a way I can keep from feeling guilty for doing what I need to do?
A few things here. Medical admissions committees are not omniscient, but they do have a taste for what is fluff and what might be something where you are challenging yourself. Taking all easy As will not help you (unless they appear to be hard classes). Additionally, as a non-science major, even some of the randomer classes I took (music, for example) were often discussed in interviews as much as my majors/minor. If you're a science major, it'll probably not look so good if you don't progress to the harder levels, though.

I'm not sure how volunteering is a low thing even with ulterior motives. You're still helping people. Also, not everyone volunteers. While doing research and volunteering help, at most schools the percentage of accepted students doing research or volunteering (individually) ranged pretty widely from like 70-90%. This is just from memory, but I think most of the schools had both in the high 80s, and while I imagine most students did one or the other, there are definitely significant numbers who at least don't do both.

Taking more intereseting classes and doing things you like are more likely to stand out, though. And that can be hard among the many applicants to medical school. That said, while I'm not convinced the stuff you are guilty over is the "right stuff" as far as a plan for getting into medical school and your undergraduate career generally, you shouldn't feel guilty for doing what you think you need to do to be a doctor, if it just means taking classes you prefer not to or missing out on some things you do want to. Everyone makes sacrifices, and there are only more in store in your future, so you don't want to feel bad about these ones.
 
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MilkmanAl

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OP, I'd continue to take the easy courses. One thing people seem to be forgetting is that the fact that they're super easy doesn't necessarily make them less interesting. The easiest class I took in college was one of my favorites.

I know LizzyM likes to promote taking more difficult course loads, but the reality of the matter is that nobody is really going to be able to tell what's hard and what isn't, a lot of the time. I mean, if you're taking Engineering 7985876458: Manufacturing a Black Hole from Chicken Wire, it's obvious that's going to be harder than Breathing 101. It's usually not that clear-cut, though. I had an intro-level classics course that was extremely demanding and an upper-level (grad level, actually) bio course that I was essentially guaranteed an A in. Basically, the point is that if your classes aren't clearly way harder than average, you're just going to fall in with the rest of the pack. Would you rather be in that pack with a 4.0 or something lower than a 4.0?

Honestly, if you are volunteering just for the sake of volunteering and would not continue to engage in the work if it were not for admissions, something is seriously wrong.
Yes, the thing that is wrong is the admissions process.
 

MedcatHouse

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I actually took Manufacturing a Black Hole from Chicken Wire, but at my school it is Engineering 798587pi458. She is right it was pretty damn hard to make that black hole [and esp escaping it].

I never took Breathing 101, but it sounds fascinating. Anyone comment on its difficulty?
Didn't finish, took a W to maintain my high GPA...
 

orthomyxo

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It was a huge risk, but when I took Shoe Tying 151, I loved every second of it. Now I can do away with these pesky light-up velcros. :thumbup:
 

Omrianh

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Hi there.



Do you believe in divine intervention? Because your plan sounds straight from heaven.



...While your friends sound straight from hell.



Don't stop there. Leadership experience, EMT license, research, shadowing, nonclinical volunteering... the check-off list can grow quite lengthy.



Just remember that you're a freaking wolfwarrior for crying out loud! Do you think any of the other wolfwarriors feel guilty when they go out and massacre whatever it is that wolfwarriors massacre? Of course not. Feeling guilty over this, you're going to have to change your name to LambPuff. [And I doubt anyone wants that demotion being brought up in their med school interview.]
:laugh:
 

JoshUNCW

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OP, you'll kick yourself if you waste your college experience being safe. Take a class you want. You only get to do this once.
 

LizzyM

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Reminds me of a transcript I got from someone who didn't get into med school... senior year classes included "introduction to wine", "human sexuality" and "beginning golf".
 

ThaliaNox

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Reminds me of a transcript I got from someone who didn't get into med school... senior year classes included "introduction to wine", "human sexuality" and "beginning golf".
You forget, all classes are "difficult," just in different ways! I heard this from liberal arts majors all the time!

Really though, OP, take classes that are interesting, even if you think they are challenging. Rising to a challenge is satisfying, and will make your whole pre-med experience more meaningful. You'll be more enthusiastic, which will be evident to those who interview you.
 

298609

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Reminds me of a transcript I got from someone who didn't get into med school... senior year classes included "introduction to wine", "human sexuality" and "beginning golf".

we have quite a few variations of this at my school (psych, philo, and soc) and they are all pretty challenging actually. they have courses about WINE?! screw this bio bs.
 

vc7777

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Reminds me of a transcript I got from someone who didn't get into med school... senior year classes included "introduction to wine", "human sexuality" and "beginning golf".
Sex, Alcohol, and golf?
Yes..He might not be a doctor...but he did play well at the Masters this past week...for what it's worth! :)

(Sorry couldn't let this one go by)
 
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LizzyM

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Sex, Alcohol, and golf?
Yes..He might not be a doctor...but he did play well at the Masters this past week...for what it's worth! :)

(Sorry couldn't let this one go by)

I think we call them "life skills". ;)
 
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In every situation there are things that fall into two categories: what we want to do, and what we have to do...to be able to do what we want to do. Case and point: work. If we want to have money to play on the weekend, we have to work (or have rich parents, which I unfortunately don't have...and in which case you still have to work or perform to make them happy).

So, what's wrong with taking classes you don't want to, or volunteering where you don't want to if it's working towards a goal. The OP said they were only waiting to take classes, not giving up on taking them.

However, I think that if you genuinely like something, you will take the time to understand it. Therefore, you will probably do just fine in the classes you want to take, regardless of how hard they are.
 

Hoody

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Reminds me of a transcript I got from someone who didn't get into med school... senior year classes included "introduction to wine", "human sexuality" and "beginning golf".
He didn't get into med school because of this ^ or were there other issues you think held him back?
 

LizzyM

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He didn't get into med school because of this ^ or were there other issues you think held him back?
He did ok in those "life skills" classes but his other grades weren't so good. I saw his record when he applied to a grad program.
 

surftheiop

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Reminds me of a transcript I got from someone who didn't get into med school... senior year classes included "introduction to wine", "human sexuality" and "beginning golf".
Sounds like a typical Cornell 2nd semester senior schedule!

Although I think "Human Sexuality" is actually a legit class that is taught here by a leader in the field.

Also I think "Intro to Wines" is the most failed course at Cornell, partially because people don't take it seriously, partially because people actually drink instead of swish/spit the sample wines then can't remember anything they learned.

2nd Semester I'm definitely trying to take intro to wines and intro to culinary arts, figure not many schools have world class hospitality schools so I should take advantage of it when I have the chance. But I will be taking 2 - 3 upper level Engineering classes also so its not like I would be slacking off