MDAG11

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Dec 17, 2008
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This is my first post on SDN so I'd really appreciate some honest friendly feedback and guidance. I'm a first generation college student attending University of California. My Father has only studied up to like 7th grade - went to preisting school afterwards. My Mother Barely finished Highschool - my grandparents didn't allow her to continue her education because the only colleges available in the village were coed (they were very conservative indian parents) . I've always been a pretty smart kid - I can read something or listen to something and pick it up pretty fast but even in highschool I was never the one pulling straight A's or anything. Somehow I made it into the university with hard work and perseverance. After I came to university, I was extremely lonely and homesick - as I have never not been without my parents for that long. To top it all off my roommate turns out to be a total b*tch - turning situations and twisting what actually happened into something that would make her seem like a good person. anyways I won't go into the details of that - she was just a total liar. and by the end of first year, I would cry myself to sleep and go home every single weekend. I would be more afraid of coming back to the dorm and seeing her rather than worrying about my upcoming calc/chem midterm. I really tried hard to tell myself that I won't let these stupid social situations affect my work, but First year I ended up with like a 2.0 gpa rounded down - with similar bcpm. I'm a sophmore right now and have definitely moved out into an apartment. Although my roommates now are ok, they're still the party type and can be pretty distracting in general - + they're good friends with my ex-roommate(my roommates are my old suitemates). I just finished my first quarter of my second year with a quarter gpa of 3.2. Next year I'm thinking of moving into my own apartment. Just being around the people who are friends with my ex -roommate (who has visited my apartment 3 times this quarter itself) puts me in a really depressed mood and makes me keep thinking about what a lousy time I had during my first year and how I could have done much better If I was provided with better circumstances. I want to move into my own place - which is right next to campus but my parents are worried that it may not be safe for a 19-year old girl to live by herself. personally although I am passionate about medicine enough to whatever it takes, my parents are worried I'm going to be one of those total loners. I really really need to turn my b's and c's into A's. I want to stay positive and get back on track - and I know I have the potential. I'd really appreciate some honest friendly feedback and guidance. Thanks in Advance.
 

GoSpursGo

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I can tell you're probably a very nice person; I believe you when you say you're passionate about medicine, and I really hope you get to realize your dream. Luckily, the good news is that with the perseverance and even more of the hard work you've shown in your life up to this point, you can certainly make it into med school. The even better news is that med schools will be sensitive to your situation up to a point- being a 1st gen college student, economically disadvantaged, and showing a strong upward trend (which you are going to get) will all be looked on as very favorably.

Now comes the bad news- med schools will only be sensitive to your situation up to a point. I'm going to assume that after this past half-year, your GPA is hovering right around a 2.25-2.3 or so... as you probably know, this is nowhere near where it needs to be to be competitive; all of the extenuating circumstances in the world will not compensate for a sub-3.0 GPA.

So what you have to do is pick yourself up and make a personal decision- if this is really the only career course you can see yourself taking, you need to bang out a 4.0 or very close to it from here on out. Do whatever it is you have to do; get out of the apartment and study in the library, or whatever it takes to get the results you need. If it takes longer than your 4 years of college to repair that GPA, then make up your mind that you will take however long you have to in order to get there.

Good luck to you; I wish you all the best!
 

WannaBePreMed

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I'm a very blunt person, I'm not trying to hurt your feelings.

1)Get your act together, stop letting the BS in your life affect you. Look at you, you're tripping over stupid drama while people out there have to deal with real problems.
2)You chose your friends so don't complain. If you don't like them then don't associate with them(you don't have to be friends with your roommate). Go out and find better friends.
3)It's nice that your GPA has improved, keep it up. At least you recognize your situation. Get tutors, work harder, and improve your GPA.

4)To wrap it up, stop b*tching and suck it up. Life is full of problems get use to it, it's only gonna get harder. If you can't handle the current BS in your life how do you think you can handle med school.


See? The answer to life's questions are simple and beautiful :)
 
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rama kandra

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I think wannabepremed's signature says it ALL.
You can use the story of your situation to enhance your character but that only comes into play once youve entered the pearly gates and that requires numbers and strengths that only grades and scores could provide.

Its tough, I am from a similar situation with moving far away and having to deal with college life and it sucked the first year -but it does get better if you open your mind to the world. Part of medicine is the unreal separation between yourself as a MD and the brutally tough world that most people have to live in and seek your help. You are gaining experience by dealing with people who are tough and not your type. Learn to thrive in any environment.

I made friends with jocks, nerds, party animals, druggies, hipsters, and anyone between and you know what? I am so much more aware of the different types of things people like and how they view the world - it makes sense that I am different. I however, keep myself true by knowing my goals and dreams of doing well enough to get noticed in a hyper competitive world.

Right now the whole university college roomate stuff seems HUGE and believe me, it kind of IS at the moment, but you'll have to deal with it and move beyond. Now is your chance, take it and drop the hammer on your classes. In all honesty I hate typical pre-meds but I am certain you will find some more down to earth/likeminded people in your classes to get with. I still stay in touch with all my pre medders from college and its great - dont forget what you are in this game for in the first place. Youll do well by following the advice at SDN
 

otterpop

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I can tell you're probably a very nice person; I believe you when you say you're passionate about medicine, and I really hope you get to realize your dream. Luckily, the good news is that with the perseverance and even more of the hard work you've shown in your life up to this point, you can certainly make it into med school. The even better news is that med schools will be sensitive to your situation up to a point- being a 1st gen college student, economically disadvantaged, and showing a strong upward trend (which you are going to get) will all be looked on as very favorably.

Now comes the bad news- med schools will only be sensitive to your situation up to a point. I'm going to assume that after this past half-year, your GPA is hovering right around a 2.25-2.3 or so... as you probably know, this is nowhere near where it needs to be to be competitive; all of the extenuating circumstances in the world will not compensate for a sub-3.0 GPA.

So what you have to do is pick yourself up and make a personal decision- if this is really the only career course you can see yourself taking, you need to bang out a 4.0 or very close to it from here on out. Do whatever it is you have to do; get out of the apartment and study in the library, or whatever it takes to get the results you need. If it takes longer than your 4 years of college to repair that GPA, then make up your mind that you will take however long you have to in order to get there.

Good luck to you; I wish you all the best!
Agreed :thumbup:
 

iduwanna

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I think wannabepremed's signature says it ALL.
You can use the story of your situation to enhance your character but that only comes into play once youve entered the pearly gates and that requires numbers and strengths that only grades and scores could provide.

Its tough, I am from a similar situation with moving far away and having to deal with college life and it sucked the first year -but it does get better if you open your mind to the world. Part of medicine is the unreal separation between yourself as a MD and the brutally tough world that most people have to live in and seek your help. You are gaining experience by dealing with people who are tough and not your type. Learn to thrive in any environment.

I made friends with jocks, nerds, party animals, druggies, hipsters, and anyone between and you know what? I am so much more aware of the different types of things people like and how they view the world - it makes sense that I am different. I however, keep myself true by knowing my goals and dreams of doing well enough to get noticed in a hyper competitive world.

Right now the whole university college roomate stuff seems HUGE and believe me, it kind of IS at the moment, but you'll have to deal with it and move beyond. Now is your chance, take it and drop the hammer on your classes. In all honesty I hate typical pre-meds but I am certain you will find some more down to earth/likeminded people in your classes to get with. I still stay in touch with all my pre medders from college and its great - dont forget what you are in this game for in the first place. Youll do well by following the advice at SDN

I'll throw my 2 cents in.

Start making a timeline for how you'll accomplish getting into med school.

You'll probably need to get a 3.8+ the next couple of years to have a decent GPA. If you don't think you can get your GPA high enough before you graduate, choose a second major and spend an extra couple of years busting your tush.

Just come up with a plan and timeline for getting your GPA above 3.5 and accumulating some volunteer and medical experience.

I know mean girls can cut like a knife now, but try to find comfort in the fact that everyone doing something with their life will be oblivious to her antics in a few years.

And don't hesitate to consider options other than medicine. There are a lot of rewarding jobs.
 
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MDAG11

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Thanks for all the feedback guys I really appreciate the help. Actually it turns out that along with the community college courses that I completed in highschool, my CGPA with 55 total semester units is (still low) but actually a 2.8. I don't know how/whether or not the community college gpa factors in . nevertheless it leaves me with a higher gpa - but at a cost of increased units under my belt. my optimal gpa by the end of junior year can be a 3.3/3.4 still (which is depressing but may be enough with a decent mcat) But I believe that a low freshman gpa is not going to kill my chances and that 1 bad year isn't going to ruin my dreams. I hope to show a strong upward trend.

When I think back, I realize that my competitive roommate from last year was really just feeding off of my low self-esteem due to the circumstances. and I don't want to give the chance for anyone else to feed off of that again. I want to remain strong and confident.

thanks gospursgo & wannabepremed, I totally agree - it is crucial that I get pretty much 4.0's from now on - which is easier said than done. But I think that I'm kinda getting the hang of it all.

wannabepremed + others, You are right. I need to cut the crap and ignore the BS that is surrounding me. When I look back at the drama someday, it's not even gonna matter - but the thing that will remain are my grades.

like Iduwanna said, I may take things slower, do a double major and apply during my fourth year instead. we'll see how things turn out.

This may sound a little lame, but I want to make a public declaration:

For the coming quarter and quarters to come, I'm not going to let the drama and BS affect me. Instead I'm going to give it my all and really show the true potential in me. I plan to do whatever it takes - long nights in the library, office hours, extra study timings. next quarter I'm planning to take bio 2, physics 2, and english + electives. I will take this as a challenge and report my grades back once the next quarter is finished. :xf:

Thank you,

MDAG11
 

Rzarecta

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Thanks for all the feedback guys I really appreciate the help. Actually it turns out that along with the community college courses that I completed in highschool, my CGPA with 55 total semester units is (still low) but actually a 2.8. I don't know how/whether or not the community college gpa factors in . nevertheless it leaves me with a higher gpa - but at a cost of increased units under my belt. my optimal gpa by the end of junior year can be a 3.3/3.4 still (which is depressing but may be enough with a decent mcat) But I believe that a low freshman gpa is not going to kill my chances and that 1 bad year isn't going to ruin my dreams. I hope to show a strong upward trend.

When I think back, I realize that my competitive roommate from last year was really just feeding off of my low self-esteem due to the circumstances. and I don't want to give the chance for anyone else to feed off of that again. I want to remain strong and confident.

thanks gospursgo & wannabepremed, I totally agree - it is crucial that I get pretty much 4.0's from now on - which is easier said than done. But I think that I'm kinda getting the hang of it all.

wannabepremed + others, You are right. I need to cut the crap and ignore the BS that is surrounding me. When I look back at the drama someday, it's not even gonna matter - but the thing that will remain are my grades.

like Iduwanna said, I may take things slower, do a double major and apply during my fourth year instead. we'll see how things turn out.

This may sound a little lame, but I want to make a public declaration:

For the coming quarter and quarters to come, I'm not going to let the drama and BS affect me. Instead I'm going to give it my all and really show the true potential in me. I plan to do whatever it takes - long nights in the library, office hours, extra study timings. next quarter I'm planning to take bio 2, physics 2, and english + electives. I will take this as a challenge and report my grades back once the next quarter is finished. :xf:

Thank you,

MDAG11
You know you could take a year off so that fourth year counts as well. It won't be the end of the world if you take an extra year. Trust me.
 

Proctodoc

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I agree with WannaBePreMed... I'm not trying to be mean either because this is how I'd talk to a good friend. You're all over the place. In your post, your primary concern was medicine but then you veer off course and talk about unnecessary drama in your life, which everyone has and you need to learn to drown out. If you want medicine, let that be your focus and everything else will be background noise. We've all had our share of roommate issues and drama with friends and bf/gf's, but none of this is valid reason not to do well in school. If you are a freshmen, you're excused because you're just getting adjusted, but with age comes wisdom. Learn now how to get rid of toxins in your life (bad relationships, bad habits such as complaining, etc.) or start by learning how to filter it out and I guarantee you'll do much better in school and be happier.
 

Bigpwn

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Just get your own place and study all the day, and go volunteer when you feel lonely and strengthen your app at the same time. You are at Cali right? When you are not studying to do go to the beach, how awesome is that. Who cares about insecure friends.

What you face right now is nothing compare to when you are a 3rd year med student getting grilled by everyone in the hospital or when you are an intern getting slammed on Christmas Eve. Are you gonna call your parents for help? You really have to be emotional stable to be in this field. The farther you go, the less ppl care for excuses.

If you don't get it together you have to think again whether medicine is really for you.

Good luck.
 

drmonti

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Join organizations. I had the roommate from hell my freshman year too, but I just spent my time in the lounges of the dorm studying or in the library and I'd wait til she went to bed so I wouldn't have to deal with her. I was also extremely homesick and would flee home as much as possible. but what I started to do, was use my horrible roommate story to entertain others while I joined various student groups and met a ton of different people who were all very supportive of me and who were all equally ambitious, so we'd study together too. College is full of so many opportunities. I'm sure if you open your eyes to even some of them, you'll meet people who you enjoy being around and who will make life at college much easier and more fun. Like everyone else said too, cut the bull ****. Med schools aren't going to care if your roommate was awful. They are going to want to know what you did about the situation. And what they want to hear is that you didn't give a **** and you overcame the crap. You can do it. Just realize why you are there and what you are trying to accomplish and don't let anything get in your way.
 

Dr Lyss

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Thirdly, don't apply after junior year. finish senior year and junior year and this year with a bang and do well. Do well on the MCAT. Concentrate your time on volunteering, shadowing, etc. and classes.

Fourth off, if you can't study at home study at the library or a panera bread or at a coffee shop or at a bookstore. But get out of the home and only come home for your meals or sleep time.

That's how you deal with the situation.
If you say you are passionate about medicine and will do whatever it takes, then consider applying after your senior year. What's the rush? I think anyone who has any significant dips in their grades must do a four year track -- and in your case you will be at a significant disadvantage if you don't have your senior grades to pick up that gpa. Also, consider taking some upper division electives your senior year in courses that you have had difficulty in.
 

flaahless

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So what you have to do is pick yourself up and make a personal decision- if this is really the only career course you can see yourself taking, you need to bang out a 4.0 or very close to it from here on out. Do whatever it is you have to do; get out of the apartment and study in the library, or whatever it takes to get the results you need. If it takes longer than your 4 years of college to repair that GPA, then make up your mind that you will take however long you have to in order to get there.

Good luck to you; I wish you all the best!
Werd.
 
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flip26

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Coming from a disadvantaged background, or suffering through bad life circumstances, is compelling for med schools only IF you succeed inspite of these trials and tribulations.

You are not succeeding - you are failing - and you are blaming everything and everybody for your failures.

If you were a med school adcom member, what would you think of someone telling your tale of woe? Me, I would toss it in the reject pile...too many highly qualified applicants to choose from without taking a gigantic risk on someone like you.

You can repair some, but not all, of the self-inflicted damage with improved performance in school from this point forward, but in reality even if you make all As (not likely) you will have years of damage control with post baccs or even an SMP...you have dug a very deep hole for yourself. Good luck with all of that...
 

tdittyx2x3

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Just want to agree that using that fourth year to raise your grades is a great idea. You'll quickly see that the "gap year" is not that big of a deal. BOY TIME IS FLYING - and it only gets worse.

You'll be busy with apps, secondaries, interviews, SDN, and whatever relatively meaningless job you would decide to take on for that short time anyway. Take the extra year to bring up that gpa and prepare your app in general.
 

MDAG11

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What's done is done. I will give 100% , and I hope to show my full potential.

Thank you.
 

medhearter

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You know you could take a year off so that fourth year counts as well. It won't be the end of the world if you take an extra year. Trust me.

Yes I agree with Rzarecta

Its important to not overload yourself.

I'll give my own example. My first year was actually really really good, but then my grades just... didn't live up to expectations starting second year. I felt as though I was working from deadline to deadline, letting everyone down, wasting away my own potential. I was just not on top of my own game. The second half of second year I really pushed myself - a lot - I took a lot of heavy courses and told myself that I was going to 4.0 my way outta there - but... you know... I didn't have to do that. I did NOT get a 4.0 that semester, instead I got a 3.0. And I really didn't have to!

I dont regret it now as it was a really important learning experience. But that semester was actually a dent in my 3rd year GPA, something I am still trying to recover from. I won't be able to show an upward trend, but will instead need to explain a more erratic change in grades... but I'll do it

So
I guess my advice in this post is just to
not be hard on yourself
count your blessings
do your best
one step at a time
and its TOTALLY OKAY to take an extra year or two

just relax
balance life out
learn to love yourself
accept your strengths
accept your weaknesses
allow yourself to grow at your pace

don't say "i have to get 4.0 this semester"
say "to make it easier to get a 4.0 this semester... i'll take these courses instead of these courses.."
make it a little easier on yourself
and you'll do STELLAR

best wishes,
 

Abulcasis

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MDAG11, I really, really hope you achieve your dreams. I feel like you deserve it and I would really like to see you become an MD someday. It must be tough coming from conservative parents and fending for your own, so do your best and be a friggen MD!
 
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Abulcasis

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Tired and forthegood, I hope you guys aren't serious...
 

medhearter

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No, I'm completely serious.

This story may be thought-provoking compelling, but I'll never know it, because it is completely unreadable.

Long sentences without commas, failure to insert spaces in the appropriate places, no paragraphs.

I'm not being the "internet grammar guy", I'm saying that reading the OP is like having a conversation with someone who is talking with their mouth full: You don't know what they're trying to say, and it's so gross you have to look away as quickly as possible.
You're not being an internet grammar guy, because your own grammar is lacking. Your third paragraph, for example, was a run-on. As for the bolded sentence, you can't possibly expect to use ''you'' to describe both yourself and the other person.
 
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pianola

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I definitely say take the extra year to prepare (or even a couple years if necessary).

It's expensive to apply to medical school. Make your first application to medical school your last one if you possibly, possibly can.
 

Abulcasis

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I personally believe that the nature of the content is much more important than the way the content is presented, unless in very extreme cases, which this isn't.
 

medhearter

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Not really, since a run-on sentence is composed of more than one complete sentence.

I had a series of sentence fragments joined with comma splices.

Seriously, if you're going to be so petty as to ignore my original point and then try to correct my grammar, you might bother to at least get your terminology correct.

my point exactly.

nevertheless!
sorry about calling it a run-on sentence..
whats a sentence that lacks a subject called?

cheers,
 
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ar2388

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is it just me or is there an increase in hostility on SDN over the holidays? are we all that bored at home?
 

rama kandra

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form over function. take it or leave, love it or hate it.
 

jsanchez

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for sure take a year off, it wouldnt be a drag since you claim to be very passionate for medicine. I advise you to do a masters or teach for america, or somethign that will enrich your intellectual growth and ur application of course.

or perhaps you can slow it down with the courseload or add another science major? the sky is the limit. make sure you do well on the mcat as well.

what im trying to say is that if this is what you really want to do, you are the only person that is standing in the way of you achieving it.

best of luck to you
 

Abulcasis

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is it just me or is there an increase in hostility on SDN over the holidays? are we all that bored at home?
I hope there isn't any hostility, SDN is very friendly and I hope there are no hard feelings. I just disagree that one should overlook the content of a post just because it's 'unreadable.' Is it that the content is unreadable or the reader just doesn't want to read it because it isn't proper?

I know that this thread about this, but how Tired responded to the OP was rude in my opinion.

Sorry, I don't mean to spread malice. It's just general disagreement.
 
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Forthegood

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Christ you all are type A. He was just saying it was annoying to read without punctuation. This may come as a shock, but readability is important. Nobody on here makes a true effort to be perfect at it, but come on... give me a break. If they had broken that up into two or three paragraphs, there would be no complaints.

Which is why I was, and am serious. Not asking for much here...
 

Forthegood

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Oh, and the story is great. Take a year off and then go out and be a good physician. Your heart is in the right place... and we could use a few more people like that!:thumbup:
 

Abulcasis

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I like your two different posts, forthegood, hahaha
 

bfreefasho

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I can tell you're probably a very nice person; I believe you when you say you're passionate about medicine, and I really hope you get to realize your dream. Luckily, the good news is that with the perseverance and even more of the hard work you've shown in your life up to this point, you can certainly make it into med school. The even better news is that med schools will be sensitive to your situation up to a point- being a 1st gen college student, economically disadvantaged, and showing a strong upward trend (which you are going to get) will all be looked on as very favorably.

Now comes the bad news- med schools will only be sensitive to your situation up to a point. I'm going to assume that after this past half-year, your GPA is hovering right around a 2.25-2.3 or so... as you probably know, this is nowhere near where it needs to be to be competitive; all of the extenuating circumstances in the world will not compensate for a sub-3.0 GPA.

So what you have to do is pick yourself up and make a personal decision- if this is really the only career course you can see yourself taking, you need to bang out a 4.0 or very close to it from here on out. Do whatever it is you have to do; get out of the apartment and study in the library, or whatever it takes to get the results you need. If it takes longer than your 4 years of college to repair that GPA, then make up your mind that you will take however long you have to in order to get there.

Good luck to you; I wish you all the best!
I would have to agree with this statement. But I think you have to reassess your attitude. I do not mean attitude in the sense of why you want to pursue medicine. But are you going to let these circumstances interfere with your dream. Life is mostly attitude, and you will have to sit down and be introspective--- because you can try to work harder, study more, take harder classes, but these efforts will be futile because your attitude, your foundation, hasn't improved.
 

bllo

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Make sure you remember your limits. Everyone says they're going to try to crank out 4.0s after some bad dent in their GPA. Try to be within reason. You of all people know yourself best and what you're capable of. I agree with everyone - taking extra time is not a bad idea at all. When you're 80, taking an extra year or two to apply won't mean anything. But the experiences you acquired could last a lifetime. I'm a firm believer that if you want it bad enough, you can definitely become a physician. Good luck in all your endeavors! It's just the beginning.
 

MDAG11

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Happy New Year!
Thanks guys. The support and guidance that y'all provide on sdn is invaluble.
I understand that it's quite difficult to move up to anything close to a 4.0 after a really bad dent - but I'll try my best. One thing is for sure though, I've learned from a very tough year that I can't take **** from anyone anymore - (there's no time for it.). Confidence is key, and nothing is impossible.
~ MDAG11:oops:
 
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