Hummus34

2+ Year Member
Jun 5, 2015
7
1
Status
Pre-Medical
Hey everyone,
I'm about to start my sophomore year of college with a very subpar gpa. However, I have not given up hope on my dream of becoming a physician. I plan on using this thread to detail my journey leading up to that point.

So, to start off, let me mention that I did awesome in high school. School came very easy to me and I didn't have to study much. I graduated in the top two percent of my class, which had around 400 kids in it, and managed to get into a prestigious college. I thought I'd be able to get through my first year the same way I got through high school. I only studied a few days prior to my exams, didn't attend all of my discussion classes, and didn't take full advantage of my professor's office hours. Here are the results of my first two semesters:

Semester 1 gpa: 2.71
Chem: C+
Chem Lab: B
Writing Seminar: B+
Intro Psych (as a natural science) : B
Ecology and Evolution: C-
Calc 1: B

Semester 2 gpa: 2.25
Chem: D
Chem Lab: B
Literature: B+
Intro Psych (as a social science): B+
Molecules and Cells: C+
Calc 2: D+

Cum. gpa: 2.479

When I got back my second semester grades, I was devastated. The grades didn't come as a surprise, really, but reality hit me hard. I was depressed for a week or two. But after assessing my situation for a while, I decided to pull myself back up. I know I want to be a doctor. I've been wanting to be one since elementary school. And I know I have the will power and work ethic to achieve my dream.

Since this was my first year, I figured if I manage to do a complete turn around for my last 3 years, I still have a chance. I've been volunteering at my local hospital all summer to get clinical experience. I plan on continuing this into next year. I also plan on shadowing a few doctors and re-taking chemistry next summer. As for this school year, I plan on staying on top of things and to start studying for exams well in advance. In short, I plan on being a comeback kid and turning my gpa around.

I decided to make this thread because I spent a ton of time in the beginning looking up underdog and gpa turnaround threads. I decided to document my own experience to (hopefully) give others hope. Any comments, support, suggestions, or questions would be welcome. I'll post updates whenever I can. Thank you.
 

Strudel19

5+ Year Member
Jul 14, 2011
511
189
Status
Pre-Medical
If I was in your position I would retake the courses I got a under a C in and start getting A's. This will wash out with 6 really good semesters. Most of the comeback stories are graduating with a 2.5. Starting freshman year with a 2.5 is a common narrative. Good luck man.
 
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Apr 5, 2015
120
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Pre-Medical
Why did you take ecology and evolution before cell biology? Why did you take either one of these advanced courses before taking intro bio? How'd you convince your school to let you take these courses out of order in the first place?

Edit: I guess what wolfpack said makes sense. Seems a bit strange to cover evolution before cellular DNA though.
 
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Jul 25, 2015
42
45
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Medical Student
At my university, our first two intro bio courses were essentially 'evolution & ecology' for the 1st semester and 'molecular and cellular biology' for the 2nd semester, so I'm guessing that is the case for the OP.
 

ac62994

2+ Year Member
Jul 1, 2015
170
144
Status
Pre-Medical
That's the spirit!

Definitely retake those <Cs from you Sciences, though. Good luck!
 
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studpremed

5+ Year Member
Aug 26, 2013
100
57
Status
Pre-Medical
I ended my freshman year with a 2.8 gpa. I'm entering my senior year with a 3.5 right now. It is very much doable. Good luck!
 
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Jun 1, 2015
487
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Best of luck, but figure out where you went wrong. Just trying to cram before an exam isn't the whole story, the grades shouldn't be that low. I'm also unsure why your grades came as a surprise, you can't monitor your progress through out the term? You'll need to retake the D in chem obviously, but you have two options here: retake anything you got less than a b and focus on DO schools since they accept grade replacement, or retake any pre-req you got below a c in and try your hardest to work on that upward trend. But these are arguably some of your easier classes, you really need to figure out effective study habits. It's one thing to assume you can get a 4.0 the rest of your undergrad, but the truth is, it will be a struggle to get in that groove. Take advantage of every opportunity at your school. Office hours, tutoring at the learning center, etc. it's only going to get harder from here. But if you want it bad enough I'm confident you'll find a way to make it happen
 
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cantankerous

2+ Year Member
Aug 5, 2015
343
380
Status
Medical Student
You got a B in Intro to Psych? Isn't that the easiest non-gened class most unis offer?
 

Hummus34

2+ Year Member
Jun 5, 2015
7
1
Status
Pre-Medical
It was intro to psych as a natural science, which is known for being pretty tough.
 

Hummus34

2+ Year Member
Jun 5, 2015
7
1
Status
Pre-Medical
If I was in your position I would retake the courses I got a under a C in and start getting A's. This will wash out with 6 really good semesters. Most of the comeback stories are graduating with a 2.5. Starting freshman year with a 2.5 is a common narrative. Good luck man.
Thank you so much homie. That's the plan
 

Hummus34

2+ Year Member
Jun 5, 2015
7
1
Status
Pre-Medical
Best of luck, but figure out where you went wrong. Just trying to cram before an exam isn't the whole story, the grades shouldn't be that low. I'm also unsure why your grades came as a surprise, you can't monitor your progress through out the term? You'll need to retake the D in chem obviously, but you have two options here: retake anything you got less than a b and focus on DO schools since they accept grade replacement, or retake any pre-req you got below a c in and try your hardest to work on that upward trend. But these are arguably some of your easier classes, you really need to figure out effective study habits. It's one thing to assume you can get a 4.0 the rest of your undergrad, but the truth is, it will be a struggle to get in that groove. Take advantage of every opportunity at your school. Office hours, tutoring at the learning center, etc. it's only going to get harder from here. But if you want it bad enough I'm confident you'll find a way to make it happen
Yeah, many of my professors didn't post grades until the end of the semester. I'd obviously know my test scores, but everything else was as mystery. I tried cramming before tests and didn't really keep up with the reading and lecture notes. I mean, I'd go to every class and take the notes, but I wouldn't really review them. I understand that this was my easiest year, and I'm more than prepared to put in the work. For now, all I'm focusing on is the upward trend. Thank you very much for your support.
 
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