Cerberus

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It seems like college is more busy work than anything else. I had envisioned college as being a pllace where some for of higher thought went on, PAH! It is nothing but BS assignments and memorization.
 

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I agree. I try my hardest to pick professors that just like to give 3 tests and that is it. So far it has been working out pretty good.
 
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can't agree more....it has been nothing but mindless memorization and learning. I can't wait to finish up and move on with my life. Thank god med school is starting...

Otherwise school work for me only serves one purpose at this time and that is to facilitate :sleep: :sleep:
 

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Though isnt med school gonna be the same thing--mindless memorization and learning?? just on a much shorter time scale and larger amount of material.
 

Disenchanted 1

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Lochmoor said:
Though isnt med school gonna be the same thing--mindless memorization and learning?? just on a much shorter time scale and larger amount of material.
Yep absolutely, but at least we are IN med school and learning relevant things (or rather memorizing). But honestly, I could care less learning about fishes or ecology...ugh
 

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Cerberus said:
It seems like college is more busy work than anything else. I had envisioned college as being a pllace where some for of higher thought went on, PAH! It is nothing but BS assignments and memorization.
I was thinking about this last week. College costs thousands of dollars, but in every class I either 1) learn basically nothing outside of what the textbook says, or 2) learn nothing, period. I could go to the library, check out a few books, and learn for free.
 

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Fish3715 said:
I was thinking about this last week. College costs thousands of dollars, but in every class I either 1) learn basically nothing outside of what the textbook says, or 2) learn nothing, period. I could go to the library, check out a few books, and learn for free.
Huh... that's funny... I could have sworn I learned something. ;) :smuggrin:

No, but really, there are those days where I it seems like the stuff I'm cramming my head with should be reference material, and not enough theory and constructs to conceptualize with.
 

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Fish3715 said:
I was thinking about this last week. College costs thousands of dollars, but in every class I either 1) learn basically nothing outside of what the textbook says, or 2) learn nothing, period. I could go to the library, check out a few books, and learn for free.
You are not paying for an "education", you are paying for a piece of paper that says Blah Blah University Graduate
 

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TheRussian said:
You are not paying for an "education", you are paying for a piece of paper that says Blah Blah University Graduate
Yeah, and it's one expensive peice of paper. I have a friend who is a vocalist... opera to be exact, and when I asked him what he was going to do with his Masters his response was "just hang it on the wall, what else am I suppossed to do with it!?!?" Im taking my medical degree, and getting it turned into wall paper :D At least I'll finally have some interesting reading material in the bathroom :laugh:

-Liz
 

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Cerberus said:
It seems like college is more busy work than anything else. I had envisioned college as being a pllace where some for of higher thought went on, PAH! It is nothing but BS assignments and memorization.

That's why I majored in sociology. I didn't have to memorize anything, I just had to be able to think. And my only real worry was managing to get through Friday with the hangover I had after the usual Thursday night at the bar. Good times! :thumbup:
 

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I totally agree. When I got to college I thought everyone would be into learning. No one else really seemed to care and I was very disappointed. Maybe that's why I made it into medical school...
 
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jlee9531

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am i the only one that actually enjoyed my time at school and thought the things i was learning was actually interesting and fun?

damn...

well shameless plug: go bears!
 

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E.A. Poe said:
I totally agree. When I got to college I thought everyone would be into learning. No one else really seemed to care and I was very disappointed.
Exactly. Many people don't see higher education as a great opportunity- they see it as something they're simply expected to do (EDIT: I'm not saying this thought isn't justified, only that most people aren't in college to "learn-" if that makes sense...Eh, I'm just rambling now).
 

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The only classes I absolutely despise are the bio lab classes here. THAT is a whole load of busy work, if you ask me, and it's busy work that needs to be done on an incredibly scheduled manner...ick. I'd rather memorize minutiae than do this stuff...

-Ice
 

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The funny thing about college is that there is just as much "unlearning" as there is learning.

In other words you'll learn something in your intro class and then next year when you take a more advanced class you first learn that what you were told the previous year is a terrible simplification and then you learn "the real way" that this or that works. This happens as you get into more and more advanced classes. This is how it works with science anyways, maybe it's different for non science majors.
 

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Fish3715 said:
I was thinking about this last week. College costs thousands of dollars, but in every class I either 1) learn basically nothing outside of what the textbook says, or 2) learn nothing, period. I could go to the library, check out a few books, and learn for free.
That's pretty sad that that is the way you feel. Maybe you aren't taking the right classes. I took some amazing classes in undergrad that I truely enjoyed and that there was no way I could have gotten the experience/information from the book alone. For instance, I took a russian literature class where we read Anna Karenina and The Brother's Karamazov- the professor's lectures were like a performance. I may not remember the details from the class, but I enjoyed it while it lasted and appreciate literature more because of it. Another class was called "The Politics and Law of Medical Ethics" where we read, briefed, and discussed court cases throughout history regarding certain topics- and then we had a mock trial with the cases we learned. It was an absolutely amazing and fun class. Of course, not all of them were like this but most were pretty good. Spice up your life a bit with some non- science classes you never would have taken.
 

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You are either at a nonchallenging college or the classes you are taking are not challenging. I actually found my college classes far more stimulating i than med school especially first year. I don't know where you went to college but I found most of the student at my college highly motivated and interested in learning.

If you don't want memorization major in math,physics, engineering, literature. No memorization required for those classes.
 

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I found college much more interesting the second time around when I did my post-bacc. However, the one thing I am so glad I never have to do again is a LAB REPORT! I don't care if it was physics, chem orgo, biochem, etc - I hated the damm things!

Right now the bane of my existance is PBL "concept maps" (exam due this week), but at least its not a lab report.
 

Cerberus

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Here is another rant. Over the course of being in college I think I have taken somewhere along the lines of five billion labs. In these labs I have spent roughly 400 kazillion hours either in lab doing some stupid experiment, writing a mind numbing lab report, or writing a lame ass prelab (i swear i thought that was what the lab book was for...). However, in all these hours of lab I think the only thing I learned was that I absolutely HATE labs. Crazy.... I know, here is a plan that will save us all time. I'll go home, read through the lab book and imagine that after spending 3 hours waiting in line for chemicals I **** up the experiment (or that an inept lab TA put out the wrong chemicals to begin with) and have to make up numbers. Then i'll imagine to write a lab report and imagine that I am hating every minute of it. While I am doing this some TA can imagine how inept he is and imagine how much he hates teaching lab and students in general but how much he loves that stipend. Then we'll imagine I turn it in and get a crappy grade because the TA feels that he needs to establish a perfect bell curve in the class.

See how much time and money we could save?
 

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I hate lab reports, and lab practicals, and power point presentations, and pretty much any busy work that does not contribute to my understanding of the course material.
 

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So pictures this: me, sitting next to a freshman, in a class that I took 10 years ago when I was a freshman in college for the first time. That was a reality check for me. Bigger reality check was realizing how much science had changed in a decade

My outlook on college is really different now, because it's something I want to do, not something that I'm expected to do. It isn't that I didn't enjoy it the first time around or that I didn't learn some amazing stuff. I guess the difference is a direction, a sense of purpose. My friend has this theory that the reason that we see college as the perfect place where everyone wants to learn is because that?s how the media sells it to us.

So the point of all this rambling: what you put into it is what you get out of it. It's about making a choice to come out of the experience with what you want, not what everyone else tells you to expect.
 
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dreamaloud said:
So pictures this: me, sitting next to a freshman, in a class that I took 10 years ago when I was a freshman in college for the first time. That was a reality check for me. Bigger reality check was realizing how much science had changed in a decade

My outlook on college is really different now, because it's something I want to do, not something that I'm expected to do. It isn't that I didn't enjoy it the first time around or that I didn't learn some amazing stuff. I guess the difference is a direction, a sense of purpose. My friend has this theory that the reason that we see college as the perfect place where everyone wants to learn is because that?s how the media sells it to us.

So the point of all this rambling: what you put into it is what you get out of it. It's about making a choice to come out of the experience with what you want, not what everyone else tells you to expect.
:thumbup: excellent post.
 

Cerberus

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I think the thing is that I started college wanting to learn. In fact, before college I read roughly a book a week. I have read a ton of books on everything from quantum physics to classical literature (all before college). However, every subject I liked that i have taken in college has been destroyed for me. Something about being forced to cram in every little detail and do mindless labs or problem set takes all the joy out of learning for me.
I was talking about this with a professor (a damned good professor) the other day, I find it truly unfortunate.
 

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Disenchanted 1 said:
at least we are IN med school and learning relevant things (or rather memorizing)
:laugh: well, some it is relevant...and sometimes it can be inane. Word to the wise, whenever a lecturer in med school says "My research looks at...", run out of the lecture hall like its on fire
 

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I absolutely loved college, but not really until I got away from the sciences and started meeting passionate professors who could communicate and exchange in discussions.

Gothic architecture, art, music and all things medieval...19th-century American, British, Italian, and French literature...Milton and Donne. Biblical history and Jewish theology. Sicilian Baroque. . Cool stuff.

Science courses were the recepticals where they threw all the nasties to tear one another (and themselves) to pieces. I enjoyed science courses, but things like hearing a professor introduce his class with, "If you don't do this, you will get no higher than a C in my class..." really turned me off. That's not what college is about, and that's not how you introduce a subject matter.

My med school experience is going to be chasing down an ambition with the realization that I have to slop through the muck to get there.
 

Cerberus

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freaker said:
My med school experience is going to be chasing down an ambition with the realization that I have to slop through the muck to get there.
This is exactly how I feel about it. I seriously doubt i will enjoy 1'st and 2nd year but at least the end goal is more visible. As for enjoyable classes, i've had a few. One was the class on Existentialism I am currently taking and another was calc II (who I had with an excellant Polish professor who really loved math).
 

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jlee9531 said:
am i the only one that actually enjoyed my time at school and thought the things i was learning was actually interesting and fun?
QUOTE]

No, I think I enjoy what I'm learning about. I respect the "higher learning" that goes on at school. I see it, and although it's FREAKING annoying to write paper upon paper of pointless analytical bullcrap that won't help me in any future applications, so much so that I can't stand going on with this worthless existance that I just want to scream off a freaking bridge! BAH!!!!....

I understand why I'm doing it.
 

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Cerberus said:
I know, here is a plan that will save us all time. I'll go home, read through the lab book and imagine that after spending 3 hours waiting in line for chemicals I **** up the experiment (or that an inept lab TA put out the wrong chemicals to begin with) and have to make up numbers. Then i'll imagine to write a lab report and imagine that I am hating every minute of it. While I am doing this some TA can imagine how inept he is and imagine how much he hates teaching lab and students in general but how much he loves that stipend. Then we'll imagine I turn it in and get a crappy grade because the TA feels that he needs to establish a perfect bell curve in the class. QUOTE]

ROFL. :laugh: :laugh: So TRUE. SO VERY TRUE.
 

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I think most bright students find the vast majority of college classes and labs a bore; they could learn such things themselves if inclined to go to a library and do so. However, that only truly applies to the classes themselves. The great opportunities in college (at least in my case) came from those activities and learning experiences I had because of my own initiative. Whether it was work in a professor's research lab, coordinating student medical mission trips to Haiti, or simply exchanging ideas with professors and students over lunch, by favorite memories of academia did not take place in a lecture hall.
 

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Overall, I like college, but now I am ready to be done with it. Heck, I have a paper due tomorrow...why won't it write itself so I can post more on here? Dang it!
 

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beanbean said:
I found college much more interesting the second time around when I did my post-bacc. However, the one thing I am so glad I never have to do again is a LAB REPORT! I don't care if it was physics, chem orgo, biochem, etc - I hated the damm things!

Right now the bane of my existance is PBL "concept maps" (exam due this week), but at least its not a lab report.
Weee. I'm writing an OChem lab report. Well I should be writing it, I'm reading SDN forums instead :laugh: .

Lab reports suck.

I agree with the OP in that in most of my required science classes I just memorize the stuff I need to know, use it once for the exams and forget it forever. There are some exceptions; my OChem 2 professor is really good about getting us to really understand the material.

Other than that I found that my psych classes involved a lot more creative and critical thinking. The two psych classes I'm taking now, Cognitive Neuropsychology and Parallel Distributed Processing are really fascinating; I only wish I could've taken them in another semester when I didn't spend so much time studying for the MCAT. As it is I'm going to have to turn in (probably) a mediocre research paper and project, neither of which I've started and are due next week...better get started :oops: .
 
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You know, I found my classes a lot more enjoyable because I never bothered to complain about the fact that I'm never going to need it. Though I realize that most of the info I learned is irrelevant to my ultimate goal of becoming a physician, while I was going through it I convinced myself otherwise. It's a helpful coping skill. Made classes a lot more fun.
 

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Like you Cerb, I did NOT enjoy my science labs. However, I loved my upper level electrical/ computer engineering labs. Basically, they said "here is the key to the lab. You have x weeks to build a fully functional cpu/radio/amp/talking alarm clock/ect..." There were times when there were 20 people in a lab on the 6th floor of the building, eating pizza with the radio blasting and watching the sun rise for the second day in a row as we debugged our circuits or tweaked our code. Sometimes, we prayed to the almighty transistor god to please stop frying our resisters... Other times, we marveled at our own creations ("Master it's alive!! Buwahaha). I miss those days... But ya, science labs were hell.
 

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I think in syria, you dont go to college, they determine whether your in from scores you did in hs =0. They do 8 years of the stuff we do 4 years here, might help you learn it better. But who wants to be taking a nervewrecking test in hs :confused:
 

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jlee9531 said:
am i the only one that actually enjoyed my time at school and thought the things i was learning was actually interesting and fun?

damn...

well shameless plug: go bears!

nope Jlee,
i also managed to learn something in college....certainly i didn't find every single class i took to be endlessly fascinating, but i did learn quite a lot both inside and outside class. perhaps it was the fact that i went to a tiny liberal arts university and majored in a non-science field, but there were plenty of great people and interesting discussions, etc. i feel sorry for those of you who didn't feel that college was worthwhile. i'm glad i went where i did, even if no one has ever heard of the place! :)
 

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PluckyDuk8 said:
That's pretty sad that that is the way you feel. Maybe you aren't taking the right classes. I took some amazing classes in undergrad that I truely enjoyed and that there was no way I could have gotten the experience/information from the book alone. For instance, I took a russian literature class where we read Anna Karenina and The Brother's Karamazov- the professor's lectures were like a performance. I may not remember the details from the class, but I enjoyed it while it lasted and appreciate literature more because of it. Another class was called "The Politics and Law of Medical Ethics" where we read, briefed, and discussed court cases throughout history regarding certain topics- and then we had a mock trial with the cases we learned. It was an absolutely amazing and fun class. Of course, not all of them were like this but most were pretty good. Spice up your life a bit with some non- science classes you never would have taken.
Well, I'm still young, so there's still time to try to enjoy these classes. It's just frustrating because all the classes I want to take (e.g. photography, sociology) I can't take because I've either 1) already completed the gen ed those classes would have fulfilled through AP and college classes, or 2) the classes I want to take don't fulfill any gen ed/major/pre-med/upper-level requirements.
Also, I'm graduating in 3 years (I had a lot of AP/college credits coming into undergrad, so I would have enough credits after 3 years, anyway). In my particular situation, there are no downsides to doing so (not the situations I've mentioned on this thread- feel free to ask for more details), which also means I can really only take classes that fulfill graduation and premed requirements.

EDIT: I'm a non-science major (psychology), so knowing that I don't "need" to know some things I'm learning isn't the problem. It's more the way the classes are taught that bother me. For my social psych class, I had a visiting professor who outlined the chapter onto overhead transparencies for us to copy every lecture. That was the entire class.
 

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The good thing about my school is that most of the teachers know the labs are garbage and don't make you spend too much time on the reports. This isn't always the case, but I haven't hated most of my labs too much(save analytical).
 

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Cerberus said:
This is exactly how I feel about it. I seriously doubt i will enjoy 1'st and 2nd year but at least the end goal is more visible. As for enjoyable classes, i've had a few. One was the class on Existentialism I am currently taking and another was calc II (who I had with an excellant Polish professor who really loved math).
Dr. Dydak?
 

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Fish3715 said:
I was thinking about this last week. College costs thousands of dollars, but in every class I either 1) learn basically nothing outside of what the textbook says, or 2) learn nothing, period. I could go to the library, check out a few books, and learn for free.
I couldn't disagree with you more. You would not get the same education from reading a book on your own as from reading it on a structured schedule with periodic tests and assignments from it. In some classes the textbook supplements the professor, in others the professor supplements the text, but regardless of which it is a proven method of education.

I assure you that 99.9% of us (short of you, a few others on this thread, and maybe Will Hunting) if given a physics book, an ochem book, and a bio book, and told we had 4 months to learn the material on our own would not be able to learn it. One, because people need structure -- weekly assignments, tests, and class time. Two, and equally as important, testbooks aren't 100% clear, and that is why we have professors and TAs, to explain the material and help us work through problems.

I think that besides educating you on subjects you choose (i.e. your major), the point of college is also to teach you how to think on your own. Let's face it -- there's no career where you get paid to read a book and memorize all the ideas in it. Whether you go into medicine, research, sociology, whatever -- you need to be able to think. And at least 75% of all the professors I've had at college have had that philosopy, and made it clear that they DON'T want us to simply memorize the text.

Anyways, that's just my $.02.
 

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I wish I went to your college then. During high school everything was spoon fed to me. Now, many of my bio, physics, and math courses are self-taught. We are basically given a syllabus and assignments to complete by certain deadlines. Of course, there is a system of one on one tutoring for the class but there are no lectures. I think what I've learned from college was basically how to learn by myself and force memorization for exams. Sigh* :(

liberaeas said:
I assure you that 99.9% of us (short of you, a few others on this thread, and maybe Will Hunting) if given a physics book, an ochem book, and a bio book, and told we had 4 months to learn the material on our own would not be able to learn it. One, because people need structure -- weekly assignments, tests, and class time. Two, and equally as important, testbooks aren't 100% clear, and that is why we have professors and TAs, to explain the material and help us work through problems.

I think that besides educating you on subjects you choose (i.e. your major), the point of college is also to teach you how to think on your own. Let's face it -- there's no career where you get paid to read a book and memorize all the ideas in it. Whether you go into medicine, research, sociology, whatever -- you need to be able to think. And at least 75% of all the professors I've had at college have had that philosopy, and made it clear that they DON'T want us to simply memorize the text.

Anyways, that's just my $.02.
 

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liberaeas said:
I assure you that 99.9% of us (short of you, a few others on this thread, and maybe Will Hunting) if given a physics book, an ochem book, and a bio book, and told we had 4 months to learn the material on our own would not be able to learn it.
Very true, but I don't plan on taking that combination of courses at once. The schedule I had this year I could have probably learned on my own...which I more-or-less did (Human Anatomy and Physiology, Gen Chem, Social Psych, Ab Psych; 2nd semester, in place of the psych classes I had a first-year seminar that I literally learned nothing in and another class that was mostly busy work/pointless assignments).

liberaeas said:
One, because people need structure -- weekly assignments, tests, and class time. Two, and equally as important, testbooks aren't 100% clear, and that is why we have professors and TAs, to explain the material and help us work through problems.
Also true, but I'm one of those obnoxiously motivated/focused people who learns for the sake of learning and their own well-being :p Also, the only textbook I had that needed some explanation (gen chem) was taught by a crazy teacher, so I ended up having to figure things out on my own and through other books.

You gave excellent points in your post (that I agree with for the most part)-they don't necessarily apply to me...unfortunately.
 

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Fish3715 said:
You gave excellent points in your post (that I agree with for the most part)-they don't necessarily apply to me...unfortunately.
I think each teacher is different. Many of my professors are great, but my physics teacher right now is completely confusing and slow, so I am mostly learning out of the book. But the structure of college definitely helps. That's another reasonn why tons of people take the overpriced mcat classes, because they force you to sit down every saturday and take a full length mcat under testing conditions. Many premeds (myself included) don't have the kind of discipline to do that on their own.
 

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Cerberus said:
It seems like college is more busy work than anything else. I had envisioned college as being a pllace where some for of higher thought went on, PAH! It is nothing but BS assignments and memorization.
I think it depends on your major. I'm an English major, and there is none of that crap. I'm actually pleased with my education. :cool:
 

Trashino

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jlee9531 said:
am i the only one that actually enjoyed my time at school and thought the things i was learning was actually interesting and fun?

damn...

well shameless plug: go bears!
I agree, I really liked my college time. Maybe it is a Berkeley thing? Even though we have tons of gunners in our MCB courses, something about the atmosphere of that school makes me look back on my time fondly. I think taking classes beyond standard pre-med fare helps a lot as well. Double major if you have to, but don't skimp on your interests while preparing for med school. And get to know your professors! Being able to discuss a prof's work with them, above all else, will make the hard work worthwhile. Just some observations.
 
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