I just signed up to take all of O-Chem over the summer!

Discussion in 'Postbaccalaureate Programs' started by AliZ, Apr 9, 2004.

  1. AliZ

    AliZ Member
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    Hello fellow post-bacs!

    I just registered to take O-Chem over the summer and I am super nervous! :eek:

    I know that this course is no joke and that it takes an incredible amount of discipline and dedication. I figure I have a few months before things start up so I'm wondering if there's anyone else out there who took this same route? I'm looking for anything! Horror stories, happy stories, etc.

    Thanks all!
     
  2. blankguy

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    I'm planning on taking Ochem next fall. What I'm thinking of doing is getting a hold of the text(via used books at amazon.com) and begin studying it on my own so by the time class starts I will be well into the material. Talk to the instructor and see what text book he/she uses or will use(if text is going to be different than what has been used before).

    Also if possible talk to somebody who has taken it already at the institution you signed up and ask for a syllabus if they have it.
     
  3. Bullfan16

    Bullfan16 Certifiable Quad Streaker
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    I went to Loyola University-Chicago last summer and took Organic Chem 1 and 2 with labs (back to back in 12 weeks as the previous poster mentioned). I have to say, I almost wish that instead of pushing myself to apply (to dental school, nonetheless) in 2004 (in order to take DAT it is advised by adcoms and the ADA to take orgo 1 and 2 and in order to do that I had to take it over the summer) that I would have taken the time to do it in 2 semesters, taken the DAT and applied for 2005 (class of 2009). I have a friend who is very new to the ballgame, but she so far has taken nearly 3/4 of all pre-reqs for med school including orgo 1 with the lab (currently in orgo 2/lab) and is transferring from a CC to a university to finish up her coursework. She got an A in orgo 1, understood the material well and is sucessful in orgo 2 as we speak. My point: at Loyola over the summer I may have worked my butt off to earn 2 B's (yes B's...to get an A you have to know what you are doing) but right now if you asked me how to perform a Claisen Condensation, I would have to flip through notes to figure it out....while my friend understands the main concepts/important ideas of organic chemistry.

    On the flip side, if you are good at memorization and abstract thinking then you can survive. If you are willing to sacrifice the whole summer and feel hopeless at times, then by all means go ahead. Some people are organic chem people, while others arent. I am very good at anatomy, physiology, and microbiology (although pretty much rote memorization....its a different way of thinking about a subject matter). My lab partner (and gf's sister) was a great o-chem student....she understood things a lot faster and much differently than I did. As previously mentioned, lectures are 1 chapter a day, and you have to keep up...for those who say taking 1 class over the summer is easy...try this class. Anyway, if you are up to the challenge and your gpa can survive a B or two, go for it. If you have the time before taking the MCAT, by all means dont do this.

    Last summer was one I try not to re-hash very often as it brings back some pretty bad memories (some familial issues as well). I do have to say, however, if your professor is patient, is willing to help you, and you put the effort in you will get the grades you want. If your professor does the bare minimum, watch out. Anyway, good luck with whatever it is you decide to do. I am sure it will work out in the end. Just my $0.02.

    -Dave
     
  4. medicomel

    medicomel Purveyor of short posts.
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    In 1996, I signed up for O-chem during the summer session. When I made a 30 on the exam, I lost all hope, dropped out of pre-med completely, and switched majors from Biology to English. Eight years later here I am as a post-bac sharing the worst-case scenario. The above posters are right; you will have to clock in 8 hours a day if you want to do well. This class was hard enough taking it at Loyola U during the Fall/Spring semesters. I'll tip my hat to you for your courage.

    Oh, I was lazy and didn't put in enough time for the summer. We're all just trying to let you know what you're in for.

    Best of luck to you!
     
  5. AliZ

    AliZ Member
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    :eek:

    Wow... doesn't sound too promising so far. I know that I am prepared to have no life and put all my energy into this course. I also have a few other people who have registered in the course with me so I'll have a pretty good support base for my times of total dispair. I'm a little distressed though because I haven't heard any posts about people who have done well. There's gotta someone out there who made it through ok..... right? :oops:
     
  6. Superflyjsc

    Superflyjsc Senior Member
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    Wow are u serious? Does it really requires that much study time? How are people supposed to get As in that class if they are planning to take that class with another class during the year? Cuase right now, my tenative plan was to take orgo chem with bio and physics for this coming fall and spring semesters. I understand that i will have no social life which is fine with me however if i decide that this will be much too hard then i will have to wait another year to jus take orgo chem by itself. However the idea of spending another whole year for just 1 class seems rediculous but then again, i havent had a taste of orgo chem yet so i wouldnt know. Im very worried and concerned as u are Aliz.
     
  7. Anka

    Anka Senior Member
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    The good thing about doing it over the summer is that it will be done in no time. If you're a sprinter rather than a marathoner, that could be easier.

    Anka
     
  8. AliZ

    AliZ Member
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    Well... so far only one success story on this thread!!?? yikes! Perhaps a little more detail will help. I'm taking it at Cal State Dominguez Hills, so maybe if anyone has experience with this school they'll be able to let me know how the professors are.

    I'll be in class Monday-Thursday 10:15-12:00 with lab Monday and Wednesday from 1-5pm. I'm gonna try to get my hands on some O-Chem books now just to get my feet wet. I've gotta be pro-active on this rather than fearful right? Otherwise I'd be shooting myself down before I even gave it a fair shot!
     
  9. doc3341

    doc3341 Senior Member
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    It's not tooooo baD!!! Just be prepared to study about 1 hour before every lecture to review the stuff your going to cover, and be prepared to study 2 hours after each class to review! If you do this and strat studying for the exams about 10 days before the test you should be fine. Persistence is the key to mastering orga. you gotta hit it everyday! :clap:
     
  10. AliZ

    AliZ Member
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    Thanks doc3341! I like that there's some encouragement out there! I'll be sure to dedicate many many hours to this! :thumbup:
     
  11. Bullfan16

    Bullfan16 Certifiable Quad Streaker
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    To straighten out some stuff....ok if you take it during the year with Bio and Physics, you will be fine. I recommend taking it during the year (ie Fall or Spring semester...ideally in succession...orgo 1 fall semester...orgo 2 spring semester). Anyway, its a lot easier to digest (easier is probably the wrong word) the material over a 18 week (ie typical semester) period of time than it is in 6 weeks. In summer school its 6 weeks of orgo 1 and 6 weeks of orgo 2 for a total of 12 weeks. Its just very time consuming and demanding emotionally, physically, and educationally. If a person can take it in a full year it is in their best interest to do so as they will not only have most likely received As in the courses, but they will be able to understand the key concepts of the course(s) for the MCATs (or whatever pre-professional test you take). If you have to take it over summer and have no choice (ie you are a post-bac and want to apply for the NEXT year) you have to suck it up. If you have the choice, dont do it. HOWEVER, if you find you did well in gen chem 1 and 2, and are willing to dedicate long hours, feel you can understand the material by quickly going over it (look in a book or somebody's old notes) or already understand the mechanics behind organic chemistry, get it over with. More than likely you will do well AND retain the concepts. I can tell you though it was the worst summer of my life hands down. Really intense, didnt know what I was in for, just in your face everyday for 12 weeks. The good news is, there are going to be lots of classmates going through it with you the whole way and its a good support system.....just some of my thoughts
     
  12. efex101

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    To the poster that said study 10 days pror to the exam...that will be almost impossible for you will more than likely have one exam per week! if a normal course has 4 exams and the final welll during summer it is the same deal. I took Orgo II during the summer and yes be prepared to NOT have a life for the whole summer period. You will have to spend almost every hour doing problems IF you want to get an A, do not let anyone fool you this is no joke. If you are really diligent you will be fine but most people dropped out once they realized the huge amount of work involved. Why are you taking both semesters in the summer?
     
  13. efex101

    efex101 attending
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    Also I hope that you get concepts quickly for they do not wait around for anyone in summer sessions. They move at the speed of light and you either get it or you are SOL. That is the main difference btw summer and full semester sessions, in the full semester you DO have time to digest things not so in the summer.
     
  14. medicomel

    medicomel Purveyor of short posts.
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    One thing that helped me (I used Organic Chemistry (5th Edition)
    by Leroy G. Wade (Author)) when I started with Orgo is that I spent extra time with the first chapter, which emphasizes lewis structures and resonance. The importance of knowing this cold cannot be stressed enough. When you have that lull period before the summer session, you will be doing yourself a huuuuge favor be reviewing this and doing all the problems in the chapter. The professor will spend about 15 minutes of this on the first day of class, and will assume you know the material.

    The beauty about reviewing it thoroughly is that it will present itself time and time again when you do problems.

    Good luck!
     
  15. AliZ

    AliZ Member
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    I'm taking it over the summer because I'm planning on starting med school (if I get accepted! :( ) fall of 06'. This means that I need to take the MCAT in April of '05. I'm a post-bac as well and I'm not getting any younger, I'm only 24 right now but by the time I'm finished I'll be around 35. As a female it gets pretty tough thinking about kids, family, etc.
     
  16. AliZ

    AliZ Member
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    Oh yeah... and another thing, my advisor actually recommended that I take the O-Chem course over the summer and I've been meeting with him for the past year so I trust his advice. By no means do I expect this to be a walk in the park, but it can't be impossible.

    Thanks for all the comments people! Keep em' comin'! :clap:
     
  17. Bullfan16

    Bullfan16 Certifiable Quad Streaker
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    Every thing Efex1 and ChicagoMel have said is true. An "A" is attainable but you have to stay on top of it!!!!!!! This cant be empasized enough. My lab partner and I would drive to school together. After class and lab, we would come home and do the write up for the next lab so we had time on our own to study what we just had learned. About the first chapter...its so true. If you understand Chapter 1 before coming in and the professor reviews it and it makes sense to you...you are going to be one step ahead....and again it shows up time and time again. The point about falling behind is probably the most important point. I found myself understanding concepts 1 week after the lectures....meaning when we took tests I was sort of in a "fog" about everything. I studied like crazy, but each chapter sort of feeds of the last one and concepts hit me when we were being lectured about the next chapter. Anyway, final point...with dedication and hard work (not to mention the emotional capacity to remain stable) you will do fine. Just stay on top of the books!
     
  18. rastelli

    rastelli Smoove B
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    Doing both O-chems is no piece of cake, but it is entirely do-able. When I was in college I had no desire to go to medical school. It wasn't until I had been out of school for several years that I decided to go the med. school route. It was not easy taking those classes. I also took an MCAT course and worked full time. I totally busted my butt. I also had some fun...work hard, play hard. If you don't blow off some steam, the hours you use to continue to study will be less than effective. Devoting some time, each day, to reading some "brain candy," watching a movie, or just having a few beers is important to getting through this tough time.

    Good luck to you...This will all be over with soon! :clap:

    PS---Since that time, I've completed medical school, and am now in a top pediatric residency program (Baylor College of Medicine).
     
  19. AliZ

    AliZ Member
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    Awesome rastelli!! Congratulations on your success! I hope that I can turn out as successful as you! That's pretty much my own situation. I was in PR at Activision and gave that up for medicine. I just couldn't see myself being in the gaming industry long enough to climb the PR ladder and my brain felt like it was turning to mush. Not anymore though! My brain is getting buffer by the quarter!! phew! I'll keep in mind the 'brain candy' though... Thanks!! :clap:
     
  20. blankguy

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    While I have yet to take Organic Chemistry, I feel the same way. I need some breaks to blow off some steam. I can't work fulltime but work parttime and it's still a major pain in the neck. Maybe some day I will look back at this with fondness.
     
  21. dorkalous

    dorkalous Junior Member
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    I am in the same situation as you.... I want to be enrolled in med school by Fall of '06, taking the mcats April '05..... My advisor had told me that as long as I don't have any other obligations and dedicate the hours to studying, it shoud not be bad at all. However, some one had mentioned from experience that people taking it during the summer are usually in a similar situation as you, wishing to go to med school or into any health related professional schools, and you will likely be faced with a very small margin of error for these people are going to be very competitve. I plan to have no other life besides O-chem during the summer :) Good luck!
     
  22. AlphaKi

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    Take O Chem over the summer is a difficult task. But, if your advisor suggested it and you plan on taking on the MCAT pretty soon, this gives you more chance to study without worrying of taking an Oragnic class in the spring.

    Good luck Aliz! I'm taking general over this summer myself so I know what it may entail!
     
  23. AliZ

    AliZ Member
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    Hey Thanks AlphaKi! :) I'm sure I'll need all the luck I can get! Good luck on taking general Chem! It's not too bad. I'm winding down my G-Chem series right now. As with anything, stay on top of your stuff and work hard.... you'll do fine :thumbup:
     
  24. Sweetness77

    Sweetness77 New Member

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    Aliz you'll be fine. If you have done well with your previous post-bac work you'll more than likely perform well again. Much like Rastelli and yourself, I began my career in advertising, hated it and returned to do a post- bac program. That summer was pretty rough. I remember blowing off some serious steam in Myrtle Beach between sessions. Finding yourself one or two reliable study partners will both help you with the course load and help in the morale department. Try and pick the more laid back studious type - they'll help lower your stress level. I did the exact same thing as you a couple of years ago. It was definetely nice not worrying about ochem while studying for MCATs the following spring. It was like pulling off a bandaid. It hurt like hell but only for a short while. I made it through fine and so will you. I'm now in med school and always use that summer as a measuring stick. Its like a point of pride. Good luck.
     
  25. AliZ

    AliZ Member
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    Thanks a lot for the words of encouragement :)

    Sounds like you're in a great spot now. I love the band aid metaphor... so true! Good luck with your plans... I'll probably PM you while I'm stressing this summer :D

    Thanks again!
     
  26. RoseLee

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    As a post bac with the same schedule (MCAT april '05; applying for Fall '06), I too am doing the entire year of Ochem this summer at SFSU. eek! I'm a little apprehensive, but am not working this summer so basically plan on having "no life"....But, I think that will be ok...I believe it won't be as bad a the med school load so hopefully this will prepare me well :).

    AliZ, PM me this summer and we can suffer together :)!

    Roselee
     
  27. scota

    scota Senior Member
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    Aliz and RoseLee,

    Good luck with o. chem this summer! People I know who've been admitted to med school (from SFSU) advised me to NOT take o. chem over the summer! Anyway, good luck :).

    By the way, I'm starting SFSU this Fall as a post bac :clap:.
     
  28. Scarlet_Fire

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    This will be a large task ahead of you. It really depends just HOW concentrated the course is. For example, is it a traditional 12-week course (summer A for 6 and then summer B for 6 weeks). I took Physics over the summer and did an entire year in 8 weeks...actually 7 weeks, b/c the final week was 'Exam Week' where no class was held. This was literally one of the most gruelling tasks I've undertaken, including finishing medical school. I would literally dream physics all summer long and think about it constantly. On a positive note, my highest score on the MCAT was in the physical science section, which I largely attribute to my having had such a thorough and in-depth survey of general physics I and II. Good luck with this venture, and make sure to take time for yourself even if you feel overwhelmed at times.
     
  29. AWhitehair

    AWhitehair EM PA-C. MD wannabe
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    Okay, now I'm getting scared. I started Organic Chemistry yesterday for the summer, but I'm not taking the lab with it (I will do that in the fall). However, I am taking basic algebra too. I was also going to take Organic II the second summer session. I got B's in general chemistry, but never put a lot of time into studying or reading the chapters. I plan on studying for Organic about 3 hours a day. Now, I'm thinking about not taking Organic II the second summer session and taking it in the fall with Organic I lab, genetics w/lab, and Ecology w/lab and Algebra and Trig II. Yeah right! I can't do that. That is way too many credit hours. I'm so confused! That means I need to take something from the fall in the summer, but none of them sound like "easy" summer classes. I might just have to stick with Organic II. Any ideas? Oh, and I cant take Algebra and Trig II in the summer because I am already taking Alg and Trig I in the second summer session. If you are wondering why I have to take summer courses- I am behind on my classes because I spent my first year of college as an English major. :) Thanks for all your comments!

    AWhitehair
     
  30. bonez318ti

    bonez318ti Future Rally Medic
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    As someone who just finished his last orgo exam (halleleuia!).. make sure you stay on top of your work.

    It was difficult enough doing this during the full semester.. but during the condensed period of the summer.. you will have your work cut out. But alas, all is not lost. Just keep up with your prof, pay attention in class.. and if possible, skim/read the chapters before s/he lectures on it. Orgo is so complex (atleast for us mortals), that it takes a little while to sink in.

    Good luck!
     
  31. cher25

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    If you take Orgo over the summer, take it alone! Trust me on this one. I went to a school with a quarter system. So instead of a class in a 15-17 week semester, we had it in 10 week blocks. So I had to take Org in 9 weeks because the last week was finals. And I studied like 4-7 hours a day for Org alone, and it was still tough. So I can only imagine doing it in 5 weeks. That'll be hell. So if you do take it over the summer, take it alone. If you take it in the fall, try not to take another science class, but if you must, Genetics should be fine. Genetics was pretty easy for me, but then again, different people have different thoughts on that.

    Good Luck
     
  32. AWhitehair

    AWhitehair EM PA-C. MD wannabe
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    I have to take Algebra during the summer because I need to start Physics by Spring. So, I don't have a choice in that matter. I will probably do well in genetics because I have been working in a Medical and molecular genetics lab doing experiments and understanding the terminology. Besides, my boss can probably help me with anything I don't understand. I guess I will have to see how I do in Orgo I and if I do well decide to continue Orgo II for the second summer session. Thanks for your comments.

    AWhitehair
     
  33. AliZ

    AliZ Member
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    I agree with Cher25! I'm taking it over the summer ALONE! That's the part that really makes me feel like it will better... not easier... but better :)
    It's the calm before the storm now for me because I've got finals comin' up from spring quarter and then... drum roll please..........the dreaded summer O-Chem series :eek: :wow:

    Good luck to all! :luck:
     
  34. medworm

    medworm Senior Member
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    AliZ, so how's O-Chem coming along? Just curious. Let us know. (I for that matter am planning to take O-Chem 1 over winter break.)

    Given how bloody hot it's been lately, you probably aren't missing out much by staying indoors and study! Good luck and hang in there! :luck:
     
  35. AliZ

    AliZ Member
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    :) Hey! So far so good!! I just finished the first session last week and started up the second session this week! It's going by so fast!! I'm a little bummed because I ended up with a B+ in both lab and lecture for the first session (I was reeeeally working for the A but I screwed up on a couple of exams while I went through my spring quarter/O-Chem summer two week overlap....what a rollercoaster!). I'm gonna make the A happen for me this session though!!!! :D
     
  36. AliZ

    AliZ Member
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    Thanks! :) Still much to be done though!
     
  37. DrHuang

    DrHuang SDN Donor
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    i honestly found both ochem courses to be quite enjoyable..much easier than say, cell organogensis imo.
     

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