I Just Want This Semester to Go Away-It killed my Med School Dream

MedicalSonata

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Okay so...it looks like this semester is going to turn out worse than I thought. I spent my freshman year at a community college and got a 4.0, but of course that's nothing, and I'm sure med school won't even care about that. I transferred to a top 15 school for sophomore year, and during my first semester (now), there were some MAJOR family issues. They really caused me to screw up in school, I couldn't focus, and not being adjusted to the rigor of school like this (coming from a CC), my grades plummeted. In fact...it's awful. I'm not sure my GPA and med school dreams can ever recover:

Language Course: C
Science Course Lab: C
Science Course: C
Pre-Req Science Course: W

That's right...2 C's in BCPM classes, a W in a pre-req, and a C in something else. Told you it was awful didn't I?

My family troubles are starting to clear up...but I have this hopeless feeling now. I signed up for 15 credits next semester - 7 of them will count as BCPM credits and I'm fairly positive I can get A's in all of them. The other 8 are courses for my major, and I think I can probably manage at least a 3.6-3.7 or better spring semester. I also think I can pull a 3.7+ for my junior and senior years...but will any of it ever make up for this semester? I mean - this is a bad semester.
 

ChubbyChaser

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Okay so...it looks like this semester is going to turn out worse than I thought. I spent my freshman year at a community college and got a 4.0, but of course that's nothing, and I'm sure med school won't even care about that. I transferred to a top 15 school for sophomore year, and during my first semester (now), there were some MAJOR family issues. They really caused me to screw up in school, I couldn't focus, and not being adjusted to the rigor of school like this (coming from a CC), my grades plummted. In fact...it's awful. I'm not sure my GPA and med school dreams can ever recover:

Language Course: C
Science Course Lab: C
Science Course: C
Pre-Req Science Course: W

That's right...2 C's in BCPM classes, a W in a pre-req, and a C in something else. Told you it was awful didn't I?

My family troubles are starting to clear up...but I have this hopeless feeling now. I signed up for 15 credits next semester - 7 of them will count as BCPM credits and I'm fairly positive I can get A's in all of them. The other 8 are courses for my major, and I think I can probably manage at least a 3.6-3.7 or better spring semester. I also think I can pull a 3.7+ for my junior and senior years...but will any of it ever make up for this semester? I mean - this is a bad semester.
is this a joke?:rolleyes:
 
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DrChuck24

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yeah its real early..you can definitely make it all up (heavy quotes around that lol) by doing well in the spring semester and all following semesters..medical schools love to see an upward trend..so do well and you should be okay... (doing well obviously means no more Cs)
 

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I need this semester to end too. This semester has been my "lazy" semester. I'm doing all that I can to avoid my homework, which is bad.

I need next semester to start - at least I'd have one class I can look forward to.
 

MedicalSonata

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How could you call it a joke? I'm serious...
 

SiR99

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Dont worry, people go through hard times, its not like life is perfect and nothing ever goes wrong.

You just need to explain in your application what happened and how it impacted you grades.

Just try your best and dont lose hope :thumbup:
 

zenlike

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I'm always curious about these major family issues people have.

When I was in college, I remember my parents were having a pretty rough divorce. My mom had a restraining order against my dad. And, on one occasion, my dad tried to blow his brains out in front of me but I wrestled the gun away from him (after it misfired--yeah, for real). But the whole scenario didn't affect my grades. I can't even imaging what's going on with these 'family issues' people.
 

ChubbyChaser

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How could you call it a joke? I'm serious...
ehh....trust me, you dont wanna go to med school anyways and besides one bad semester isnt the end of the world.
 

efitzpat

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My grades definitely suffered due to family issues. However, I explained it very clearly in my personal statement. This was hard - you definitely don't want it to look like you want pity. As long as you show an upward trend after this, it should be OK.

And so far I'm doing alright. 4 interviews so far - 3 done and one in January. Just had the 3 in the past 2 weeks so no decisions yet.
 

MedicalSonata

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ButImLETired

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Exactly. And mine was an ongoing stress that I had to help deal with.

Yeah, I think more than "feelings" or "no feelings", the issue is to what extent you're actually expected to deal with whatever's going on. Like, if your family is freaking out but you're expected to/ supposed to stay at school and get your work done and not worry about the freakout, it's one thing. When your family relies on YOU to take care of them, you go and you help. Period. I care about my schoolwork as much as the next person, but if my family needs me, I'm there.
 
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I'm always curious about these major family issues people have.

When I was in college, I remember my parents were having a pretty rough divorce. My mom had a restraining order against my dad. And, on one occasion, my dad tried to blow his brains out in front of me but I wrestled the gun away from him (after it misfired--yeah, for real). But the whole scenario didn't affect my grades. I can't even imaging what's going on with these 'family issues' people.
Holy crap! :eek:
 

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I want to knock on wood when I say this but, often times I hear people flaunt their 'family issues' as if it was something to justify their poor grades.

I don't want to jinx myself but I believe it's just another obstacle to surpass. I am sure you'll come across it more often than not, later on in your life. If 'family problems' cause you to perform poorly for an extended period of time, that's going to have a major impact on your future endeavors. How long did you lament about your situation? Did you spend so much time drowning in your sorrows that it became impossible to salvage your term?

edit: Btw, I've also had family issues, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer when I was in Middle School, so your reply to this comment better not be "you don't know what I had to go through".
 

ILikeFood

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Okay so...it looks like this semester is going to turn out worse than I thought. I spent my freshman year at a community college and got a 4.0, but of course that's nothing, and I'm sure med school won't even care about that. I transferred to a top 15 school for sophomore year, and during my first semester (now), there were some MAJOR family issues. They really caused me to screw up in school, I couldn't focus, and not being adjusted to the rigor of school like this (coming from a CC), my grades plummeted. In fact...it's awful. I'm not sure my GPA and med school dreams can ever recover:

Language Course: C
Science Course Lab: C
Science Course: C
Pre-Req Science Course: W

That's right...2 C's in BCPM classes, a W in a pre-req, and a C in something else. Told you it was awful didn't I?

My family troubles are starting to clear up...but I have this hopeless feeling now. I signed up for 15 credits next semester - 7 of them will count as BCPM credits and I'm fairly positive I can get A's in all of them. The other 8 are courses for my major, and I think I can probably manage at least a 3.6-3.7 or better spring semester. I also think I can pull a 3.7+ for my junior and senior years...but will any of it ever make up for this semester? I mean - this is a bad semester.
What's done is done. Do better next semester.
 

ILikeFood

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What's done is done. Do better next semester.
Btw, if your overall and BCPM gpa are competitive when you apply, they're not going to toss your app over one bad semester. Stop worrying about minutia.
 

AdmiralChz

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Assuming that the semester is not quite over and you still have finals... any chance you can just nail the finals to salvage the grades? I snatched quite a few grades out of the gutter (definitely a few Cs) with strong final performance, so don't give up yet. :)
 

suwaifo

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I want to knock on wood when I say this but, often times I hear people flaunt their 'family issues' as if it was something to justify their poor grades.
Agreed. I've been on SDN for a while now, and almost every case of a bad semester always had some excuse. Apparently, no one ever wants to just say they screwed up.

Everyone has family issues, no one's family is perfect.
 

efitzpat

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Yeah, I think more than "feelings" or "no feelings", the issue is to what extent you're actually expected to deal with whatever's going on. .... I care about my schoolwork as much as the next person, but if my family needs me, I'm there.

I want to knock on wood when I say this but, often times I hear people flaunt their 'family issues' as if it was something to justify their poor grades.

How long did you lament about your situation? Did you spend so much time drowning in your sorrows that it became impossible to salvage your term?
I think LET hit the nail on the head. Saying you have "family issues" doesn't just mean that you are stressed out or "drowning in your sorrows." Some things may require you to take time away from school, in either a supportive, leadership, or financial way. My grades didn't suffer because I was "lamenting" my situation, but because I was working until 2am to pay my tuition.

Also, I think its important to understand that people deal with things in different capacities. When I am stressed, school is an outlet for me. But that usually isn't the case and people get distracted from their studying.
 

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To the OP: You'll be fine. Just keep your grades up afterward and explain your situation if you need to.
 

MedicalSonata

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To those who gave supportive advice - thank you. I'm going to TRY my best on the finals, perhaps I can rescue a C or two.

It's not just that I was "thinking" about the issues and it caused me to do badly - I had to help! I even ended up missing a week of school to help out, my family did need me. But seriously, the point of this post is not to justify the family matters...it's to ask for advice. If your post doesn't pertain to that, please don't post.
 
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flip26

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To those who gave supportive advice - thank you. I'm going to TRY my best on the finals, perhaps I can rescue a C or two.

It's not just that I was "thinking" about the issues and it caused me to do badly - I had to help! I even ended up missing a week of school to help out, my family did need me. But seriously, the point of this post is not to justify the family matters...it's to ask for advice. If your post doesn't pertain to that, please don't post.
In your post you say you "think" you can pull a 3.6 or 3.7 from this point forward.

Dude, I "think" you need to start knocking out some 4.0 semesters...part of your problem is low expectations becoming a self fulfilling prophecy.

If you want to go to med school, get after it and raise those grades.
 

chiz2kul

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I want to knock on wood when I say this but, often times I hear people flaunt their 'family issues' as if it was something to justify their poor grades.

I don't want to jinx myself but I believe it's just another obstacle to surpass. I am sure you'll come across it more often than not, later on in your life. If 'family problems' cause you to perform poorly for an extended period of time, that's going to have a major impact on your future endeavors. How long did you lament about your situation? Did you spend so much time drowning in your sorrows that it became impossible to salvage your term?

edit: Btw, I've also had family issues, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer when I was in Middle School, so your reply to this comment better not be "you don't know what I had to go through".
..aha...
Family issues affect different pple differently. Just cos it didnt affect you so much n u were resilient doesnt mean that everyone that doesnt feel like you has got a problem or is tryin to give an excuse for bad grades. Give them the benefit of doubt. Jeez.

To the OP: Its not the end of the world, but you know u need to get your act together and start getting those A's. Your med school dream is NOT dead.
 

Mobius1985

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I agree, you should focus on getting straight As, so you don't need an extra year to redeem your GPA. If you can get straight As for the next three semesters (after getting a 2.0 for this one), you'd have a 3.66 after 6 semesters (when many folks apply), which is quite competitive, and you can still graduate on time.

So relax. You'll be fine. The dream is not dead.
 

nellia

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this happened to me too.. i did terrible one semester. i got a C in genetics lab, C+ in genetics, C+ in orgo.. and a B in psych 101. it was pretty horrific and it killed my gpa. but instead of letting it get me down, i worked my buttttttt off for the rest of college. now my gpa is at least competitive to get into med school. i also ended up taking orgo 2, and did really well in that, and my professor ended up writing me a letter of rec stating that my orgo 1 grade doesn't reflect my true abilities ! seriously, don't let this hurt you - you can always explain it in your personal statement. if your gpa is still not where is should be by the end of your junior year you can take a year off or do a post bacc. if there's anything i've learned from this process, it's that if you really want to become a doctor, you will be. the people who "never get into med school" are usually the one's who give up. good luck !:luck:
 

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What's done is done. Do better next semester.
After my first semester in college my overall GPA was 1.88 (several D's). I started to go down the depression road ("I'll never be able to do what I wanted to do with my life"). Yet I put the past behind me and dedicated myself to achieving what I wanted and I currently have two acceptances to allopathic medical schools for the c/o 2013.

My advice to you is to not give up hope -- if you really want an MD, it's by no means out of your reach. Just try to focus on the future and your potential instead of the past.

Good luck!
 
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violet7

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As long as you can show improvement in your grades and explain why you didn't do well this semester, you should still be able to get into med school...assuming that from now on you'll have most As, few Bs.
 

flip26

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You're worrying too much. I have almost 40 credits of C's and 3 W's. It'll be fine.
Come back when you have an acceptance in hand and tell your story, otherwise you are in no position to say "it'll be fine" to anybody.

You have dug quite a hole there, buddy.
 

closer23

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Come back when you have an acceptance in hand and tell your story, otherwise you are in no position to say "it'll be fine" to anybody.

You have dug quite a hole there, buddy.
What about people with 4.0s? It'll be fine for them, right!?
 

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..aha...
Family issues affect different pple differently. Just cos it didnt affect you so much n u were resilient doesnt mean that everyone that doesnt feel like you has got a problem or is tryin to give an excuse for bad grades. Give them the benefit of doubt. Jeez.
But the point is that, while we might love to hug someone who's struggling with these family issues, the cold truth is that med schools won't care. They CAN'T care; they have to accept the people who have shown that they are qualified to hack it in medical school, and regardless of whatever the backstory behind a handful of C's might be, those C's don't show that they are yet qualified for med school-it might be nice to assume that, under less stressful circumstances, they could have gotten A's and B's, but a med school can't assume that.

What WILL show that the OP is qualified is a couple of semesters from here with A's, maybe with a B here and there. Luckily, it's still VERY early on, so all this doom-and-gloom is really not warranted IMO.
 
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chiz2kul

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But the point is that, while we might love to hug someone who's struggling with these family issues, the cold truth is that med schools won't care. They CAN'T care; they have to accept the people who have shown that they are qualified to hack it in medical school, and regardless of whatever the backstory behind a handful of C's might be, those C's don't show that they are yet qualified for med school-it might be nice to assume that, under less stressful circumstances, they could have gotten A's and B's, but a med school can't assume that.

What WILL show that the OP is qualified is a couple of semesters from here with A's, maybe with a B here and there. Luckily, it's still VERY early on, so all this doom-and-gloom is really not warranted IMO.
I think we're saying the same thing on the 2nd part....tho I dont necessarily agree w you that C's show that you're not yet qualified for med school...but yea..
 

utahjazz

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I'm very sorry that you have had family difficulties.

I chose to spend time with a terminally ill family member rather than stay at school and focus on grades & so my grades that quarter were really awful (~2.3). It's an explanation for why my grades were bad but it's not an excuse... we made the choice to put family before school.

You can recover, but you don't have as much room for error anymore. A subsequent problem that I had (which it appears you will have as well) is that some of the classes I took were part of a series (For me- physics, ochem, calculus). And so I also had problems with later courses in the series that built upon the information which I was supposed to- but did not- master. You need to be ready and prepare for this so you can ace your classes next semester. Good luck! You can do it!
 

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I think you'll be fine as long as you make strong grades from here on out. You *just* transferred to a new school, so if you do very well in subsequent semesters, I think many admissions committees will see your performance this semester as an adjustment period.
 

GoSpursGo

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I think we're saying the same thing on the 2nd part....tho I dont necessarily agree w you that C's show that you're not yet qualified for med school...but yea..
There's a subtle difference between what I said and what it seems like you interpreted:

What you interpreted: C's show that you are not yet qualified for med school
What I SAID: C's do not show that you are qualified for med school

While I certainly don't think a couple of C's on a transcript disqualifies anyone from med school, it obviously doesn't help their case, and in the game of med school admissions, you always want to show an adcom that you are qualified in as many ways possible.

I agree our advice is essentially the same :) I'm just saying that Slowpoke has a point when he says that a LOT of people have family trouble; a med school might look past that if there's just one trouble semester, but the OP needs to know realistically that he/she needs to take charge of his/her own success from here on out.
 

mezmerized7

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To the OP: I know it must be hard. I don't know the details of what you are going through, but I think it is something that should definitely be addressed in your personal statement. The good thing is that, it is early and not say your senior year. Work hard, do your best and you'll excel.

To everybody: I think we should all understand that everybody is different and handles problems in a variety of ways. So what might be a piece of cake for one person to go through can be a mountain for another, depending on personality, background, etc (even genetics). Let's not judge...
 

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OP,

I hope your family problems get better. In retrospect, digging out of a hole isn't such a bad thing- nothing motivates you like having your back against the wall. I had a sub 3.0 going into my last semester of college when I decided I wanted to be a physician. Stayed a couple more semesters, aced the rest of my classes and now have an acceptance for next year. Just start focusing on your next three semesters and the mcat and don't give up hope so easily, you still have plenty of time to patch things up.
 

chiz2kul

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There's a subtle difference between what I said and what it seems like you interpreted:

What you interpreted: C's show that you are not yet qualified for med school
What I SAID: C's do not show that you are qualified for med school

While I certainly don't think a couple of C's on a transcript disqualifies anyone from med school, it obviously doesn't help their case, and in the game of med school admissions, you always want to show an adcom that you are qualified in as many ways possible.

I agree our advice is essentially the same :) I'm just saying that Slowpoke has a point when he says that a LOT of people have family trouble; a med school might look past that if there's just one trouble semester, but the OP needs to know realistically that he/she needs to take charge of his/her own success from here on out.
Lol I purposefully interpreted it that way.
This is SDN and you are funny :)
 

TehDoc

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I think we all know a C means give up and go to nursing. (It's a joke, so those who feel ever so strong about careers in nursing, do not get offended.) To the OP, 1 bad semester will not ruin your life, I've seen worse. Try to get your situation together, as hard as it might be and focus on school.
 

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To the OP: I know it must be hard. I don't know the details of what you are going through, but I think it is something that should definitely be addressed in your personal statement. The good thing is that, it is early and not say your senior year. Work hard, do your best and you'll excel.

To everybody: I think we should all understand that everybody is different and handles problems in a variety of ways. So what might be a piece of cake for one person to go through can be a mountain for another, depending on personality, background, etc (even genetics). Let's not judge...
Agreed. OP, while there are some people who can and will manage 4.0s throughout their entire college career, the majority of people have bad courses and/or semesters. Also, C's aren't the end of the world; at least those are all passing grades, so don't beat yourself up about it.

That said, yeah, you will need to do better in the future, but you can and will if you put your mind to it. You seem to be a smart, motivated person who just had some personal issues this semester. Just use this as motivation to do better in the spring.
 

xrevision

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Cold hard truth:
If you don't raise your grades next semester medical schools won't care about your situation. Get those A's and B's from now on and keep your chin up! If you're really serious about being a physician in the future then make it happen.
 

Proxy

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For the love of god write something creative and meaningful in you're personal statement...not "ohh sry sry bad GPA due to family!!! sry"
 
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