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Is high school relevant to pre-med?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by sistermike, Oct 2, 2002.

  1. sistermike

    sistermike Senior Member
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    Ok to start off with, I have to express that I know college is a huge difference than high school. But is there anyone here that struggled with high school and still chose pre-med? I am a senior in high school and I have been getting A's in school since I can remember and I've always had extrememly challenging classes. This year I decided to buckle down and take AP Chemistry, AP Biology, along with an AP Stats class and a few others, but those are my hardest. If you guys are not familiar with AP Classes, they are freshman level courses taught in the high school. We use freshman college books and move at the speed of a college course (or close to). I study so much and try extrememly hard and I still end up with bad grades in AP Chemistry and AP Stats. I just don't understand the concepts easily. Its honestly pushing me away from doing pre-med because I dunno if I have the ability to do college chemistry courses. Just curious on your guys thoughts. :)
     
  2. chypes

    chypes Caffine Addict
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    If you want to be premed/go to med school then do it....dont let doubts like that get in the way. Youll do fine....just learn as much as you can now....it will make your college classes much easier....from what ive seen anyone willing to make the effort in chem/bio is going to do fine....its just there are a lot of people in my intro bio and chem classes that didnt no what to expect.....did they think premed classes would be as easy all the buisness or polysci or other majors?......anyway dont let little things like grades get in the way of you and your goals. Good Luck!
     
  3. Cerberus

    Cerberus Heroic Necromancer
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    First off, wht did you take so many AP classes your senior year of HS? Are you crazy, senior year in high school is supposed to be fun, not incredibly miserable. Second, yes college courses are much more difficult than HS courses but they are definitly doable. If you hate the science courses just dont major in one in college, then you can spread out your prereqs so that it is not as overwhelming. Something like this might be good for you:

    Freshman Year - General Biology, relatively easy class that will help you get accustomed to studying in college.

    Sophomore Year - Gen Chem and Physics - difficult courses but they are freshman level classes so it should be easier for you now

    Junior - Organic Chem; not a lab goes by where I don't consider drinking a bottle of HCl but hey some (deranged) people like it

    If you do something similar to that than it will be much easier on you and you will most likely do better overall.


    BTW I did poorly in HS (HS chem ~ a D) and i've done very well in college. So you just work hard and you'll do fine:)


    :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:
     
  4. Sweet Tea

    Sweet Tea Girl Next Door
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    2 points:

    1)Listen to Cereberus. Go back and read his post.

    2)Don't be like me!! I did very well in high school (I took 3 AP classes my senior year, top 5% of my class) and thought I would do just as well in college. I was wrong. I took waaaay too many really intense classes together, and my first 2 years were just plain bad. I wised up (and learned better study habits) my junior and senior years, but my GPA was beyond repair. Now I'm 2 years out of college, have great ECs and LORs, 4.0 post-bacc work, and my MCAT is solid, but I know that some of the rejections I've received have been based on my sub-par undergrad GPA.

    You CAN do college chemistry, just don't let it freak you out (I let orgo freak me out, retook it, and LOVED it when I re-took it and actually studied). Just be sure to not load yourself up with too many science classes, especially at the beginning. You'll do fine!! :D
     
  5. heelshmeel

    heelshmeel Tar Heel Bred
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    just food for thought... I have a friend who tried this... he took a mad amount of AP classes (9 total)

    But the kicker is that he didnt take any AP exams... and when he came to college, he decided to retake the classes...

    That way, he boosted up his gpa, and he didnt have to worry about studying as much as before. No college knows what ap classes you chose to take and the AP exams you didnt take as a result... so if you find it really hard now, dont worry, you can just take them again and avoid what sweet tea is talking about!
     
  6. agent

    agent agent, RN
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    yeah i would suggest not being too over-confident and learn when to ask for help.

    If you bomb the first test in college, look at why you did, if you don't think you'll be able to do better based on what you learned after taking the first test, get help.

    Don't be embarassed or ashamed. If riding the backs of others will help me to get the grades in need to get into med school, then im perfectly comfortable with doing so. Your professors have office hours, I suggest you use them.

    BTW im a college sophmore, almost junior.
     
  7. DoubleDoctor

    DoubleDoctor Ceder Dog's Daddy
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    I took every AP class offered at our high school (2 years of chem,bio,history,english and a bunch more) and these classes, although challenging for a high school student are just first year college courses. I would be worried that if you had trouble with AP classes that you COULD have trouble with upper level college classes esp in the sciences. You need to look at why you had trouble with these classes (perhaps you are studying wrong or need to change your study habits). This is something that you need to do immediately before you get into college and have troubles that with impact your GPA. Remember that these courses give you the foundation that you will be building on throughout your educational career so I feel that having a good understanding is essential. There is usually tutoring available and all my HS teachers were willing to help after school if you didn't understand something. Study groups may be another option.

    The other thing to consider is that in HS you are given a lot of what I call "busy work" that impacts the time you have to study. Alot of this is just BS and really doesn't further your understanding of the subject but certainly takes up alot of time. I used to have 4-5 hours of homework every evening(and I was always in a ton of extracurriculars) and the majority of it was BS.
    I would get home after school at 6-7PM and then start with all that homework. It really didn't leave alot of time to really "study in depth". It wasn't like that at college. You are given nearly all your assignments at the beginning of the semester and you rarely have "homework" to turn in each day (except in Calc. or physics, etc.). This gives you much more time to pursue actually learning about what you are studying. There is virtually no "hand holding" in college. You are responsible for the knowledge and they don't care whether you do the problems etc. The information is given to you rapidly and you better know it. The professors are there if you are having problems but you have to seek them out.

    I knew I wanted to go to med school when I started high school and I always worked toward that goal. It was the same in college.
    That being said, I think you are on the right track, you had a problem and you are looking for ways to remedy it. Right now you are feeling kinda down because you didn't do as well as expected.
    I think it's a bit premature to give up on your dreams. Do you really want to make that sort of decision at 16-18? In high school,
    doing bad on a test is the end of the world, as you get older you will be able to see it in a different perspective. I've had tests in college that the class average was in the 40%. An example of this was a Calc test I took my freshman year that was 8 pages of intense Calc problems (each question took at least 5, sometimes 10 minutes to do). We had 2 hours for the exam. I walked out sure that my A+ in calc was history because I had 1 1/2 pages of problems that I never even got to. When I went to see the prof the next week to confirm the bad news, he just laughed at me. He said it was impossible to finish in the time allotted, that he couldn't do it. I had the highest grade in the class and needless to say I got my A+. I am older now and I certainly wouldn't want to base my future on a decision that I made when I was a teenager because I have alot more life experience now and I see things very differently. My passion for medicine is still there, but my views on how important little things are have definitely changed.

    Relax and figure out what you need to do to keep from repeating the same mistakes.
     
  8. San_Juan_Sun

    San_Juan_Sun Professor of Life
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    Well, I barely graduated high school (flunked chemistry twice :)), took a few years off, and am doing just fine. I'm sure AP classes are great, but they somewhat overrated in their repuatation for pursuing medical school.
     
  9. Thundrstorm

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    I took a lot of AP classes in high school and I found that the schedule of high school is somewhat incompatible with college-type courses. You're forced to do all that extra homework and reading every night; you can't space it out b/c you have the class 5 days a week. I did better my first year of college than I did in high school (I also learned to stop procrastinating!). I took 3 AP classes (US History, Chem, Bio) my junior year of HS and I got my first C (in History) that year b/c I took too many challenging classes at once. I took all of my AP exams, but I only got credit for the 2 I took senior year (English and Calc) b/c for me, 2 AP classes at a time (plus other classes, applying to college, working, blah, blah, blah) was just the right amount for me. Once you get to college, you may find that you need to completely change your study habits. In HS, I never studied for tests, turned in homework late, etc., and still usually pulled off A's. I'm now a sophomore in college and I spend several hours every night doing homework and studying and sometimes even that much effort only gets me an B or an A-. Still, it's so much more rewarding b/c I put in so much more effort. Don't stress about not being smart enough for college or whatever; I was worried too, but my concerns were unfounded.
     
  10. FutureM.D.

    FutureM.D. Psychology major
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    Here's a thought(or two) from a girl who just started college as a psch/premed major:

    HS is way different from college. They won't force you to do anythig here. You forget something, or don't do it and its just too bad for you. You miss out on the ponts, grade, etc. The material is different as well. I took pre-cal my senior year of HS and am now taking it again in college and I can't believe how much work I put into it! it goes very fast and they make it so that the material in the book isn't enough to pass the test. You have to really work hard because they'll make the test questions a lot harder than what you've been doing. So anyways, that's an example.
    Also, don't be afraid of intro courses. I'm taking intro to chem which is working to build my chem problem solving skills for gen chem(which I'll be taking in the Spring). I put a lot of time into this as well because to me it is important to get the basics down pat. So don't fret over it! I did thinking that I would look stupid for not being in gen chem, but now I don't regret it one bit! If you're not confident in a subject area(such as chem) consider intro courses.

    I hope this helps. Not sure if it was all on topic, but just a few pointers.............yes, i'm a study aholic and still having fun in college!
    :clap:
     
  11. agent

    agent agent, RN
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    good advice.
     
  12. An Yong

    An Yong Senior Member
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    I nearly failedy AP calculus, but look at me now, I'm a math/cs major. Albeit, I don't get the subject matter as quickly as my peers, I do feel I work much harder and make up for it. College is a new ball game, put in enough work and you can do well (even with a lousy high school record).

    Good Luck!
     
  13. FLY

    FLY Senior Member
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    I don't get subject matter as quickly as my peers. I don't work much harder to make up for it.

    Still I pull all A's.

    Being an A student is a feeling and after you get that feeling, you just have to take 21+ hours each semester so that you can have 21 some hours of A and not 14 or 15.
     
  14. Cerberus

    Cerberus Heroic Necromancer
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    I think general chem kills a lot of potential premeds. What you did was a good idea!
     
  15. slindsay198

    slindsay198 Member
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    i'm a firm believer that highschool is simply a waste of time. it's all what you make of it. take me for instance...i just about failed out of high school due, but i'm now in my 2nd year of med school and doing very well. i just wasn't into it...i was that guy that had wood-shop 4 periods a day my senior year, and left early on work release. i was always into the bio and chem classes, but nothing else. took a year off after graduation, went to a community college for two years and transfered to a really good undergrad. i loved college, applied myself, and now i can say i am 100% happy with the route i've taken. there is NO formula for doing things. take advice with a grain of salt, and weigh your options well. most important...have fun on the way. peace

    Scott - MSII
    PCOM
     
  16. Sonya

    Sonya Senior Member
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    I wouldn't agree. If you have to push yourself to take 21 units, for financial reasons, or it's a hard major, or w hat not, than you have to. but other than that, medical schools will look upon much n icer with a 14 u nit aveage and 4.0 than a 21 un it average and 3.6. And, i think you'll have a better time not pushing yourself with too many classes. Now, if y ou CAN manage 21 units, and 4.0, and would prefer to do that... all the better to you.
     
  17. gryffindor

    Dentist 10+ Year Member

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    Don't give up hope sistermike - if you aren't doing superwell in your AP classes but you actually are trying and studying (which it sounds like you are), the study skills will help you out in college. So many students here have shown that it is possible to still rock college chemistry and stay pre-med. My words of advice - talk to successful pre-med upperclassmen when you get to college and find out what their strategies were for making it through general chem and the other pre-med courses - like balancing out some tough science classes with easy classes to fill core requirements like "Music Appreciation" or "Family Spirituality."

    Bu it all depends on your experience. I was that student who took massive #s of APs in high school (we're talking double digits) and was required by the district to take the AP exams. I have to say they really helped me out in college - I knocked off a year's worth of school. College to me felt like a nap - I had worked so hard in AP classes in high school that I couldn't believe all the freedom I had in college classes. Little paper writing, no homework, no class every day; just three exams and a final. Afternoons off when I didn't have lab! And a 4.0 was not out of the question - three semesters out of my six there with 17+ credit hours every semester. Of course, this was not every student's experience at my college. Most of the students who attended my college coasted through high school and thought taking 1 or 2 APs had made them just soooo smart. These students all thought college was so difficult, mainly b/c they just didn't understand that they had to CRACK OPEN A TEXT BOOK & READ IT to do well. Then again, I didn't attend a college draped with any sort of ivy or with rolling meadows, but occasionally our b-ball team makes the NCAA tournament. (My school is listed in the "Colleges Where Average Students Can Excel" book - go figure).

    There were students in my hs class that had taken more APs than me. Most went on to colleges covered in ivy but many end up coming back home to attend the local public med school down the street.

    Just keep working hard and don't be afraid to ask for help when you need it. Good luck!
     

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