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Opinions on my U of M Ann Arbor Schedule?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by jpdaman11, Aug 2, 2015.

  1. jpdaman11

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    Hey guys,

    I'm a freshman headed to U of M from an underserved public school, meaning I wasn't challenged very much. The only class I found somewhat challenging was BC Calculus, and that was because I didn't spend too much time studying anything. Anyways, I tested out of General Chemistry from my AP Chemistry knowledge, so I'm headed straight for Organic Chemistry. When I scheduled my classes, I scheduled Organic Chemistry with the lab, Gen Bio, Psych, and Sociology. I've been informed by numerous students that I have a good professor for Orgo. Anyways, do you guys think this is too much of a courseload? It's 17 credits and I'm commuting from 30 minutes away. I'm also going to look around for research positions to get one ASAP. I've been told that if I want to 4.0 my first semester, then I should switch Gen Bio around with English 125 to make it easier. Am I also on the right track to make it to medical school with this schedule? Will taking Organic Chemistry my first semester make my application a bit more interesting?

    Thank you :)
     
    #1 jpdaman11, Aug 2, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2015
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  3. md-2020

    md-2020 The Immaculate Catch
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    Sounds reasonable, as long as you're good at STEM subjects. I'm not sure I'd take orgo my 1st semester in college, but it's been done many times by many people.

    Don't stress yourself out about a 4.0 the first semester, it's absolutely not necessary. You will get better with experience at this college thing.
     
  4. avgn

    avgn Lv 30, HP 85
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    No one is gonna care that you did orgo a year early. Neither will you in a couple of years, tbh

    Having taken orgo freshman year myself, I'd switch out the bio for something else. Something fun, so not English unless you like it. Do a history class, econ, anthro, whatever. Have fun and forget the 4.0; ain't gonna last at UMich. Freshmen who took orgo with me all had a pretty rough time. Especially since you're from a low rigor high school, tread carefully. Orgo as a freshman is very doable, but you'll be curved against upperclassmen so don't do more STEM on top of it. Your commute just adds on top of the potential stress.

    PM me if you want more details.
     
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  5. ChrisMack390

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    Personally, I was NOT ready for organic chem my first semester of college. I would consider a math or physics course instead of orgo, and keep bio/psych/soc. That is assuming you actually LIKE psych and/or soc. If not, drop one of them and take something else fun, maybe your humanities core class or something.

    I think risk of a bad grade in a pre-req is much greater than the benefit of a perceived difficult freshman course load.


    Also, some more general advice: RELAX! You are 18, take a deep breath, party a bit, and enjoy life before it actually gets hard. There is no sense in burning out before you even get to the MCAT.
     
  6. jpdaman11

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    I think I'll just switch out Bio. Considering where I came from, I might get overwhelmed. I'm freaking out with the 4.0 because I was told by numerous people that it's hard to raise your GPA if you mess up your first semester. I also want to go to U of M med school, and I know their avg stats.
     
  7. jpdaman11

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    How did you do in the class? And I wish I could relax, but the medical field kills lol
     
  8. md-2020

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    Some friendly advice.

    1. You will improve as you get used to college. That's why med schools rank "upward trend" among the most important selection factors for admission. Would a 4.0 first semester be nice? Yeah. Is it very important? Not at all.

    2. Do not get focused on one med school. The way admissions works nowadays no one is a lock at any one particular school.

    Edit: and what was said above about UM's difficulty is 100% true. Of all the places to aim for a 4.0, Michigan is not one of them.
     
  9. jpdaman11

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    I see. So how would a relatively high GPA for all four years rank in admissions? Also, I know that I'll need to apply to more than one medical school. U of M's just a dream school for me that I'd love to attend.

    Edit: I wish I could 4.0 UMich :lol: I just want to secure a 4.0 my semester. I don't want to come in looking like a dumb---.
     
    #8 jpdaman11, Aug 2, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2015
  10. Stagg737

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    First semester of college is the best time to mess up. You can always chalk it up to adjusting to college/immaturity and most of your courses won't be science related, so your sGPA will stay intact. In terms of your GPA, it doesn't matter what semester you mess up in. In the end, it will affect your overall GPA the same either way, assuming you take the same number of credits each semester.

    Having 4 solid years is better than an upward trend. The better the stats, the better off you are. Schools just prefer to see students struggle early and figure out how to succeed before entering med school rather than seeing them do well early and then struggle in upper level classes. The latter suggests that you either started to burn out or you struggle with upper level classes which are typically relevant to medical school for a pre-med. Neither of which is a sign that you'd be successful in medical school, and is something to try to avoid at all costs.
     
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  11. md-2020

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    High GPA is always good. But a 3.7 w/ an upward trend > 3.7 w/ no improvement. This is because it is very difficult to start of college (especially at good schools like UM) with knockout grades. I know you're a commuter, but still, life in college is unlike anything else you will experience; it takes time to adjust.

    If you're like most applicants you'll apply to 20-30 schools, and probably be ecstatic with any MD acceptance.
     
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  12. panda16

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    Personally, I would re-take Gen Chem to get a good foundation in the sciences at your school....
     
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  13. ChrisMack390

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    I didn't take orgo my first year, I just know it wouldn't have gone well as a first class.

    Also, you are not in the medical field. You are a freshman in college. There is more to life than 4.0 GPAs. Hell, there is more to medical school admissions than 4.0 GPAs...
     
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  14. avgn

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    You know their average stats for the entire class, which is not representative of the average stats for UM grads. Don't believe? Visit your premed office during orientation and find those stats. I guarantee you they are lower.
     
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  15. avgn

    avgn Lv 30, HP 85
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    TFW a premed is told they are not in medicine yet = :unsure:
     
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  16. ChrisMack390

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    OP said they can't relax because the medical field is killing them lol
     
  17. avgn

    avgn Lv 30, HP 85
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    Dude I know, I read the post. The incredulity of the post doesn't preclude TFW a premed is told he is not in the medical field yet :unsure:
     
  18. jpdaman11

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    Going into the medical field is killing me. Better? Lol
     
  19. ChrisMack390

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    You are going to have an aneurysm before you get there if you don't calm down for a minute.
     
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  20. avgn

    avgn Lv 30, HP 85
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    They never listen until they're forced to.
     
  21. GrapesofRath

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    I don't get so many entering freshmens obsession with trying to take organic chemistry as soon as they get to college at all. It's just not in your best interest more times than not to take such a hard class freshmen year. What do you gain from doing that?
     
    #20 GrapesofRath, Aug 2, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2015
  22. canttellmenothin

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    I'll offer the flip side of the perspective, I took ochem 1 and 2 my freshman year and got A's in the lectures and labs (granted just barely). I had gotten AP credit for all the other science classes and felt like I had a strong science background and the maturity necessary to excel in difficult classes. OP I would only do it if you got a 5 on the AP exam, otherwise it doesn't hurt at all to take gen chem and further build your knowledge base. Just my two cents.

    FYI this was at a large state school (not as good as UM though) with the class curved to a C average.
     
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  23. panda16

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    B/c high achieving AP-students in high school are told to race through everything so they can get to the next level...which is college. So the race just doesn't stop...and honestly on the road to med school it can be hard to shed that mentality and view college as a time to actually grow rather than check boxes and move to the "next step".

    But it's hella important!
     
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  24. NotASerialKiller

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    Don't think I understand the statement about general chemistry, don't you still need that credit? Organic isn't "advanced chemistry" or something like that, it's an entirely different course. Taking it first isn't moving beyond gen chem because you're ahead of the game, it's just taking it in a weird order.
     
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  25. ChrisMack390

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    ^Also this. Most med schools don't take AP credit.

    I suppose technically one could get away with taking a couple semesters of analytic or physical chem instead of gen. But really just follow the normal course, no one is giving you a medal for speeding through college too fast.
     
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  26. canttellmenothin

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    ^ I thought I would have a problem with this as well cause I used AP's from almost all of my prereqs but I'm in the middle of applying right now and it turns out I really didn't. Most schools will take upper level science classes (i.e. biochem, genetics, cell bio, etc.) if they don't take AP's in the first place. I found that the majority of them are okay with just AP credit though. The only school I had to axe from my list was UCLA because they're quite strict about it.
     
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  27. Rainbow Zebra

    Rainbow Zebra Long, hard journey
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    How many AP credits are you bringing in? Most of the top notch students in L S A HAVE BC calc, physics, bio already under their belt plus a history/ English and maybe psychology too. Then a lot of them take the honors lab which is small and you get to know The prof in a class of 300 per term and the competition is pretty fierce. If you aren't in honors, you get lost in a crowd. Commuting is hard too, as all the social groups are on campus. Big state schools are hard unLESs you find your niche. Good luck to you.
     
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  28. GrapesofRath

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    I mean it was kind of a rhetorical question. I think we all know why people do it; the strive to overachieve at all costs and "prove your worth". It's just the notion that proving your worth means taking harder schedules than necessary and thinking it'll look more impressive to make things harder for yourself is complete nonsense and hurts alot of top gunners who are perfectly capable students but screw themselves over making bad decisions taking OCHEM first semester freshmen year when they aren't ready for it or know how to study for it.
     
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  29. avgn

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    No, you would just do biochem instead of gen chem. There's no reason to do inane and irrelevant chem courses after orgo just for med schools. Almost every school out there accepts biochem in place of gen chem if you did orgo early
     
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  30. doc05

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    there's no reason why you can't get an "A" in organic chem. It's not that hard.

    BUT...

    you're better off taking gen chem, I bet you can get an "A" with very little effort. maybe have a little free time to party. Remember that all "A"s count toward your GPA, and the more, the better.
     
  31. bararaboi

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    I'm a student at UofM right now. DM me and I can hook you up with resources.
     
  32. avgn

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    What is this, Instagram or something ;)
     
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  33. WingedOx

    WingedOx Unofficial Froopyland Forum Mod.
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    Just don't be one of those UM students that spends football saturdays in the library.
     
  34. GrapesofRath

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    This

    No medical school gives two flying f---'s whether you took Gen Chem in HS got a 5 on the AP and freshmen year is a review for you.

    I'll also heed a warning that I was in your same spot back in freshmen year, 5 in AP CHEM and decided to go half way between what I should have done(not use any AP credit) and doing what you want which is go straight to OCHEM by taking Gen Chem 2. Well it turns out, the class was harder than I expected having it been 2 years since I took chem and I got a B+ in it due to screwing up on the final(although that was mostly my fault in not studying properly).

    Anyway though, point is I don't necessairly agree that Gen Chem is just a gimme A even with a 5 in AP Chem. U of Mich is a very competitive school; believe me there will be ALOT of people in that class in your shoes who got 5's on AP Chem in HS and thought that retaking it freshmen year would be a free A. Not anywhere close to all of them will get A's in the college class that was supposed to just be "review" and that "free" A.
     
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  35. panda16

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    I couldn't like this post more. Exact same situation, my freshman Gen Chem is notoriously difficult for everyone involved and I actually had to work quite hard to keep an A even with my 5 in AP. Granted I go to a "prestigious" school w/ grade deflation, but you can say the same about any school like Mich. Basically AP courses can't be expected to be a 1:1 translation to colleges, esp "rigorous" schools.
     
  36. GrapesofRath

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    Yeah just to go off this there are some top schools I've heard of where students are explicitly told to avoid gen chem for this specific reason. The class is largely students who aced AP Chem and got 5's on the AP(many who also did things such as Chem Olympiad and other national chem competitions or did chemical research in HS) yet the class median has to be a B/B-.

    I know my friends at Duke tell me a number of them skip out of Gen Chem if they can where the class median is a B- and go straight to ochem where there is a specific OCHEM class available only to freshmen where the class is curved to a B+ median. This could very possibly be an option at other schools as well. That said this is very school specific and a number of them still don't do this because they don't think the higher GPA median is worth taking a class like OCHEM freshmen year when they are still figuring so much out. I don't recommend the OP go down the OCHEM freshmen year route in general.
     
  37. panda16

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    You always do have to consider that, yeah. See at my school it's the same class for engineers and pre-meds and anyone else who may need to take the course, and the average is that B/B-. They at least try to level the playing field a bit by doing stuff that wasn't taught in AP Chem, but that notwithstanding there's only so much you can avoid covering that a good 40 to 50 percent if not more of the students in the course had already seen in AP. Then again some of my friends did well even without AP!

    For me, repeating the class taught me about what science courses are like at my school and gave me a familiar yet still challenging introduction w/ a subject I was already familiar with, even if it was two years prior during high school. It made my transition to the rest of my schooling/living on my own/challenges of college, etc. much more manageably. Honestly depends on what you're comfortable with...like for me even though I got a 5 on Calc AB I knew for a fact I could get an A in a 4 credit Calc class that would count for Science GPA and wouldn't be hurdled into Calc 2 for engineers. Of course hindsight is 20/20 so it's easy for me to say that with what I know now.
     
  38. jpdaman11

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    So if I don't screw up on the final and study extremely hard, do you believe I could 4.0 Orgo?
     
  39. GrapesofRath

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    You'll realize when you get to college there's no real answer for questions like these. Everybody has different abilities and capabilities. You don't just end up with 4.0's by "working hard" at a school like Michigan, there's alot more to it.

    And 4.0 or bust is a horrible way of looking at things at a school like U Mich. Any GPA above a 3.6 is very good and very competitive for medical school from there. Again, you won't like me talking about 3.6's now being a HS graduate; you'll see what I mean when you start taking classes there.

    Like I said, I think it's in your best interest to take gen chem freshmen year and ease yourself into ochem.
     
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  40. NotASerialKiller

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    Yeah... without trying to sound harsh, that's a very silly question to ask someone on the internet. How could any of us possibly know what your capabilities are in a class you've never taken? Getting a 4.0 is certainly possible, but no one can even tell you how likely it is for you. If you're worried about your academic performance the only solution is to work as hard as you possibly can.
     
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  41. jpdaman11

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    Does anyone know of an easy elective I can take, not being anthropology? Just looking for something to fill in for Bio.
     
  42. jpdaman11

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    I'll work the hardest I possibly can and I'll see what I'm capable of.
     
  43. GrapesofRath

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    The last thing I'll add to this thread is look at the pros and cons of taking Gen Chem vs OCHEM

    Gen Chem freshmen year
    Pros: Easier class, seen the material before, can ease into college and focus more time on the many priorities a new freshmen has in college.
    Cons: You don't get to have the label on your floor as the "smart" kid who dabels with OCHEM freshmen year and some people who's opinion is irrelevant might think you are a little "soft" for this route.

    OCHEM freshmen year
    Pros: You get to brag about being the guy who took OCHEM as a freshmen. You get to laugh at all your friends when your all sophmores and they're studying their asses off and panicking right before an OCHEM test.
    Cons: It's a much harder class and will take up alot more of your time. Not only that, the risk of not doing well and digging yourself a hole you really don't need to be digging and that can easily be avoided is much much higher. Also, there are med schools where using AP credit, particularly to get out of an ENTIRE 2 semester sequence for a pre-req might cause some problems.

    Which do you think is a more desirable decision.
     
  44. md-2020

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    We don't go to UM, check your course catalog/descriptions/ratemyprofessor

    Classes vary immensely by school.
     
  45. md-2020

    md-2020 The Immaculate Catch
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    Just like the rest of us. Relax. Breathe.
     
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  46. jpdaman11

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    Personally, I would like to take the harder route and work my a** off to succeed. I don't give two sh**s about bragging. I just want to make it to my desired medical school and I know that I won't walk out of Uni with a 4.0. Yes, I would like to start off my first semester with a high GPA, but if all I require is a few more hours each day of studying for the harder route, I'll take it.
     
  47. NotASerialKiller

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    Easy electives are pretty institution-dependent. @rachiie01 offered to give you tips about your school though, might have some advice about this
     
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  48. panda16

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    I think what he's trying to impress upon you is that there is no real benefit to taking Orgo earlier than you need to. Med schools will not care ~~~one bit~~~ if you take a class in college that you got a good AP score on...at least the schools that have invited me for interviews already didn't! I am SO glad I ended up re-taking Calc 1 and Gen Chem and getting A's in both of them as opposed to moving on to a notorious weed out course earlier. Then again, that is speaking quite generally, and I am not a student at Michigan so I don't know how it works there!

    College is great, and you want to make time for the "everything else," and I have a feeling that re-taking Chem would help you enjoy that! You could very well end up like me where Gen Chem was still a challenge because high school =/= college!
     
  49. jpdaman11

    2+ Year Member

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    But then how big of a difference is it taking Gen Chem and Orgo if I'll be stuck in Gen Chem with a boatload of other kids who got 5's on the exam?
     
  50. GrapesofRath

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    Gen Chem: Lots of students with 5s on the AP on old material who are freshmen who are just like you and are learning how to manage their time and what the college experience is like.

    OCHEM: At least as many students with 5's on the AP who are also now sophmores with experience in college and how to study and limit distractions. Plus the material is new not old.
     
  51. avgn

    avgn Lv 30, HP 85
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    Stop asking if you can "4.0 orgo." That literally makes no sense and you sound like a high schooler. You get letter grades in classes, not GPAs. You should be asking how to get an "A in orgo."
     
    md-2020 likes this.

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