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Premed freshman really needs your advice :/

intmedhopeful

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Hello dear people,
First time here: nervous and excited.

I just received my final grades, and I shall say my disappointment is immeasurable and my day is ruined. I got B+ in bio, B in chem and A in econ and B+ in english. My last semester grades were: B calculus, B chem, B+ english, A- first year seminar. I am from a good liberal arts college in northeast. Idk, I am crushed tbh. I have no intention of being arrogant or anything of that sort. I just feel desperate and need advice. Should I leave med path completely?
Thanks in advance.
P.S we also have optional pass and fail, so I can choose that for any course. Should I do it?
 
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M&L

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Hello dear people,
First time here: nervous and excited.

I just received my final grades, and I shall say my disappointment is immeasurable and my day is ruined. I got B+ in bio, B in chem and A in econ and B+ in english. My last semester grades were: B calculus, B chem, B+ english, A- first year seminar. I am from a good liberal arts college in northeast. Idk, I am crushed tbh. I have no intention of being arrogant or anything of that sort. I just feel desperate and need advice. Should I leave med path completely?
Thanks in advance.
P.S we also have optional pass and fail, so I can choose that for any course. Should I do it?
So, whats your current cGPA and sGPA (please don't make me count, and you didn't put number of hours here)?
 
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intmedhopeful

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So, whats your current cGPA and sGPA (please don't make me count, and you didn't put number of hours here)?

May I know what you mean by the number of hours? I believe my current gpa is 3.27
I don’t know how to calculate my science gpa, so I just used the schools excel converter: I got 2Bs in gen chem classes, they are double credit, so counted twice? and B+ in bio, so I guess science gpa is 3.094. I hope I didn’t make a mistake. Thanks for help
 

intmedhopeful

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May I know what you mean by the number of hours? I believe my current gpa is 3.27
I don’t know how to calculate my science gpa, so I just used the schools excel converter: I got 2Bs in gen chem classes, they are double credit, so counted twice? and B+ in bio, so I guess science gpa is 3.094. I hope I didn’t make a mistake. Thanks for help

and yeah, one B in calc.
 

intmedhopeful

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Chances for med school are done, you're never getting in.

Kidding, you'll be fine. Med schools like an upward trend keep working hard and figure out what you need to do to make all A's next semester.
Thank you. I will definitely do that. I still haven’t found an effective way to study for exams, and even i understand the material, exams kick my ass. The wound is fresh, so I am still very depressed.
 

M&L

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Look, you are A FRESHMAN!!!!! you will be fine. There is a long long long road ahead of you!!!! give yourself some credit. you started college in probably the craziest year yet...
Ok, as a licensed behavioral health technician I am giving you wellness homework: every day, when you wake up, list 3 of your favorite things about you. Every night, list 3 things you did well that day, and 3 things you need to work on. DO IT. This will give you more confidence
 

intmedhopeful

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Look, you are A FRESHMAN!!!!! you will be fine. There is a long long long road ahead of you!!!! give yourself some credit. you started college in probably the craziest year yet...
Ok, as a licensed behavioral health technician I am giving you wellness homework: every day, when you wake up, list 3 of your favorite things about you. Every night, list 3 things you did well that day, and 3 things you need to work on. DO IT. This will give you more confidence
Thank you, but honestly feeling like giving up. I am such a failure.
 

intmedhopeful

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If you are thinking this way after one year of college, medicine may not be your path. You still have to take the MCAT, ECs, and go through the stressful process of applications. Get over it and step it up is all you can do now.
I don’t want to give up, but no matter what forum I look at, I see that getting this many Bs is pretty bad.
 

Wolvvs

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Your combined GPA is currently 3.33, and your BCPM GPA is 3.08. You don't need a 4.0, and improving over time is regarded well. Just try to do better next semester than this semester.

Are you here on an F-1 visa or do you have a green card?
 

intmedhopeful

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Your combined GPA is currently 3.33, and your BCPM GPA is 3.08. You don't need a 4.0, and improving over time is regarded well. Just try to do better next semester than this semester.

Are you here on an F-1 visa or do you have a green card?

Thank you very much for your reply! Yes, I am on F-1. Tbh one of the main reasons I am so depressed, all my friends did well ( I am
very happy for them btw) and most maintain near perfect gpa, and it is very competitive here. So, I feel like I dont stand a chance. I understand the material, I just don’t know how to prepare for exams.
 
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intmedhopeful

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Apr 5, 2020
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Your combined GPA is currently 3.33, and your BCPM GPA is 3.08. You don't need a 4.0, and improving over time is regarded well. Just try to do better next semester than this semester.

Are you here on an F-1 visa or do you have a green card?
which also means, I can’t apply to most schools and the ones I can apply will require full tuition, which I am afraid I cant afford. This leaves me with top schools with generous fin aid, which are insanely competitive even for 4.0 US applicants, let alone me.
 

M&L

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which also means, I can’t apply to most schools and the ones I can apply will require full tuition, which I am afraid I cant afford. This leaves me with top schools with generous fin aid, which are insanely competitive even for 4.0 US applicants, let alone me.
Look, as a previous F1 student I know how scary it is. I do.
Now, take a deep breath. The best thing you can do right now is to calm down, and start recognizing that you are doing well. Take one step at a time. Sit down, and think - why do you want to be a doctor? and draw motivation from there. Then do that exercise. When I was in your shoes, I actually failed one class (had a legit F), and had one C. I fixed it, kept going (because I am really hard-headed), and I am in medical school now. There were times when I was sure I couldn't do it. People straight out told me that I would never be a doctor. One of my "friends" actually asked me: "Are you a bride or a prostitute?" because these are the only two possible scenarios for a young foreign female..... Everything was scary... Horrible jobs, not seeing my family. It was hell. But you can do it! just keep pushing through.
 

intmedhopeful

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Look, as a previous F1 student I know how scary it is. I do.
Now, take a deep breath. The best thing you can do right now is to calm down, and start recognizing that you are doing well. Take one step at a time. Sit down, and think - why do you want to be a doctor? and draw motivation from there. Then do that exercise. When I was in your shoes, I actually failed one class (had a legit F), and had one C. I fixed it, kept going (because I am really hard-headed), and I am in medical school now. There were times when I was sure I couldn't do it. People straight out told me that I would never be a doctor. One of my "friends" actually asked me: "Are you a bride or a prostitute?" because these are the only two possible scenarios for a young foreign female..... Everything was scary... Horrible jobs, not seeing my family. It was hell. But you can do it! just keep pushing through.
Thanks for the inspiration!
 
D

deleted1005514

I don’t want to give up, but no matter what forum I look at, I see that getting this many Bs is pretty bad.

Get off SDN and Reddit now, or only go on there for a specific question. Keep your head up, figure out how to study better (go to your university's academic help center), and get back at in the fall. Do NOT compare yourself to others...you are not competing against thousands of other students for that medical school seat, you are competing against yourself, and right now your negative self talk is defeating future you.
 
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deleted1005514

which also means, I can’t apply to most schools and the ones I can apply will require full tuition, which I am afraid I cant afford. This leaves me with top schools with generous fin aid, which are insanely competitive even for 4.0 US applicants, let alone me.

What does this mean, that you can only apply to schools that require full time...do you mean most medical school want to see full time hours in undergrad? While that is true, for disadvantaged students that have to work full time and can only afford less than full time hours, you'll have an opportunity to write essays explaining that.
 

Wolvvs

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What does this mean, that you can only apply to schools that require full time...do you mean most medical school want to see full time hours in undergrad? While that is true, for disadvantaged students that have to work full time and can only afford less than full time hours, you'll have an opportunity to write essays explaining that.
International students face substantial additional barriers to applying to a US medical school--many schools simply don't accept international students, and those that do often require the equivalent of 4 years tuition to be placed in escrow. International students also are not eligible for federal loans, and will be unlikely to qualify for private loans without a US cosigner. Therefore, the only realistic option for F1 students is to apply to top programs that accept international students and also offer scholarships.
 
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deleted1005514

International students face substantial additional barriers to applying to a US medical school--many schools simply don't accept international students, and those that do often require the equivalent of 4 years tuition to be placed in escrow. International students also are not eligible for federal loans, and will be unlikely to qualify for private loans without a US cosigner. Therefore, the only realistic option for F1 students is to apply to top programs that accept international students and also offer scholarships.
Ahh, I see...but I thought DO schools often take international students. Or are these under a different type of visa?
 

Wolvvs

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Ahh, I see...but I thought DO schools often take international students. Or are these under a different type of visa?

Some but far from all of them take international students. The visa isn't usually the problem, it's the finances--there's some additional flexibility for a small number of DO programs, but most of them require escrow/prepayment or at least proving the ability via bank statements to pay for 4 years of school.

@M&L is an international student so might be able to provide more information about the process, please correct me if I'm wrong. International students who don't have a family who can afford to straight up pay hundreds of thousands usually need to be rockstars who can qualify for top/select programs. Otherwise the best option is becoming a permanent resident, a process that requires a ton of work in and of itself.

This usually needs to be done via the H1B visa, which is sponsored by an employer. It's possible to get an H1B with a bachelor's degree, but doing so with a master's degree is easier. Once the applicant gets their H1B, they then need to get a green card, which is also sponsored by an employer (who probably won't do it if they know their employee is going to use it to apply to medical school) and which can take years to decades to get if the applicant is from India or China. International students without family backing are able to get into medical school, but it is harder and can take much longer.
 
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deleted1005514


Some but far from all of them take international students. The visa isn't usually the problem, it's the finances--there's some additional flexibility for a small number of DO programs, but most of them require escrow/prepayment or at least proving the ability via bank statements to pay for 4 years of school.

@M&L is an international student so might be able to provide more information about the process, please correct me if I'm wrong. International students who don't have a family who can afford to straight up pay hundreds of thousands usually need to be rockstars who can qualify for top/select programs. Otherwise the best option is becoming a permanent resident, a process that requires a ton of work in and of itself.

This usually needs to be done via the H1B visa, which is sponsored by an employer. It's possible to get an H1B with a bachelor's degree, but doing so with a master's degree is easier. Once the applicant gets their H1B, they then need to get a green card, which is also sponsored by an employer (who probably won't do it if they know their employee is going to use it to apply to medical school) and which can take years to decades to get if the applicant is from India or China. International students without family backing are able to get into medical school, but it is harder and can take much longer.

Wow...thanks for the info!
 
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JAK2-STAT3

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You are NOT a failure. I think it is very impressive how international students come to a new country/new culture, take classes in a second (or third or forth) language, learn an academic system that may be drastically different than what they're used to, navigate different cultural norms, overcome biases, etc., and that's all after the huge amount of work to just get here in the first place. Perhaps not all of that applies to you, but still, give yourself a pat on the back. You overcame obstacles that your domestic peers didn't have to and you're still doing as well as, if not better than, they are academically.

I get that B's are disappointing, especially since as an international student and premed the standards are high. You can't give up hope. Use the summer to reflect on what went wrong WITHOUT beating yourself up. In the coming semester use resources such as writing/tutoring centers as much as you need to. Also be sure to get to know your professors. You can email them and ask what study strategies they recommend for their classes. Maybe take a lighter course load to ensure that you have enough time to succeed in each class. Your journey is far from over.

Also, check out the Premed Years podcast. There are some episodes that interview international students who successfully made it to med school in the US.
 
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intmedhopeful

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I am truly thankful for all the replies I got on here! I still don’t want to give up, medicine has been my dream for a long time, and thats why I am here and want to get some honest words from you. I made several mistakes this year and will try not to repeat them. I just hope these Bs don’t hold me back.
 

intmedhopeful

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Get off SDN and Reddit now, or only go on there for a specific question. Keep your head up, figure out how to study better (go to your university's academic help center), and get back at in the fall. Do NOT compare yourself to others...you are not competing against thousands of other students for that medical school seat, you are competing against yourself, and right now your negative self talk is defeating future you.

You are right. I hope you understand me though. It is hard to be hopeful for medicine when all I see on my transcript is Bs and B+ ‘s. I really have no one to ask, so I come here.
 

intmedhopeful

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You are NOT a failure. I think it is very impressive how international students come to a new country/new culture, take classes in a second (or third or forth) language, learn an academic system that may be drastically different than what they're used to, navigate different cultural norms, overcome biases, etc., and that's all after the huge amount of work to just get here in the first place. Perhaps not all of that applies to you, but still, give yourself a pat on the back. You overcame obstacles that your domestic peers didn't have to and you're still doing as well as, if not better than, they are academically.

I get that B's are disappointing, especially since as an international student and premed the standards are high. You can't give up hope. Use the summer to reflect on what went wrong WITHOUT beating yourself up. In the coming semester use resources such as writing/tutoring centers as much as you need to. Also be sure to get to know your professors. You can email them and ask what study strategies they recommend for their classes. Maybe take a lighter course load to ensure that you have enough time to succeed in each class. Your journey is far from over.

Also, check out the Premed Years podcast. There are some episodes that interview international students who successfully made it to med school in the US.

Thank you so much! You definitely made me feel better. Thanks for taking your time and replying. In terms of course load, what would be an ideal course selection? People here usually advise me to go for two stem and two non stem classes, as classes here are pretty hard, but I am not a good writer so i tend to avoid humanities classes because I don’t want to add new Bs to my transcript. What would you advise?
Thanks in advance:)
 

intmedhopeful

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International students face substantial additional barriers to applying to a US medical school--many schools simply don't accept international students, and those that do often require the equivalent of 4 years tuition to be placed in escrow. International students also are not eligible for federal loans, and will be unlikely to qualify for private loans without a US cosigner. Therefore, the only realistic option for F1 students is to apply to top programs that accept international students and also offer scholarships.

Very right!
 

JAK2-STAT3

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Thank you so much! You definitely made me feel better. Thanks for taking your time and replying. In terms of course load, what would be an ideal course selection? People here usually advise me to go for two stem and two non stem classes, as classes here are pretty hard, but I am not a good writer so i tend to avoid humanities classes because I don’t want to add new Bs to my transcript. What would you advise?

Defining ideal course load depends on many factors, such as when certain courses are offered, what gen ed requirements you need to meet, when you want to take the MCAT, etc. It seems like you still need at least 2 more chemistry classes, 2 physics classes, and at least 2 more biology classes, a stats class, and possibly a psychology class to meet the prereqs of most schools. That's at least 9 classes spread out over 6 semesters. Definitely consult your adviser, but it seems feasible that you could take a lighter semester next fall without falling off the curve. I see at least two options:

1. Take 2 STEM classes. Email the professors of these classes and ask whether students typically take these two classes at the same time and succeed. Ask your adviser the same thing. But this may not be the best strategy if you're not confident you can improve from this year.

2. Take a lighter semester with less than 2 STEM classes or a STEM class and maybe intro to psychology. I struggled with some introductory biology classes and got a couple of B's freshman and sophomore year. I was taking a heavy course load and did not know how to study science. Then, I studied abroad in the fall of my junior year and did no science that semester. I had a great time and came back refreshed. That spring I had a very light course load kind of by accident. It included 2 upper level biology classes that I absolutely loved, and I finally learned how to study science. Then I had a very heavy course load through my senior year but excelled because I loved the science I was learning and knew how to effectively study it. The point is, sometimes taking a lighter semester and really focusing on the few classes you're taking can do wonders for your study habits and allow you to excel with a heavier load in the future.

I get your urge to avoid humanities classes, but writing is SUPER important and too much avoidance will hurt you in the long run. There are some wonderful humanities classes and disciplines that will help you become a better thinker, scholar, and person, and you'll need to write personal statements and secondaries for med school too. These classes can also have wonderful professors (especially at a liberal arts college) that can become mentors and help with your writing. Have you reached out to international students and/or your adviser to point you towards classes/professors that are especially good at helping with writing? Does your school have a writing center? My undergrad had the option for students to make a weekly appointment to meet with a tutor do work on whatever writing they had at the time. Many international students used this and found the consistency helpful. I see you've already taken 2 English classes, which is great, but I'd encourage you to take at least a couple more humanities classes over the next few years.

For the coming semester you might even consider taking just 3 classes (if you can maintain your full-time status for visa purposes): one STEM class, one carefully chosen humanities class that you think will help you with writing, and one other class. If your grades improve you can carry your newfound strategies over to the spring and take a heavier course load.

No matter what, don't be afraid to reach out to your academic adviser and/or another professor you trust. They are there to help you and they want you to succeed.
 

intmedhopeful

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Defining ideal course load depends on many factors, such as when certain courses are offered, what gen ed requirements you need to meet, when you want to take the MCAT, etc. It seems like you still need at least 2 more chemistry classes, 2 physics classes, and at least 2 more biology classes, a stats class, and possibly a psychology class to meet the prereqs of most schools. That's at least 9 classes spread out over 6 semesters. Definitely consult your adviser, but it seems feasible that you could take a lighter semester next fall without falling off the curve. I see at least two options:

1. Take 2 STEM classes. Email the professors of these classes and ask whether students typically take these two classes at the same time and succeed. Ask your adviser the same thing. But this may not be the best strategy if you're not confident you can improve from this year.

2. Take a lighter semester with less than 2 STEM classes or a STEM class and maybe intro to psychology. I struggled with some introductory biology classes and got a couple of B's freshman and sophomore year. I was taking a heavy course load and did not know how to study science. Then, I studied abroad in the fall of my junior year and did no science that semester. I had a great time and came back refreshed. That spring I had a very light course load kind of by accident. It included 2 upper level biology classes that I absolutely loved, and I finally learned how to study science. Then I had a very heavy course load through my senior year but excelled because I loved the science I was learning and knew how to effectively study it. The point is, sometimes taking a lighter semester and really focusing on the few classes you're taking can do wonders for your study habits and allow you to excel with a heavier load in the future.

I get your urge to avoid humanities classes, but writing is SUPER important and too much avoidance will hurt you in the long run. There are some wonderful humanities classes and disciplines that will help you become a better thinker, scholar, and person, and you'll need to write personal statements and secondaries for med school too. These classes can also have wonderful professors (especially at a liberal arts college) that can become mentors and help with your writing. Have you reached out to international students and/or your adviser to point you towards classes/professors that are especially good at helping with writing? Does your school have a writing center? My undergrad had the option for students to make a weekly appointment to meet with a tutor do work on whatever writing they had at the time. Many international students used this and found the consistency helpful. I see you've already taken 2 English classes, which is great, but I'd encourage you to take at least a couple more humanities classes over the next few years.

For the coming semester you might even consider taking just 3 classes (if you can maintain your full-time status for visa purposes): one STEM class, one carefully chosen humanities class that you think will help you with writing, and one other class. If your grades improve you can carry your newfound strategies over to the spring and take a heavier course load.

No matter what, don't be afraid to reach out to your academic adviser and/or another professor you trust. They are there to help you and they want you to succeed.
This is the best response I have gotten so far! thank you so much!! Would u mind if I dm’ed u for some advice? Regarding course choices mainly.
 

readmypostsMD

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Hello dear people,
First time here: nervous and excited.

I just received my final grades, and I shall say my disappointment is immeasurable and my day is ruined. I got B+ in bio, B in chem and A in econ and B+ in english. My last semester grades were: B calculus, B chem, B+ english, A- first year seminar. I am from a good liberal arts college in northeast. Idk, I am crushed tbh. I have no intention of being arrogant or anything of that sort. I just feel desperate and need advice. Should I leave med path completely?
Thanks in advance.
P.S we also have optional pass and fail, so I can choose that for any course. Should I do it?

I wish I could be a freshman again...
Enjoy your time and socialize and go to parties
 
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HouseJC

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Hello dear people,
First time here: nervous and excited.

I just received my final grades, and I shall say my disappointment is immeasurable and my day is ruined. I got B+ in bio, B in chem and A in econ and B+ in english. My last semester grades were: B calculus, B chem, B+ english, A- first year seminar. I am from a good liberal arts college in northeast. Idk, I am crushed tbh. I have no intention of being arrogant or anything of that sort. I just feel desperate and need advice. Should I leave med path completely?
Thanks in advance.
P.S we also have optional pass and fail, so I can choose that for any course. Should I do it?

Hello fellow pre-med student,

I wouldn't hesitate too much based on your grades. Yes I know grades do matter, but at the same time, you are NOT defined based purely on grades. Your application also includes MCAT, ECs, personal statement, letters of recommendation, so keep your head up. Similar to what previous posters have said, medical school is a long road full of difficulties and disappointments. You are more than just grades!

If you feel that you want to explain why your grades are low(er) and less ideal (but still, B/B+'s are still commendable), I suggest you briefly reflect on this in your personal statement and state to the Admissions Committee how you learned from the mistakes and plan to improve in the future. Along the same line, if I may provide some general advice, rather than focusing on your grades, I recommend you to re-frame your perspective about this situation.

Instead of thinking, "omg, I got some lower than ideal grades", ask yourself, "okay. I got some lower than ideal grades. It's a stumbling block but not fatal. What can I do to do better in the future?"

Again, I'm not a med student, but just wish to give my .02.

Take care!
 
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intmedhopeful

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Hello fellow pre-med student,

I wouldn't hesitate too much based on your grades. Yes I know grades do matter, but at the same time, you are NOT defined based purely on grades. Your application also includes MCAT, ECs, personal statement, letters of recommendation, so keep your head up. Similar to what previous posters have said, medical school is a long road full of difficulties and disappointments. You are more than just grades!

If you feel that you want to explain why your grades are low(er) and less ideal (but still, B/B+'s are still commendable), I suggest you briefly reflect on this in your personal statement and state to the Admissions Committee how you learned from the mistakes and plan to improve in the future. Along the same line, if I may provide some general advice, rather than focusing on your grades, I recommend you to re-frame your perspective about this situation.

Instead of thinking, "omg, I got some lower than ideal grades", ask yourself, "okay. I got some lower than ideal grades. It's a stumbling block but not fatal. What can I do to do better in the future?"

Again, I'm not a med student, but just wish to give my .02.

Take care!
Thanks a lot, really appreciate the advice. I will definitely need to work on myself to change few things. Hopefully, I can report back in the future with better grades and profile.
 

ZeroTouchMeNot

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Look, as a previous F1 student I know how scary it is. I do.
Now, take a deep breath. The best thing you can do right now is to calm down, and start recognizing that you are doing well. Take one step at a time. Sit down, and think - why do you want to be a doctor? and draw motivation from there. Then do that exercise. When I was in your shoes, I actually failed one class (had a legit F), and had one C. I fixed it, kept going (because I am really hard-headed), and I am in medical school now. There were times when I was sure I couldn't do it. People straight out told me that I would never be a doctor. One of my "friends" actually asked me: "Are you a bride or a prostitute?" because these are the only two possible scenarios for a young foreign female..... Everything was scary... Horrible jobs, not seeing my family. It was hell. But you can do it! just keep pushing through.
I'm also an international student. If you're also an international student, how were you able to afford MD schools? This is currently my biggest problem right now :/
 
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  1. Your new thread title is very short, and likely is unhelpful.
  2. Your reply is very short and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  3. Your reply is very long and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  4. It is very likely that it does not need any further discussion and thus bumping it serves no purpose.
  5. Your message is mostly quotes or spoilers.
  6. Your reply has occurred very quickly after a previous reply and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  7. This thread is locked.