quitting my job

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10+ Year Member
Oct 22, 2010
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I'd like your guys' opinion on this plan.

I'm 22 years old, I graduated from college in May 2010 from Berkeley (my major was sociology) and have since decided to go back to school and do pre-dental post bacc coursework. I've already applied to formal post-bacc programs nearby and will begin a formal program in the summer of 2011.

However, since it's been about 4 years since the last time I took any math/science classes, I'm considering quitting my job to enroll in trig/pre-calc (i'll take calc 1 over the summer), as well as basic physics and chem review at my hometown junior college for spring 2011. The junior college chem and physics courses are not equivalent to those that are required by medical/dental schools. They're just review to help prepare students for those pre-med classes.

Is it a good idea to quit work now to brush up on my math/science skills before formally starting my most-bac?

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If youre just preparing, I honestly think you can do it yourself without quitting and wasting money for classes. Just buy some books and get to it. Physics and chem really arent that difficult (I was a psych major so I know where you're coming from). I would just take trig since you plan on taking calc.
Will you be taking those courses Pass/Fail? Doing so could take the pressure off so you can still work. However, if you ace them they might help out your science GPA. :D Just something to consider.
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So you think that preparatory physics and chem are unnecessary?

There is an evening trig/pre-calc courses available at the junior college near my work. You think it's enough to just take that?
When I took gen chem 1, it had been 7 years since I had taken a science course. It took a moderate amount of effort to get an A in the class. If you have already been through college once, gen chem 1 is not that hard. It's only difficult for people fresh out of high school who do not realize that some studying is required.

If you plan on taking a semester of calc, an evening pre-calc may be nice. I took calc 1 without having had a math class for 7 years, and it was difficult. You use a lot of trig, and if you are uncomfortable with trig, it will place you behind. So either take a trig/ pre-calc class, or as was suggested, just review trig fundamentals on your own.
The answer to this is how taxing is your job.

I'm actually taking a christmas job with two weeks for finals. This sounds crazy, but I'm low on tuition funds and well it's the only offer I've had of a part time gig, after I quit the full time job last year.

My first advice re job situation is to try what I did, which is talk and take all vacation for a summer course first. Make sure you are ready to re enter the classroom.

Then make your decision if it is time to bite the bullet, cause student finances is very different from working, and well... don't be surprised if you loose many of your work friends. Different lifestyles I guess.
I had a demanding job (chemist, ~55hr/wk) that i combined with part-time grad school for about 2yrs, but quit only when i absolutely had to in order to graduate on time and matriculate for med school..

U can definitely balance the two... trust me i'm not the most disciplined or organized guy so it's doable and will lighten ur debt load. It's also experience that's valuable from an admission POV (if u can sell it) teamwork, responsibility, reliability, multitasking etc etc.

So you think that preparatory physics and chem are unnecessary?

There is an evening trig/pre-calc courses available at the junior college near my work. You think it's enough to just take that?
I never took physics in my entire life and the last math I had was about 8-9 years ago. I'm getting an A in physics with no problem.

I'm not doing so hot on chem (B+/A-) because of the first test where I got a low score (D-), but the rest is doable. The only chem I took before was 1 semester of high school chem with a "D" grade, which was 10 years ago.
:laugh:I think that it is doable. I will be taking chem II next semester, and it has been 10 years since I had chem I. Physics is going well, and I haven't taken physics in 10 years. One trick is to read ahead. Before class starts, read the first 3-4 chapters. Be ready for that first test before school even begins.

The Khan academy also helps solidify some concepts. I will be using it to review general chemistry before my class begins in January: http://www.khanacademy.org/

Good luck!
Ah man, but what if i really hate my job lol?! In addition to taking pre-calc next semester (which is required to be completed prior to enrolling in any of the post-bacc programs I've applied to) I'm also going to try and enroll in General Bio 1A at a local state college (assuming there's space in the class).

I hope to apply to dental school in the next three years and, consequnetly, would like to get started on completing my prereqs as soon as possible. I also want to make sure I'll do well in them, which is why I think I may benefit from some other remedial type science courses. Although, I know I'll do well in bio, as I took AP and got a 4 in high school.

Thanks for the link -- that's very useful.