Nov 15, 2010
12
0
Status
Pre-Dental
Hi everyone!

So here's my situation, I'm a junior biopsych major and I have been volunteering time at one of labs on at my school since last March (not including the summer). The problem is I don't enjoy doing this, I feel like I'm not getting anywhere, and I feel as though no one would notice if I just never showed up again. There are a ton of undergrads here, and I know I would not be able to get a letter from the PI because I've seen him maybe once in the past semester. All I really do is cryostat and take pictures of tissue with the microscope even though I have pushed to become more involved. Because of this I do not have that many hours here.

I can talk about the project to a degree, but I just am not that involved in it. Does what I have mentioned count as research experience? I need to decide whether or not to continue after this semester, because I would need to be there during the break and I would have to arrange housing ( I could not be there during summer and that is why I have not moved ahead like the other undergrads that came in with me).

Okay, now here is my point, I truly do not wish to continue after this semester. But my GPA is very low. As of now I'm sub-3.0 in science/bcp and just at a 3.01 overall.

I plan on adding a fifth year to my undergrad. The highest I could get my science gpa would be around a 3.38/3.4 (math really did a number on my GPA). I plan to apply after that fifth year during a gap year. For E.C.'s, if I have substantial shadowing and volunteerism, as well as club leadership then would this suffice? Or would stopping research at the end of the semester be a bad move since I need to do everything I can to offset that gpa?
 

doc toothache

10+ Year Member
Jan 17, 2006
8,150
2,287
Status
Dentist
So here's my situation, I'm a junior biopsych major and I have been volunteering time at one of labs on at my school since last March (not including the summer). The problem is I don't enjoy doing this, I feel like I'm not getting anywhere, and I feel as though no one would notice if I just never showed up again. I can talk about the project to a degree, but I just am not that involved in it. Does what I have mentioned count as research experience? Or would stopping research at the end of the semester be a bad move since I need to do everything I can to offset that gpa?
1. You are doing research in an unofficial capacity
2. You are not particularly impressed with your "research"
3. Your pi may have a hard time recognizing you if he saw you in the lab's doorway
Which part of your involvement in research would be awe inspiring? Why not volunteer your time improving your gpa?
 
Aug 14, 2010
379
1
Status
Dental Student
I agree, drop the research and focus on your studies! Maybe you can take some GPA boosters during the spring/summer.
 
OP
Funfish
Nov 15, 2010
12
0
Status
Pre-Dental
Thanks for the responses. I am doing a lot to work on my GPA and I do feel the lab commitment has been kind of a waste of time that could be spent studying. I think I am just concerned that once I've gotten my GPA up as high as it can go, having no research experience could be detrimental to my application overall, since it'll still be relatively low. But if it won't really matter then I could really use the winter break to get more shadowing and community service hours.
 

7 Iron

5+ Year Member
Oct 8, 2010
686
9
Status
Dentist
I would drop the lab work... you clearly haven't done that much to contribute to the project and you don't seem to have any interest in it. (That's OK, it happened to me too.) Focus on your coursework and find an extracurricular that you enjoy more, or, get some more shadowing hours down. I'm pretty sure lots of applicants get into dental school without formal research experience (as long as they did SOME sort of extracurricular activities and shadowing.)
 

yappy

10+ Year Member
Jul 11, 2008
3,086
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Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Same thing happened to me. I volunteered to do research with a lab and a PI sprung an assignment for me to start thursday ON that same thursday - the week before an anatomy & biochem mideterm - that would take ALL weekend. I said "sorry this is not what I signed up for" and quit. This was after spending 15 hrs that same week doing other stuff for them. Our original agreement was 5hr/wk.

GPA > research for preDS students IMO.
 
OP
Funfish
Nov 15, 2010
12
0
Status
Pre-Dental
So if I were to quit this week, should I even bother putting this on my DS application in the future? And is it risky enough to apply without research that I should look for additional research experience in a different lab later on?
 

hoylematt

10+ Year Member
Nov 23, 2008
420
3
Status
Pre-Dental
Grades>DAT>EC's and Research, in that order.

Focus on your grades and DAT scores first, if you apply with a 3.0, research isn't going to make all that much difference.
 
OP
Funfish
Nov 15, 2010
12
0
Status
Pre-Dental
Grades>DAT>EC's and Research, in that order.

Focus on your grades and DAT scores first, if you apply with a 3.0, research isn't going to make all that much difference.
Yes, this I am aware of, and I do not intend on applying with my current GPA by any means. I apologize that I haven't been very clear. My GPA is low mostly because of my first 1.5 years of college. As of now my grades are 100% better, and they have not suffered from the time spent in the lab.

My concern was not that lab work will replace poor performance GPA-wise, I was just wondering in terms of ECs (not GPA or DAT) where lab work and research would fall and how detrimental it would be to lack that, especially because of my GPA (still realizing that GPA is more important). But it seems from these responses that research is not as important as I was thinking. Thanks everyone! :D
 

peanutb123

10+ Year Member
Sep 1, 2008
1,211
8
Status
Pre-Dental
dont stress it regarding the lab work counting towards EC. It will. Just make sure to put it in a good wording when you explain it.

Regarding your interest in doing research. I know how you feel. Here is what i would. I would wait till sem. is over then tell the lab rats good bye and good day. then resign. B/c if you are doing something that you do not like or you believe you are wasting your time. Especially Ec's then its gonna hinder your grades, performance in classes and mood of daily life.

Personally when i do something for a long time i do not like. I get really pissed off. So if I were you i would quit it.

To be honest research is ONLY IMPORTANT if you publish it, otherwise you are just another lab rat.

Your call good luck