Seeking Advice on How To Cope with Dropping Pre-Med

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hyperbolicinjuries

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    I'm still waiting on my biology quiz scores to make a final decision, but I am taking summer biology for the sole reason of being premed. However, I have realized that I am likely not doing very well in the class (or at least not as well as I would like) and that it is taking a serious toll on my mental health and sleep schedule (possibly because I am not studying very efficiently or consistently, or because I am just **** at biology). Heck, I took biology honors at the high school level in 8th grade and struggled even back then. I got A's but they were low A's bolstered by homework points and often earned low 80s on exams.

    However, without this class there isn't really a way I can fit in the rest of my premed classes and graduate on time. Biology is a gateway to a lot of upper division electives which I'll need to boost my science GPA. I'm also kind of bothered by the fact I'm not really finding the material interesting (it's cellular biology for now).

    It's pretty likely I'll be dropping this class soon since tomorrow is the deadline to drop with a refund, but it's not a decision that's being made without a lot of sadness. Maybe the depression is clouding my judgment, but while I maybe still want to be a doctor, I have a gut feeling staying in this class isn't the best move. If I stayed in the class, however, it'd mean a lot more stress, a lot more studying, and handling the risk of maybe getting a bad grade.

    Dropping this class would be the end of being premed, at least in my undergrad years. I'm an economics and data science major so I have explored marketing, advertising, consulting, and consumer insights research. I enjoy those fields to some extent, but none of them had the "meaningful" and "for human good" component I was looking for in a career. I think I have some remaining passion for medicine from my younger idealistic days in middle/high school (back when I still earned A's in science with enough effort...) but I've also explored other fields that were more intuitive and somewhat meaningful to me also.

    Also regarding the depression part, I've been to multiple therapists. They were helpful or not helpful to varying degrees, but since I have childhood trauma I think I was looking for some more consistent emotional support and not really a toolkit to handle the fall out, so I quit therapy when COVID started and am just riding out the emotions on my own for the most part.

    If anyone has any advice/perspective on how to handle the fallout, it'd be appreciated. Honestly, I feel like the writing has been on the wall for a while in the sense that medicine wasn't for me, starting with handicaps I've noticed in my science abilities since I was in elementary school, my iffy science grades, and me deciding on economics as a major versus something more scientific.
     
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    Goro

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      You yourself stated that "I'm not really finding the material interesting". That's not a sin.


      However, I have realized that I am likely not doing very well in the class (or at least not as well as I would like)

      Based upon your previous posts, is "not doing well" defined as failing, getting a D or a C?

      and that it is taking a serious toll on my mental health and sleep schedule (possibly because I am not studying very efficiently or consistently, or because I am just **** at biology).

      depression is poorly treated on anonymous internet message boards. Seek out your school's student services, your counseling center or better yet, your own doctor, for help. This is NOT giving medical advice.


      However, without this class there isn't really a way I can fit in the rest of my premed classes and graduate on time. Biology is a gateway to a lot of upper division electives which I'll need to boost my science GPA. I'm also kind of bothered by the fact (it's cellular biology for now).

      As I and other have already told you, it's time to take a break. med schools won't be going anywhere, and by the time if/when you're ready to apply, more will have opened their doors.

      OR, change your major to something that really interests you. We're diving headlong into an economic depression, not merely a recession, and so economists will be needed.
       

      hyperbolicinjuries

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        You yourself stated that "I'm not really finding the material interesting". That's not a sin.


        However, I have realized that I am likely not doing very well in the class (or at least not as well as I would like)

        Based upon your previous posts, is "not doing well" defined as failing, getting a D or a C?

        and that it is taking a serious toll on my mental health and sleep schedule (possibly because I am not studying very efficiently or consistently, or because I am just **** at biology).

        depression is poorly treated on anonymous internet message boards. Seek out your school's student services, your counseling center or better yet, your own doctor, for help. This is NOT giving medical advice.


        However, without this class there isn't really a way I can fit in the rest of my premed classes and graduate on time. Biology is a gateway to a lot of upper division electives which I'll need to boost my science GPA. I'm also kind of bothered by the fact (it's cellular biology for now).

        As I and other have already told you, it's time to take a break. med schools won't be going anywhere, and by the time if/when you're ready to apply, more will have opened their doors.

        OR, change your major to something that really interests you. We're diving headlong into an economic depression, not merely a recession, and so economists will be needed.

        1) It's not a sin but doesn't having no interest in biology mean it's not for you?

        2) I don't have any quiz grades back yet but I know at least 1 went terribly out of 3.

        3) I've been to therapy, as stated. I've learned all I could in treating depression minus taking meds.
         
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        TinyBaer1

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          Hi! I just looked at your previous post and wanted to comment because I also struggled a bit while in college. First of all, I think your quiz grade is fine. I have gotten close to the bottom on exams before but honestly, I think everything just gets diluted after taking so many classes. A B- in orgo I is not bad either.

          I also hated the first bio class I took, but I loved biology research and that is what kept me as a premed. I also did well on related classes (biochem), so I just dismissed the bio course as one bad class. I also took some graduate-level bio classes and loved them. I also think intro bio is really simplified and biology is so much more than memorizing what is in textbooks.

          It's fine to take a break from being premed and return to taking pre-med classes later. I did that for a semester to fulfill my school's general education requirements, and it was very relaxing. I think it's definitely fine to also major in something that is not science-related and still be premed. Sometimes I wish I did not major in a science discipline in college. I do want to note that taking ALL the recommended pre-reqs (including psychology, sociology, and physiology) helps tremendously with the MCAT.

          But feel free to take everything I said with a grain of salt because I'm just applying to medical school now and haven't gotten in. However, I feel confident that most everyone will get into medical school if they wanted to, though for some the route might be more circuitous.
           
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          Goro

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            1) It's not a sin but doesn't having no interest in biology mean it's not for you?

            2) I don't have any quiz grades back yet but I know at least 1 went terribly out of 3.

            3) I've been to therapy, as stated. I've learned all I could in treating depression minus taking meds.
            1) If you have no interest in Biology, then yes, you'll hate medical school. And you'll nee dot get through upper level Bio courses as a UG student.

            3) Again, you need to talk to your doctor. Frankly, I'm just seeing excuses as to why you don't want to get help that you need.

            I have a relative who also has depression, and is also a non compliant patient. He felt that his anti-depressant didn't help him, and he didn't want any more help. he sure liked self-medicating with pot and alcohol though.

            I tried vainly to explain to him that if X doesn't work, you need to try a higher dose of X, add in Y, or switch to Y. Talking to a wall.
             
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              My worst pet peeve is younglings who come to me asking for advice on how to get into medical school, then reveal they only idealistically clung so hard to being pre-med because they got straight As their whole life.

              Being really smart is NOT the reason to think you should be pre-med. Just as going through challenging classes and making it out with a C or two/ some Bs and not As is NOT a reason to give up on pre-med if you’re really meant for it.

              You HAVE to spend less time miserably slogging along and being all-or-nothing with every bio quiz. You are not stuck, you always have a way out. Spend more time really focusing on what makes you happy NOW, with who you are NOW with all the experiences you’ve had, NOT the straight A middle schooler you used to be. No guilt! You reorienting yourself to find happiness is the BEST thing you can do for yourself.

              Altruism is also not in of itself a reason to stay pre-med. There will always be opportunities to apply whatever your expertise or skill is to helping underserved, younglings coming after you, or other groups of interest that need your help. You just have to look for them.

              Depression is a beast. I am sympathetic to that. But you are an adult, and you can’t use it as an excuse to not listen to advice or cling to stubborn, pessimistic behavior. You have the power to try and do something about it, and people here are trying to point you in the right direction. It will take hard work to figure out what works for you, but that is your priority right now.
               
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