Taking Organic Chemistry I and II this summer and considering doing volunteering as well

yeetus

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I am a rising sophomore who is going to be taking orgo this summer (as is common with premeds at my school). My class involves lecture every weekday and a test on Tuesdays each week. It will be held online due to COVID-19 and the lab component of it will be held at school during the fall (if school reopens by then).

I'm thinking about doing volunteering at my local Food Bank or at Meals on Wheels but would like to know if doing such volunteering is advisable or if I should be fully dedicated to the class. I'll also be moving to a different state at the end of June though I doubt it will be much of problem as the class is online and the Food Bank/Meals on Wheels operate nationwide.

On one hand the summer class is two semesters of a notoriously hard subject packed into two months and may require full commitment to get a good grade. On the other hand, I were to choose to dedicate all my time to summer orgo without volunteering, that might raise red flags to med schools as signs of slacking off and not helping during a pandemic. I've never taken a summer class before so I'm pretty confused on the matter.
 

la flame

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Your taking 2 semesters of orgo in 1 summer? I’m assuming each class is about 5 weeks. Before I made an A in Orgo 1 in fall 2019, I took it as a 5 week course during the summer at my university and I dropped it before the W deadline would show up in my transcript. The reason I dropped it was because after our first week of class, we had covered 5 chapters of ochem and had a test the upcoming Monday. In my fall semester, we didn’t reach chapter 5 until our second exam 1.5 months after class started..........

basically what I’m trying to say is accelerated ochem courses move FAST as heck. And your doing 2 summers of it? Spend your time studying and enjoying any free time you have........if any. Adcoms will prefer an A over anything.
 
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drgoldenboy

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Don't take orgo during the summer. I did the same thing as the poster above and also dropped out. It's too hard. As is commonly said, this is a marathon and not a sprint. Take upper level bio courses or something instead. Save orgo for regular semester/quarter.
 

InfamousDoc

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I am not certain what you academic background is, but if you have done well in your other science courses you may indeed succeed in this situation. However, many folks advise against taking pre-req courses over the summer, especially prominent ones like organic chemistry (not to mention both semesters packed in 1 summer). Also, I do not think vicissitudes in learning justifies to the adcom that you REALLY needed to take organic chemistry I and II in one summer.
 

Detective SnowBucket

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Eh, take it if you can do well. That only depends on your academic history so far. If you are only taking one course at a time over the summer then you'll do as well as you could otherwise. Volunteering shouldn't be much of a problem on top unless you're a poor student.
 

yeetus

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FWIW I’ve gotten As in Gen Chem I and II and the first semester of Bio (second semester is taken in the sophomore fall semester at my school). Many premeds at my school take summer orgo to avoid having to take Bio II with orgo and be able to take the MCAT in the summer after sophomore year to leave room for applying a year later if they need to improve their score (summer before senior).
 
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Ho0v-man

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Hi I usually don’t comment on these types of threads but the title grabbed me. I took ochem 1&2 in mini terms over the summer and it was absolutely the hardest part of undergrad for me. Our class started with about 30 people and ended with 4 (granted a couple of those only needed ochem 1). The schedule involved a test over multiple chapters on Monday and a lab on Wednesday. You walked out of a two hour test and went directly to the library to start studying for next weeks exam. About two hours of lecture the entire summer but it was mostly read the book and do the practice questions. It was freaking torture and I’d strongly recommend against extracurriculars if at all possible. Like a *****, I had a full time job working overnight and a part time job so I didn’t sleep much that summer. But it was nice to have it out of the way and I felt personally better prepared for biochem than my classmates who took ochem the traditional way. Diamonds are made under pressure I guess.
 
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PapaGuava

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I think the point has been beaten to death but yes I would not recommend taking Organic 1/2 over the summer. Courses like Organic and Physics are like a new language that need time to synthesize especially if you have no background. However, since you have decided to take the course, I think with having the lab component eliminated until the fall this will free up more study time so you should do fine if you have a good academic background. Although I don’t think stacking volunteering on top of it would be a good idea.

Adcoms will not think you’re slacking for lack of volunteering over the summer but they will care about your grades and wonder why you took summer courses and couldn’t handle them if it doesn’t goal well. So just prioritize.

@yeetus
 
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