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MD What did you do (wish you did) the summer before med school?

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canmed96

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Grind starts in two months, what did you do to enjoy yourself or even to prepare for med school (or wish you did)?
 

Nucleophile1

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I traveled, went to festivals and parties, saw family and friends, etc. I did not do anything to prepare for medical school and I'm glad I spent that summer having fun.
 
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atomi

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If you have the option of staying at/moving back to your undergrad campus/college town for the summer, I would do that. Sublets are cheap. College towns are awesome in the summer. Very relaxing. Find a group of few cool people and relax/have fun.

That's what I would do.

What I actually did was a 4 week intensive language program in Europe where I stayed with a host family and then traveled for a week. That's also a good idea because they are designed for students and are very cheap. (e.g., 500 euro will pay your tuition + room/board with a host family for one of these programs). Try spending a comfortable month in Europe at hotels and it will run you 5000 euro.
 

bananafish94

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I went on road trips and worked as a TA for a summer course to make some extra money. It was a great summer. I would definitely not do any studying science-wise because you will not retain it, contribute to your own burnout, and waste your last true summer of freedom.

I do have one off-the-beaten-path suggestion that I might have considered doing in retrospect: if you have the ability to take some sort of course where you can learn basic Spanish, that will be magnitudes more valuable in medical school (and life) than studying the Krebs cycle only to forget it in a week. Many of the patients you encounter in 3rd year only speak Spanish, and if everyone on your team only speaks English, you have to get a translator which takes time, or use a translating service over the phone, all of which leads to inhibited communication. If you are conversant in Spanish, you would be invaluable to your residents and attendings and would also possibly directly contribute to better patient relationships and outcomes! Just my two cents.
 
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Dox4lyfe

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Related question: does anyone know if summer service (teaching) &/or research experiences abroad, say in South America, to get that Spanish language and cultural immersion (I've heard it helps a ton with becoming more fluent in Spanish) is something that people mention on ERAS?
 

Dox4lyfe

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Grind starts in two months, what did you do to enjoy yourself or even to prepare for med school (or wish you did)?
Most common things I've heard:

- Travel
- Learn to cook
- Learn Spanish (already mentioned)
- Travel some more
- Spend as much time as possible with family and friends
- Get swole
 

sunshinefl

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Stayed in my undergrad town, hung out with my then boyfriend (now husband), went to sports events at my undergrad university (limited due to season but like baseball and softball playoffs), worked like crazy (I was an RN) to pay for a trip to London, Paris, and Rome with my little sister for a couple weeks right before school started, got engaged when I came back from Europe, bought my wedding dress, toured and picked a venue and date, moved to medical school city.
 

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I don't start until August, so my plans are simple: I submitted notice to my jobs and within 2-3 weeks I will be completely unemployed, leaving me 5 weeks of total freedom, which I haven't had since I was 14. My plan is to hit the gym to solidify a good routine before the grind starts, but outside of that I am doing whatever the hell I want. Don't want to people that day? I'll play video games. Neat festival downtown? I'll definitely go. Feel like going to that random city hours away I've never been to? Road trip! I'll also catch up with all my friends before I have to move to my medical school city.
I imagine this is my last summer of true freedom for a while and I am absolutely going to take advantage of that fact.
 

thestudiousmeathead

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I went out to the Rocky Mountains, rode a horse 15 miles into the wilderness, lived in a tent for a week, and shot a black bear (in an area where the gov't issued tons of licenses because their population was out of control).

It was awesome, and totally refreshed me. Starting classes in one month and looking forward to it, not doing any "pre-studying."
 
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rg2o3

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Lately I’ve been spending time with family, getting a ton of running and working out in, attempting to cook new things, reading for leisure. I’m not big on going out and such and many of my friends have families. So, I can say that I have been going kind of crazy with boredom. If I had the money, I’d definitely be traveling.
 
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tbonez71

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Honestly... I make good money and I wanted to work kind of up until the last moment. A week of work is nearly two months of future rent for me, and I can use the money I save to pay for a crazy international trip later on. I won't be making jack for the next 8-10 years too. So even though I am a big traveler, I'm only taking two weeks off between work and school. It is kind of killing me inside not to go somewhere spontaneously for a month or two, but I was trying to be financially smart.

In those two weeks though I plan on fishing, camping, mountain biking, then packing all my stuff up and visting some national parks and cities as I move across the country. No festivals happening which is a bummer but I will find a way to scrounge up time for that in school ;)
 
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7331poas

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Have several thousand dollars magically appear in your bank account so you can live income-free for several months + incur travel expenses.
 
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themoonman2

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If possible, I'd suggest traveling somewhere you've always wanted to go for an extended period of time. You really won't have another good chance to do it.

Whatever you make working an extra few weeks is probably pennies compared to the loans you're taking out and the future income you'll likely make, so definitely don't work until the last minute so long as you'll still make rent/afford living.
 
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Ho0v-man

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I wish I’d shadowed a med student studying for finals or worse— boards. That way I could’ve had a better idea of what was to come so I could apply to PA school instead.
 
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GoCubsGo20

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Drank copious amounts of alcohol with friends.
 
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Dr. Scribe

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Grind starts in two months, what did you do to enjoy yourself or even to prepare for med school (or wish you did)?

Can answer with what I AM doing this summer (fellow c/o 2022 here):
  • working out
  • research projects at my COM
  • spending time with my family
  • pre-studying
 
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Redpancreas

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Grind starts in two months, what did you do to enjoy yourself or even to prepare for med school (or wish you did)?

Met more of my future classmates and tried new things that would have made me more well rounded in medical school. Probably would have increased my chances at AOA more so than neurotically browsing SDN (aimed at my past self,not you).
 

BigRedBeta

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Oh man, that was such a great summer...

Taught Kaplan for MCAT and ACT prep which was super chill and paid well, lived in a house with 5 of my fraternity brothers, went to the bars 5 nights a week, grilled out all the time. This was 2005 so Blockbuster still existed and they had this unlimited movie plan for like $30/month that you could have out 2 movies at any one time...so I was going into the store at least once a day sometimes twice. I definitely got my money's worth out of that.

If I could do anything different, I would have added a gym routine, but that really wasn't my thing at the time (not that it is now as an attending with a busy family life to go home to). I also would have tried to do some traveling abroad.
 
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knope321

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I found out before Jan that I got into a state school so I was coasting second semester of senior year. I actually worked a little bit over the summer and tried to be healthy. I did a bit of travelling and some Netflix. But I'd also take time to do some little maintenance things that are just annoying to do first year:
- All the random stuff your school wants you to do- we had HIPPA stuff, immunization things; get it out of the way
- Go to doctors appointments (primary care, dentist, optometrist)
- Get some clothes for clinical stuff (coming out of college my wardrobe was 70% leggings and t-shirts)
- Take time to actually move into your new place and organize it well
- Get random **** like notebooks and pens and whatever else you think you'll need. It's nice to have it ready for you
- Try out meal prepping for a while, got the right containers and stuff off of Amazon
- **if you've been out of the routine for awhile, a couple weeks before, I would try to get back into a normal sleep routine for what your next semester would be like. I was on semi-vacation mode for like 4 months before summer so I didn't want to go crazy
 
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Donald Juan

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Can answer with what I AM doing this summer (fellow c/o 2022 here):
  • working out
  • research projects at my COM
  • spending time with my family
  • pre-studying
Other than working out, this is a list of what not to do your summer prior to med school
 
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Dr. Scribe

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Other than working out, this is a list of what not to do your summer prior to med school

I'm enjoying my time while doing those activities, so why shouldn't I do them?


Also, what's wrong with your family?
 

themoonman2

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I'm enjoying my time while doing those activities, so why shouldn't I do them?


Also, what's wrong with your family?

It's great you enjoy the activities of studying and doing research, because I guarantee you'll be spending plenty of time doing those once you've started school. Maybe try doing some stuff you won't have time for once school started (family time is great tho)?
 
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Dr. Scribe

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It's great you enjoy the activities of studying and doing research, because I guarantee you'll be spending plenty of time doing those once you've started school. Maybe try doing some stuff you won't have time for once school started (family time is great tho)?

I think I'm just a boring person tbh.

All I like to do is hoop, lift, and watch TV for leisure. Studying and doing research help me not feel like a complete bro/lazy f!ck lol
 
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NotYou20

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I went on road trips and worked as a TA for a summer course to make some extra money. It was a great summer. I would definitely not do any studying science-wise because you will not retain it, contribute to your own burnout, and waste your last true summer of freedom.

I do have one off-the-beaten-path suggestion that I might have considered doing in retrospect: if you have the ability to take some sort of course where you can learn basic Spanish, that will be magnitudes more valuable in medical school (and life) than studying the Krebs cycle only to forget it in a week. Many of the patients you encounter in 3rd year only speak Spanish, and if everyone on your team only speaks English, you have to get a translator which takes time, or use a translating service over the phone, all of which leads to inhibited communication. If you are conversant in Spanish, you would be invaluable to your residents and attendings and would also possibly directly contribute to better patient relationships and outcomes! Just my two cents.
I agree that speaking Spanish is hugely helpful in the hospital. But I think you're seriously underestimating the time and effort required for someone who is starting with basic Spanish skills to be proficient enough to speak it with patients without doing more harm than good. It's very hard to not misinterpret people occasionally. It's hard to explain what you need to explain in a second language unless you're really good at it.

I have quite a few friends who can speak basic Spanish. It isn't actually helpful for them. You need to actually be good with the language. Two months alone won't cut it. Two months+ practicing throughout the first two years? you'll probably be competent. But i know I couldn't have dedicated 3-4 hours per week through second year.

For context I'm a third year and speak Spanish as a second language. I've always been good at it and I'm still at the lower limit of being able to visit with patients in Spanish only. I still sometimes need a resident to translate parts of the plan. I'm not comfortable with translating or discussing code status. At least once a visit I need to have patients clarify what they mean because I don't know. I think it would be a mess if I was even a little bit worse.
 
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Wolf3D

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Get laid more bro. Trust me, it gets harder from here on out. "I'm in med school" or "I'm a resident" (lmao) doesn't drop as many panties as you'd think it would b/c chicks are smart enough now to know it means you don't have time to rave and smoke reefer at 2am with them
 
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GoCubsGo20

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Get laid more bro. Trust me, it gets harder from here on out. "I'm in med school" or "I'm a resident" (lmao) doesn't drop as many panties as you'd think it would b/c chicks are smart enough now to know it means you don't have time to rave and smoke reefer at 2am with them
Ahh you can still hit it on the weekends.
 

Wolf3D

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Ahh you can still hit it on the weekends.
The only thing you should be hitting on the weekends is that sweet sweet First Aid and Pathoma my man :asshat:
 
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GoCubsGo20

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The only thing you should be hitting on the weekends is that sweet sweet First Aid and Pathoma my man :asshat:
Absolutely. Plenty of friends engage in other recreational activities on the weekend.
 

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I went out to the Rocky Mountains, rode a horse 15 miles into the wilderness, lived in a tent for a week, and shot a black bear (in an area where the gov't issued tons of licenses because their population was out of control).

It was awesome, and totally refreshed me. Starting classes in one month and looking forward to it, not doing any "pre-studying."
BD2B6205-F859-4D9A-BE2E-1AD6873481DE.gif

(I read your post in this man’s voice)
 
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TSteezy

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Whatever you do, don't try and prepare
 

TypeADissection

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I golfed almost daily and barely made a dent in my score. Shot in the 120-140s the entire summer and didn’t even care. Worked out. Drank a lot. My buddy built a full size beach volleyball pit in his backyard. Did that every Tuesday followed by more beer, BBQ and Red Sox baseball. It was wonderful. I loved it so much I did it again between my first and second year of med school. Something weird happened both times, I started to get the itch to study and learn towards the end of vacation. It was amazing.
 
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Donald Juan

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I'm enjoying my time while doing those activities, so why shouldn't I do them?


Also, what's wrong with your family?
You do you, just pointing out how bad your advice is to others. I may be a masochist who enjoys sounding but it doesn't mean I'm gonna recommend it to every patient with ED.
 

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You do you, just pointing out how bad your advice is to others. I may be a masochist who enjoys sounding but it doesn't mean I'm gonna recommend it to every patient with ED.

When did I advise anyone to do what I am doing?
 

Donald Juan

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When did I advise anyone to do what I am doing?
Jesus you're high strung (must be all that research and studying keeping you happy and relaxed with your life :rolleyes:). You said what you were doing in a post about what to do the summer before med school. I said it was terrible idea for anybody. You said you liked it. It was implied advice and you were defending doing things like spending time with your family and research as pleasurable, enjoyable activities.

You just keep doing you. If you actually enjoy those things I'm not sure why you are so offended that I think you're a sociopath.
 
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Dr. Scribe

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Jesus you're high strung (must be all that research and studying keeping you happy and relaxed with your life :rolleyes:). You said what you were doing in a post about what to do the summer before med school. I said it was terrible idea for anybody. You said you liked it. It was implied advice and you were defending doing things like spending time with your family and research as pleasurable, enjoyable activities.

You just keep doing you. If you actually enjoy those things I'm not sure why you are so offended that I think you're a sociopath.

I didn’t imply anything- you made an inference.

I will keep doing myself (lulz)

Also, not offended, I’m enjoying our discussion.
 

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I just started med school two weeks ago. Before I started, I also kept looking for advice on how to prepare. Most students will tell you to do nothing and enjoy life. It is true that you should enjoy you time off before med school but I wish someone had told me to review biochemistry. That would have saved me so much stress during the first few weeks of med school. Specially because I was home doing nothing because of the pandemic. So my advice is to grab your old mcat book (don’t buy any additional books) and relearn the metabolism section (because if you’re like me, you forgot everything by now). Don’t worry about structures( how many carbons etc). Learn the pathways and pay special attention to rate limiting steps. I wish I had done that. There is SO much going on during the first few weeks of school. So much to adjust, and I already feel like I’m behind. It’s overwhelming. So it would have been nice to not have to stress over biochem at this point.
 
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7331poas

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Yeah, i mean the people saying that studying cannot help you are just bull****ting. If I could go back I would have definitely review biochem/metabolism/vitamins because that section was a real b*tch to learn during M1/M2.
 
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FutureDrAngel

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This thread is 2 years old and the OP hasn’t been on for a year.

edit: I was going to lock the thread since it’s so old, but actually it might be good for people to give answers in the world of COVID.
Yeah I know :) I found this thread a few months ago before I started med school. So decided to return and add my advice to (hopefully)help future incoming M1s that may end up here like I did.
 

DadIsFat

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I am working from home (or trying to- my kids are home too and love to come in while I am working) and hanging out with my family. I like the idea of brushing up on my Spanish. Took it in college but have not thought about it too much since. Has anyone here used Rosetta Stone? I may give that a look.
 

ak14

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I am working from home (or trying to- my kids are home too and love to come in while I am working) and hanging out with my family. I like the idea of brushing up on my Spanish. Took it in college but have not thought about it too much since. Has anyone here used Rosetta Stone? I may give that a look.

I'm using Pimsleur right now and really enjoying it. Would recommend. You can supplement with vocab resources and it really helps with the speaking portion of the language.
 
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Perrotfish

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I am working from home (or trying to- my kids are home too and love to come in while I am working) and hanging out with my family. I like the idea of brushing up on my Spanish. Took it in college but have not thought about it too much since. Has anyone here used Rosetta Stone? I may give that a look.
If you have time to treat learning Spanish as a job llook into Baselang. Venezuelan/Columbian company with 1:1 skype tutoring for $150/month, unlimited lessons. If you do 4 hours/day you'll probably be able to hold an intelligible converstion when classes start, especially if you studied Spanish in school already.

If you want something super casual, like 10-30 minutes/day of review, I would look at using either duolingo or memrise. Both free apps and high yield, and you could probably keep it up all through medical school

If you want something in between, like an hour or two of studying a day, I would use duolingo or memrise and supplement with yabla (a second subscription based app that helps with listening skills) and/or weekly tutoring through italki (skype tutoring with native speakers)

I have used Rosetta stone and it is both expensive and awful.
 
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Frogger27

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If you have time to treat learning Spanish as a job llook into Baselang. Venezuelan/Columbian company with 1:1 skype tutoring for $150/month, unlimited lessons. If you do 4 hours/day you'll probably be able to hold an intelligible converstion when classes start, especially if you studied Spanish in school already.

If you want something super casual, like 10-30 minutes/day of review, I would look at using either duolingo or memrise. Both free apps and high yield, and you could probably keep it up all through medical school

If you want something in between, like an hour or two of studying a day, I would use duolingo or memrise and supplement with yabla (a second subscription based app that helps with listening skills) and/or weekly tutoring through italki (skype tutoring with native speakers)

I have used Rosetta stone and it is both expensive and awful.

Have you used baselang? Trying to find a way to brush up on my Spanish skills prior to interview season and this sounds intriguing
 
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Cornfed101

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I'm working full time wearing a mask and goggles in a job that I didn't ever wear a mask and goggles... it's stupid and I hate it (the goggles and mask, not the job). My advice if you aren't starting med school this cycle is to not start med school in the middle of a pandemic.
 
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Matthew9Thirtyfive

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I'm working full time wearing a mask and goggles in a job that I didn't ever wear a mask and goggles... it's stupid and I hate it (the goggles and mask, not the job). My advice if you aren't starting med school this cycle is to not start med school in the middle of a pandemic.

It’s actually kind of nice to not have to go in for all the dumb mandatory stuff, and at least here we are starting phased return to school. By the time August/September rolls around people will probably be back on campus for small stuff and will be able to socialize and meet people.
 
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GoCubsGo20

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I just started med school two weeks ago. Before I started, I also kept looking for advice on how to prepare. Most students will tell you to do nothing and enjoy life. It is true that you should enjoy you time off before med school but I wish someone had told me to review biochemistry. That would have saved me so much stress during the first few weeks of med school. Specially because I was home doing nothing because of the pandemic. So my advice is to grab your old mcat book (don’t buy any additional books) and relearn the metabolism section (because if you’re like me, you forgot everything by now). Don’t worry about structures( how many carbons etc). Learn the pathways and pay special attention to rate limiting steps. I wish I had done that. There is SO much going on during the first few weeks of school. So much to adjust, and I already feel like I’m behind. It’s overwhelming. So it would have been nice to not have to stress over biochem at this point.
Return to this in 3 years and tell me if you feel the same.
 
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