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What if I don't get into pharmacy school/fail pharmacy school?

Discussion in 'Pre-Pharmacy' started by waterdiva, Mar 8, 2018.

  1. waterdiva

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    I'm from Alabama and the only 2 pharmacy schools in my state are Auburn and Samford.

    I'm currently a Senior, graduating class of 2018. I haven't decided what I wanted to be/do. I already got accepted into college and got some scholarships. I'm a very nervous/anxious person. I always doubt myself and stress. I have a 3.50 GPA, I'm 87th out of 288 students, 19 ACT and wanting to be a pharmacy student. Here are some questions I have:
    1. I'm scared of college, what to do?
    2. How do you deal with professors who are bad teachers?
    3. I had a chemistry teacher my sophomore year and she wasn't the best teacher.
    4. If I can't even do well on the ACT or have a 4.0 or higher GPA, then can I really handle taking the PCAT, NAPLEX, or pharmacy school?
    5. What if I do pass the PCAT and get into pharmacy school? If I fail pharmacy school, will I still have to pay $100,000+ debt?
    6. I'm afraid I might have a bad/unprofessional professor who isn't willing or can't teach the student(s). What to do?
    7. Are there student favorites that professors have? Do you have to play nice with teachers?
    8. I'm afraid of failing pharmacy school and not knowing what to do with my life?
    9. Do I have to make a 4.0+ GPA, top of my class, and have a high ACT to handle pharmacy school?
    10. If I did fail pharmacy school, how would I handle that debt?
    11. How do you cope with stress, anxiety, depression, etc. in the pharmacy school?
    12. I'm not a good test taker and have testing anxiety, what should I do?
    13. I'm kind of slow in terms of anticipation and understanding things. I always have to ask people to repeat themselves, ask for further directions, have someone show me how things are done, and just always ask more than twice to make sure things are correct.
    14. What are the professors at pharmacy school like?
    These are some questions I have. I may have left things out or repeated because I'm just slow... Please add anything that would help me better prepare for pharmacy school or be a better student.
     
  2. capri1722

    capri1722 c/o 2022

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    Wow okay there’s a lot to unpack here.
    Okay, hold up one second. Take a breath. You’ll be fine. Did you ever have those teachers in elementary/middle school who said stuff like, “High school won’t be this easy!” or similar? But then you got to high school and yeah it was definitely harder than elementary/middle school, but nothing you couldn’t handle. College is exactly the same way. I haven’t transitioned to pharmacy school yet but I assume it’s the same way. One of my friends over in the pre-vet forum had the same experience transitioning to vet school. It’s fine. You’ll be fine.
    It happens. Every department has professors that are known for being great and ones that are known for being terrible. Make friends with students in your department who are 1-2 years ahead of you and ask them who’s good for this class or that class. Make friends with students in your department who are the same year as you so that you have a good study group when you get to the upper division classes. Ask your university what tutoring services are available. Just to give you an idea, at my university, just for Calculus I, there’s the campus tutoring center, the math tutoring center, and the tutoring center on the other campus for all students, and TRIO/STEM-H if you qualify. That’s not to mention office hours. Most professors are more than happy to help you out if you go to their office hours.
    Yes. My high school GPA was barely a 3.5 (sounds impressive, but literally half my graduating class had a higher GPA than me and at least 10% were above a 4.0) with an ACT of 32. Not like anyone actually cares about those numbers after your first semester of college anyway though. You’re putting too much pressure on yourself.
    …then you go to pharmacy school? Assuming that’s even what you still want to do after a couple semesters. Something like 70% of undergrads change their major at least once. I was one of those that was like “pfft, I know what I want to do, I’m not going to even consider anything except elementary education.” You can guess how that worked out.
    I’m guessing you’re smart enough to know how debt works right? You don’t pay all four years’ tuition upfront, and you only pay back what you owe. You could have a large savings or lots of scholarships that offset the amount of loans you take out.
    It happens, but professors who don’t care are more rare than the teachers who care but are just bad. See above.
    “Play nice?” What, are you getting in fights every other day with your high school teachers or something? Professors don’t have favorites but they’re more likely to help you out if they at least know who you are. This is why you go to office hours. You’re not getting a rec letter from a professor based solely on your grade in their class.
    Your undergrad school probably has some sort of career services that can help you figure out a Plan B or Plan C and so on. Also, work in a pharmacy. You just need to be 18 and have a high school diploma or equivalent to get certified. Your state may or may not require certification, and may or may not have additional requirements. Join a pre-pharmacy club if available to help with this. (Btw, if you can pass the PTCE, the PCAT will be a cakewalk. The former was far more difficult for me.)
    Lol no. See above.
    You’d find a way. You got this far. (This is the attitude I take with most huge abstract potential future problems btw. You can’t do anything about it now, so focus on your schoolwork instead. If it comes to that then you’ll find a way to work it out.)
    Same way you cope with stress, anxiety, depression, etc. outside of pharmacy school?
    Talk to student accessibility services or the equivalent office on your campus. I know, test anxiety doesn’t sound like a real disability. On my campus, getting a letter from SAS was a prerequisite for any testing accommodations in your classes (for example, extra time).
    Office hours. Tutoring services. But I repeat myself.
    Yeah I got nothing for this, but I’m assuming the same as undergrad professors. Some are great, some are not so great, but you get through it.
     
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  3. BigBoss

    2+ Year Member

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    Maybe you should start at a community college first, then ease your way into a 4 year university. You can transfer credits that way and won’t be overwhelmed.


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  4. stoichiometrist

    7+ Year Member

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    Computer science would make a far better major for you. Pharmacy is definitely not for the faint of heart.
     
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  5. stickgirl390

    stickgirl390 I tell chemistry jokes periodically.
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    It appears as though the teachers in your life so far haven’t made the best impression on you. In College, much of the classwork and learning is self-driven. You get to take control over your education. You may end up liking it and accelling because the teachers are less involved. Just something to think about.
     
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  6. BlackDiamond277

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    You have tons of time before you need to start worrying about pharmacy school. You need to relax and focus one step at a time.
    First of all, you don't even know if you will want to be a pharmacist when you start applying 4 years from now, so all of this worrying is pointless. Second, have you ever worked/volunteered in a pharmacy? You need to do this before you apply to pharmacy school to know whether or not you'll even like it. It really isn't for the faint of heart and can be very overwhelming.

    A) The chemistry/biology classes you take in undergrad will give you an insight into whether or not you could handle pharmacy school. The ACT and your high school GPA are completely irrelevant and not very good judges of how well you will do.

    B) Bad teachers are everywhere. I agree with stickgirl390 that most of college and especially pharmacy school are self-driven. Having bad teachers will teach you to learn the material on your own. The professors in pharmacy school are more intense than in undergrad and will expect you to have gone over the material on your own before coming to their office hours to ask questions.

    C) You're fine. Undergrad is supposed to be one of the best experiences of your life. I truly miss it each day. Don't waste time going crazy worrying about things that you have ZERO control over at the moment and just live.
     
  7. waterdiva

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    What I mean by "play nice," do you have to be a professor's pet/favorite? Do I have to sweet talk my way to being loved by a professor?
     
  8. GypsyHummus

    7+ Year Member

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    Honestly, what I and alot of my college peers wish we would have done is work in the real world full time for 2 years, then do 2 years at Community college, then two years finishing up with an undergrad degree. Unless you are going into Accounting, Nursing, Engineering, or some other weirdly specific degree pathway (like Biotechnology or Microbiology B.S.), save as much money as you can. At the end of the day, 70% of college majors are worthless degrees, and the jobs that people get from those worthless degrees could have been gotten right out of high school or with some real world experience.

    I would work full time as a pharm tech for 2 years, see what the job is like. There are places that will hire you on and pay for your pharm tech training.
     
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  9. Amicable Angora

    Amicable Angora Lagomorpha
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    Answers BOLDED in your QUOTE.

    Answers BOLDED in your QUOTE.
     
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  10. HPAbby

    5+ Year Member

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    Don't let your performance on the ACT discourage you. I know people who had had stellar SAT scores who crashed and burned in college. Also, I felt like the PCAT was much easier to study for than the SAT because each section was essentially a review of the respective course that I took in college. I would recommend making neat, detailed notes in general chemistry, organic chemistry, biology, microbiology, and math. Refer back to the notes when you study for the PCAT. My Ochem notes really saved me lol.

    I am also a bad test taker, I realized that this was mostly due to my study strategies and habits. I experimented with different study methods and tried a different approach to note-taking and this really helped me.

    I'm not enrolled in pharmacy school so I cannot provide insight into what it is like, but I know any graduate programs tend to be very demanding due to the workload. Developing good study habits in college will really help you in grad school.

    Honestly, you seem very motivated and focused, I think you will be fine :)
     
  11. BC_89

    Moderator Lifetime Donor Verified Account 2+ Year Member

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    I know they teach you in school something along the lines of this :

    A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

    Your at a point where you don’t have life experience and this will be your first actual step towards that goal. You and I both know there’s no one perfect answer in your questionnaire sheet. What if you get hit by a bus? What if you go to sleep and not wake up? What if you hate science but love math?

    You need to take that “step” and experience that college life. Take heart and find out for yourself what works and what doesn’t. My advice? Don’t settle on one career choice just yet....work, study, socialize, find out what hobbies and interests give you the excitement or curiosity to get up everyday. Hell for some people it’s been decades and they still don’t know. For others they do minimal classes and jump in a career they know nothing about and wish they took the time to ponder and ask instead of jumping on the bandwagon.

    Tl;dr : Relax and learn. Let your experience mold you now for what’s yet to come. You’ll be fine we all had to start somewhere
     
    #11 BC_89, Mar 28, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2018
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  12. ChemTiger

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    You are not unreasonable to be worried about what will happen when you start college in the fall. That’s normal. First, fill out your FAFSA and minimize the amount of loans that you’ll have to take out to pay for school. You’ve been given good advice here: what I did was I did as many pharmacy prerequisites at the same time that I also took classes that I’d need for a chemical engineering degree. There’s a lot of overlap, and it can be done in a community college. Look around, outside of Alabama. My school, Xavier University of Louisiana, for example, is ~$17K per semester once you’re in pharmacy school, and it’s not much more if you’re an out of state resident, because it’s a private, Catholic school that intentionally does not price itself up into the stratosphere like other private (and some public) schools do. They’re generous with scholarships – I got a full ride based on my ACT and GPA. It’s small, the professors WANT you to succeed, and if you need help, there are myriad ways to get it. It’s an iffy neighborhood but I haven’t had trouble. You don’t even have to go to XU; I’m just saying that there are other options outside Alabama and there may also be better-paying/more jobs there, too. Just don’t be ashamed to get out of whatever pharmD program you’re in if you find that you really, truly can’t do it. There are other cheaper majors in your school that have easier coursework with the added bonus of likely still providing you with a career, and you won’t have a mortgage-sized debt with nothing to show for it. You’ll have to be honest with yourself.
     

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