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What is college life like for a pre med

Yadster101

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So i am going to be a freshman at UIUC next year and i was just wondering what college life is like for pre meds. I plan on busting my ***** off freshman yr so i can get all As (im taking the usual clases like calc, chem, bio, econ, and engl.)

How often do you guys go out? I know you have a lot more time out of class in college but most of that is spent studying. Whats the norm for going out? Every weekend? Every other weekend? Every other month?

Id like to go out every weekend but that doesnt sound very realistic.
Im ready to sacrifice but im just curious to know how much you guys sacrifice?
 

Polka Dot

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I just finished my freshman year. I took 15.5 units each semester, with at least 3 major science classes each semester. I started the year majoring in Molecular Biology, but now I'm not sure and I might change it to a different major still in the bio department.

The first semester was better than the second semester. I had a somewhat normal social life. I lived in an apartment on campus and had freshman roommates so it was immature and hilarious. My grades weren't quite what I was hoping for however. I usually studied in my shared room or at my desk. I liked the college life and had fun on the weekends or random nights of the week. I was looking for a job but not able to find one yet, so I was depleating my savings, but I had a lot more free time.

My second semester, I moved off campus to an apartment complex across the street. It was actually closer to my classes than when I lived on campus. I lived with juniors and seniors so they were much more mature and a little less fun. I kinda felt like I was living in a family instead with a group of random friends. I was able to get a job starting between semesters, so I wasn't as stressed about money, however I had no free time. I feel bad saying that it was a big deal because I only worked 17 hours a week and it was a job where I was able to get little bits of studying in during slow times, but I feel like it made a big difference. I mostly hung out on saturday nights and sundays. The rest of my life was spent in class (3-5 hours a day), at work (3-5 hours a day), and in my bedroom studying (2-10 hours a day depending). I felt like I had no life and was getting depressed. Although I felt like I spent much more time studying than I did my first semester, my grades were even worse. It was all around a bad semester. I'm hoping next year will be better and I will have to work less.

My advice would be to try and work as much as possible during the summer so you don't need a job during the school year, have rich parents, or get student loans.

Also, this was just my experience. There were a few people in my classes that worked, took 16 credits, and somehow studied and had a life.

Wow, that was a lot longer than I expected.
 
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Shinobiz11

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I start on Tuesday, so thanks for the advice.
 
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I'm a dual enrollment student so, I'm in high school but, I still consider myself a pre-med because I only attend college. The first science courses I took were hell on me because I wasn't ready for the rigor. I got three C's on science courses and that was my motivation point. My gpa will forever be ruined if I don't get A's on every other science class I take.

I live at home and I don't pay for school or anything else for that matter so, I don't have the problems Yadster101 has yet. I will have to move in a year so my situation will be similar and I can't imagine what my grades will be like when I have to work.

Being a pre-med is hard. You almost have to laugh when other people tell you how hard they have it. It's important to make friends with people who are on a similar path with you. You might need them to study one day and they understand how you feel. I believe at some point, most of us will say 'it's not worth it' when we're a little bit discouraged. It's normal so don't do anything drastic like drop all you're science classes and go to cosmetic school (my friends stopped me ).
 
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deleted202457

I go out every weekend and some weekdays too. You can go out whenver you want if you're good at time management. You don't have to study EVERY day lol.
 

Vicviper

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Yeah, you really don't want to go crazy go nuts with the studying. Sure, you've got to study, but don't stay cooped up in your room all day. Set a certain time to study, and then study, then go do something fun. College is supposed to be some of the most enjoyable years of your life. Once you get to Med/Dent/Pharm/Vet/etc school, then you can spend all of your afternoons studying, as it will be much harder, but for now, take your time and relax.
 

Daedra22

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College really isn't that tough, you just have to know how to play the game. You have to pick the right professors (ratemyprofessor.com is SO useful), keep track of due dates and tests (I use a calendar on my computer), and be mindful of you're doing in classes. I had a 3.5 while hanging out with friends 2-3 nights a week, holding a 20/hr week job and being married. However, for some people this might be more difficult. Pay attention to how you're using your time and you'll be fine.
 

GoronMD

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Yea, college is not difficult. If you keep up with your lectures weekly and not try to cram before any test then you will do fine.

Pre-med is not hard. The hardest class will be like anatomy or organic chem. Why? there is alot of info, but it isnt hard. The people in your class will whine about it because it is so much more info than your freshman year gave off.

This doesn't mean you have to go nuts every day right after class and go to the library and stay there for 8 hours. Hell no! Thats stupid. Review your notes nightly. Take friday night off. Study saturday and review sunday. Double up before exams and you won't make below a B.

But HEED THESE WORDS: Any med student will agree with me on this. Do not half ass your classes. Actually try to learn the information. Over the first three years of college, you will learn all of the material needed that is required to score decent on the MCAT. If you just get by on test, memorize but not learn the info, then studying and retaining for the MCAT will be much harder for you. If you look up the MCAT study materials they will all say "MCAT REVIEW" It's a review, not a teaching textbook to replace a teacher.

You can have a 4.0 at your school. But this doesn't mean jack squat if you score poorly on the MCAT.

(PS: If you don't know what the MCAT is, it is a standardized test you have to take your junior year that ALL US med schools require. You must score really good on it regardless of GPA)

Best advice: Just keep up with your studies. If you do bad on a test/assignment, shake it off. A buddy of mine got a 30 on his first Physics test. He came back in the end with a 90.1 average with no bonus or extra credit. It is how you finish the semester, not necessarily how you start. If you start bad, you can pull it up.

Also, Don't become a gunner. Do not refuse to help your classmates or lie to them just to "Get ahead in class". This is not how you get into med school. Be kind to others. They are going through the same hell you are. When you least expect it, you will need some help.

Sorry for the long reply.

If you need any other adivce, let me know. I just got into Med School, so I know a few things by trial and error. :)
 
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Ischemic

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It's all relative man. Some people need to study a lot to do well others just need a night before the test. One thing is for sure and that is you CAN do well in college AND have a fun time too. Don't be that premed that does nothing but studies all day and leaves college with no memories except for weraing out a chair in the library.
 

EMS5

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My freshman year was pretty easy, 31 credits total (17+14), and I totaled out with a 3.7GPA. I studied maybe 8-10 hours a week, and everything ran pretty smooth.

Your freshman year of college is about having a good time, learning your way around the school, and making a few connections. Like ischemic said, don't spend all your time studying useless sh** that you'll never use again. Get good grades and don't burn yourself out.
 

QuizzicalApe

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Entirely dependent on you, your style of studying, your preferred method of working, and the specific difficulty of the professors you have.

I had plenty of fun in college. Spent a fair amount of time each day hanging out or watching TV/playing video games, and usually did very little on weekends unless there was an imminent paper or test. If you pay attention and study smart, you'll enjoy yourself.

Just try to get good grades without being one of those whackjobs that sees a 4.0 as the end-all be-all determinant of their worth as a person.
 

FuturaDocta

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College is a great experience. You meet lots of people and change your way of thinking quite a bit. I finally became comfortable with myself in college because everyone can be different.

Try to have fun while you can. You are fresh out of high school and very young. Don't spend all of your time studying (unless that makes you happy) and try to appreciate life for a bit. Although, make sure you focus well in class because you need to make good grades (an average pre-med gets ~3.6 cGPA).

Some ways to ensure that you will have fun:
-don't get a job
-have rich parents
-don't overload your class schedule
-try to major in something you know you will have fun in (I like biology, but you don't need to pick a hard major. You can major in art and med school won't care).
-like others have said, ratemyprofessor.com is a great way to find the easy way out. Unfortunately, I was the student that didn't have this precious resource until now (I'm a junior). I definitely had the hardest teacher in at least half of my classes (lucky me :luck:).

Also, don't forget to explore with your extracurricular activities! Great way to meet new people and have fun!
 

psipsina

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There will probably be a handful of times each year that you can't go out with your friends because of some premed obligation but for the most part you'll be like every other college kid. Keep up with your classes so you can drop everything when something awesome comes up. Learning to balance your studies with your social life is an important lesson if you want to go to medschool where the balance gets more delicate.
 
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YouNeverKnow22

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wake up-drink

nap

drink some more

but seriously if you are doing more than 3-4 hrs of work everyday than you're overdoing it (not true for EVERY case), case in point is that if you manage time wisely you can work out everyday for 1-2 hrs, eat, sleep 7-8 hrs, volunteer/research 1-2 hrs, and go out and drink 2x a week....this isn't surgery residency so stop worrying.
 

MilkmanAl

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Learning to balance your studies with your social life is an important lesson if you want to go to medschool where the balance gets more delicate.
True. It's also a great time to take advantage of the fact that this balance can be much more heavily in favor of socializing, even if you want to pull the kind of grades necessary fr a good shot at med school. There are plenty of miserable pre-meds, but they bring that on themselves. I loved college, and while there are times when the books have to win, you should have a really great experience all four years.
 

Yadster101

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Cool. Thankx for the info guys, i feel more at ease now. I plan on busting my @$$ off in class next year while still making time to go out
 

Procyon

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Darunia said:
Best advice: Just keep up with your studies. If you do bad on a test/assignment, shake it off. A buddy of mine got a 30 on his first Physics test. He came back in the end with a 90.1 average with no bonus or extra credit. It is how you finish the semester, not necessarily how you start. If you start bad, you can pull it up.

Also, Don't become a gunner. Do not refuse to help your classmates or lie to them just to "Get ahead in class". This is not how you get into med school. Be kind to others. They are going through the same hell you are. When you least expect it, you will need some help.

After just finishing my first year, I'd say this is pretty sound advice. Keep up with everything and work hard. If you hit a rough patch, don't let it get you down and work even harder. And be nice and pleasant to people and you'll have a good time. :)

Some of the kids who say don't work/have rich parents aren't lying though. I'm in a bit of an economic rough patch right now with a job that's not giving me a lot of hours/not-rich parents. College can be expensive, so make sure you spend your money wisely/budget a bit if that might be a concern for you!
 

anishannayya

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attend class
study
do some useless ****
drink
try to get laid -- fail
do some more useless ****
study
waste some more time
sleep
repeat

In all seriousness, don't worry about it.
 
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deleted202457

attend class
study
do some useless ****
drink
try to get laid -- fail
do some more useless ****
study
waste some more time
sleep
repeat

In all seriousness, don't worry about it.

Haha. I seriously cracked up at this :laugh:
 

EMS5

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attend class
study
do some useless ****
drink
try to get laid -- fail
do some more useless ****
study
waste some more time
sleep
repeat

In all seriousness, don't worry about it.

Add: Catch roommate going on a date with Ms. Palm and her five daughters
 
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deleted202457

Add: Catch roommate going on a date with Ms. Palm and her five daughters

That's why you make a code to avoid this:

Sock on the door means there is a girl in there

Keep out sign on the handle means he's hooking up with Palm-ella Hand-erson

Pretty effective system
 
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EMS5

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That's why you make a code to avoid this:

Sock on the door means there is a girl in there

Keep out sign on the handle means he's hooking up with Palm-ella Hand-erson

Pretty effective system

We had a "code"...2 locks on the door, lock them both if you're doing anything....he neglected to lock the bottom so I didn't think anything until I opened the door and....the rest was history
 

swamprat

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I graduated in 4 years without taking a single summer class and I went out at least 3 days aweek (thursday, friday and saturday) and toward the later part of my college career I threw in more and more tuesdays as well. I binge drink, smoked, hooked up with tons of girls and still managed to get into multiple medical schools. So there you go, being pre-med does not mean you have to relegate yourself to a dark corner while everyone else has fun. How did I pull off all the A's? Simple, when most people are messing around before an exam I got down to business and took my studies seriously...I had friends that would get high or drink the night before an exam. Obviously some natural intellect has to be there, but college is not difficult once you get used to the flow of things (being away from home if applicable, and the increase in workload from h.s.)
 

XRanger

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my schedule freshman year:
8am: wake up
9am-12pm: class
12pm-1pm: lunch
1pm-4pm: nap
4pm-6pm:study
6pm-7pm: dinner
7pm-2am: play/hang out/party

obviously during exam week, i study more, and later after when I had research/jobs, I had to change my daily schedule. but the point is, you can still have fun and do well.
I go out every week and traveled a lot. I did study abroad and mission trips abroad with friends and they were the best times of my life.
Just make sure you manage your time well and study efficiently
 
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deleted202457

I graduated in 4 years without taking a single summer class and I went out at least 3 days aweek (thursday, friday and saturday) and toward the later part of my college career I threw in more and more tuesdays as well. I binge drink, smoked, hooked up with tons of girls and still managed to get into multiple medical schools. So there you go, being pre-med does not mean you have to relegate yourself to a dark corner while everyone else has fun. How did I pull off all the A's? Simple, when most people are messing around before an exam I got down to business and took my studies seriously...I had friends that would get high or drink the night before an exam. Obviously some natural intellect has to be there, but college is not difficult once you get used to the flow of things (being away from home if applicable, and the increase in workload from h.s.)

I just wanted to agree with this and also say it sounds like your college life was awesome :thumbup:
 

klm84

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As you can tell, pre-meds run the gamut. I knew people who did party every weekend and got into med school as well as people who studied all the time and constantly pulled all nighters. For me, I refuse to pull an allnighter. I usually study for less that 2 hrs a day. Most days no studying at all except before big tests. I hate to do any work when it's dark outside and I need at least 3 hrs a day of being lazy and doig nothing. I didn't do a lot of partying till senior year when I turned 21, then I was out maybe every other weekend. Basically enjoy college and find your own style. Once you figure out how to get the A's you can live any lifestyle you want
 

Drrrrrr. Celty

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currently freshman trying to figure out if this pre med is for me thanks for the advice!

Depends a lot on what your interests are and whether you're in it for the right reasons. If your primary drive is that you liked the idea of being a doctor, but have spent the last 12 years of your education being relatively turned off by biology or science, then I recommend something else. If you're into it because you "want to help people", but dread the idea of having to spend over a decade of working extremely hard then it's not worth it and you'll be better off in something more expedited ex. nursing, pa, other helping field.

I would say that premed is kinda a mildly stressful environment in college depending on where you end up. I think that undergrad was almost as stressful and irritating as some easier parts of medical school were.
 
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