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what to do when life may interupt goals??

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by ROCKet_gurly, Aug 13, 2002.

  1. ROCKet_gurly

    ROCKet_gurly Member
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    Hey Guys,
    I wanted to know what all you experienced upper pre-meds and med students think about this.
    I am going to be a college sophomore this fall and I have a unique but troubling situation. I still live at home and go to school about 30-35 minutes away from my house. Its just me and a parent who is unable to work so I have been working to pay for the majority of the bills. Last year I took 16 credit hours and worked 3 jobs and me and my GPA almost died because of it :eek: This time around I think I'm just going to take 13 credit hours (just so I can still be full time and keep my scholarship). Looks like it's going to have to be this way for the rest of my college years too. Do you think its going to look bad...taking the minimal credit hours like that? OR do you think my situation is understandable? Anyone else in the same boat?? I want and need to find just ONE job that pays really good. Thanks for listening to me babble :)
     
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  3. Adcadet

    Adcadet Long way from Gate 27
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    if you have a good reason (as it seems you do), then don't sweat it. If it means taking fewer credits, big deal. If it means an extra year to finish college, so be it. I'd bet that most adcoms would prefer to admit someone who took a minimum credit load and/or graduated late while working a lot and/or cared for a family member than the perfect "oh look at me, my rich parents paid for my Haavad education and everything is peachy and I took 16 credits all eight semesters and I've got a steady, solid GPA."

    I also think that most people would be better off taking a year or two off after college or duing college to do something before med school anyway.
     
  4. Lolly

    Lolly Junior Member
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    Hi! I cant really offer much guidance but i just wanted to write to say good luck and follow your dreams!! my sense is that med schools are pretty understanding of family situations but who am i to say? id ask your school's pre-med/pre-health advisor.

    so, good luck and im rooting for you!
     
  5. Adcadet

    Adcadet Long way from Gate 27
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    good advice Lolly, but just beware that there are many pre-med advisors who know next to nothing. I'd ask SDNers for second opinions about anything a pre-med advisor says.
     
  6. Mr. H

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    Adcat, a lot of people who take 14 credits have to work their butt off to get good grades, don't act like just cuz your parents are financially supporting us like we're jerks or something. I worked my butt off, and maybe I am not smart enough to keep my grades up with a higher course load, but so be it.
     
  7. Adcadet

    Adcadet Long way from Gate 27
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    Good point. But you sortof agreed with my point - those who do alot outside of school (i.e.-work) and maintain a certain GPA are more impressive than those who have the same GPA but don't do anything outside the classroom. I didn't mean to imply that anyone in particular or in general is a jerk.

    And it's Adcadet. I'm allergic to cats.
     
  8. Adcadet

    Adcadet Long way from Gate 27
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    just another thought: if I were you, I would be very cautious about taking too many classes if your outside responsibilities are too great. I'd bet you'd be better off with a higher GPA but fewer credits/term than a lower GPA and more credits/term. Hell, take your classes one at a time and pull a 4.0.
     
  9. latinfridley

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    I think your in good shape as long as u do well on ur MCAT and ur GPA is kept above a 3.2. In the long run i think the experience ur having with being a provider for another and juggling many things at once, will pay off, and itll show adcoms that u can handle alot of responsiblity.
    latinfridley
     
  10. exigente chica

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    I agree totally, good luck and keep your head up..

    It will be all worth it in the end:clap:
     
  11. kaos

    kaos Web Crawler
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    Well, not in exactly the same boat, but I think I can offer advice...

    I had to fit a job into my schedule sophomore year bec. I had a daughter, and with all I was doing, my grades started falling. But I think that was mostly because I wasn't smart and took a too rigorous schedule (upper level calc, physiology, orgo, quantitative analysis--yeah, i was nuts). It turned out to be the worst semester for my GPA, bringing it way low (2.something). But I stuck to it, got a better paying job, took a little less difficult schedule (added some English classes, dropped some science), and now my GPA is back up.

    I think you're really brave to do 3 jobs and 16 credits. But it is a good idea to slow it down and take fewer credits. I agree with Adcadet. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Med schools would actually prefer it. At least then you can continue school, concentrate on a few classes, get good grades, and still be able to handle it all. Besides, it shows your strength of character and it'll look good to adcoms if you can pull it all off.

    Hope this helps, and best of luck to ya!
     
  12. Nanon

    Nanon An urban myth.
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    I'm kind of in the same situation of caring for an ill parent, and I've been doing it for my entire education (I'm a senior now). Here's what I've learned...

    Be flexible about your schedule. If it takes a few more years to graduate, so be it. I plan to spin it this way: I have my priorities straight... my family comes first. Unlike me, you have a scholarship to worry about, so I take it you HAVE to take at least 13 units. Were I in your position, I'd take maybe one pre-req per semester, and "softer" classes to fill out your schedule. As I'm not, I've been known to only take two classes a semester on occasion.

    Look for a job in research, if you don't already have one. Network for it. Talk to advisors, friends, professors. Some research positions (esp. in public health) pay pretty well, and you'll be getting that part of your application out of the way at the same time. Also, these jobs can be very flexible, allowing time for home and school. At least, that's been my experience.

    Explain your situation to your professors, and negotiate with them about deadlines. Your classmates will hate you for it, but most of your classmates probably don't have the time constraints you do. Go to office hours, back your stuff up with notes from doctors and employers. When my mom came down with cancer, doing this saved my academic life.

    Don't worry at this point what adcom's will think about your application, just get the best grades you can, and take one step at a time. Protect your GPA by dropping classes early, if you think there's going to be a problem fitting the class into your schedule. (This has been tricky for me, because I tend to be overly-optimistic.) Withdraw if you need to. The rest will work itself out.

    Save for PR or Kaplan, if you possibly can. You want to KICK BOOTIE on the MCAT, and if you're having difficulty managing your schedule right now, it might be hard to find large blocks of time to study on your own. There is no shame in that - it's just a reality (at least for me).

    Finally, make sure you're taking some time for yourself. This course of study has a high burnout rate, and if you're dealing with a lot of outside stuff, it's easy to lose sight of what really matters.

    Take care, and if I think of anything else, I'll post.

    Nanon
     
  13. ROCKet_gurly

    ROCKet_gurly Member
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    Thanks Guys!!
    I was worried that graduating a year or two off schedule would look bad but you answered all my questions. I think I will just takes things slow and stop worrying about how it looks so much. You were all very helpful!!
     
  14. tkim

    tkim 10 cc's cordrazine
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    It should never look bad to take care of your parent.

    If you juggle things well, it would show determination and compassion. If you don't do so well, it would be understandable, but not as good as doing well. You have my respect and admiration either way.

    - Tae
     

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