Originally Posted Sept 7, 2017
I’m sure many of you are nervous as the new school year approaches, however, there is no need to panic yet! The Pre-Med Hub Team has come up with some “back-to-pre-med” tips to help you successfully start the new school year. Below are some great tips we thought of:
1. Classes first and find the perfect balance!
Many students get so caught up in the idea of having to prioritize volunteering, gain leadership in university orgs, and generally focus on creating the perfect profile for medical schools in terms of extracurriculars. However, students could potentially jeopardize their GPA in doing so. Just a gentle reminder, medical schools will look at your GPA before they look at your extracurriculars. If you don’t have the target GPA they are looking for, they might not bother to even look at what you have been doing outside of the classroom. Keep this in mind as you go into the semester and make sure you are focusing on your classes. Then, once you get the hang of the rigor of your courses, you can fit in extra-curriculars in your schedule when you have the time.
2. Speaking of classes…get to know your professor!
This doesn’t necessarily mean become your professor’s best friend and try to get a recommendation out of them. Rather, get to know their teaching style, listen in lectures in terms of what is going to be on the test. Figure out what they want you to know for the exam and how you can get the best grade possible in their class. If you find that you are having trouble adjusting to the rigor of the course or you don’t know how to succeed in the class, visit your professor during office hours! Tell your professor your name and how you can personally succeed and stay on top of the course material (please, oh please, do not ask how you can get an A in the class!). Maybe if you go to office hours enough, you might feel comfortable asking for a recommendation! Just remember that you should be asking the professor if they really know you, not necessarily because you aced the class.
3. Think about the MCAT… but only if you feel ready!
WARNING: Only do this if you feel comfortable in taking this examination! If you feel that you aren’t ready, do not force yourself to take the exam. However, if you feel that your pre-med classes have adequately prepared you and that you have some extra time to study this semester, maybe you can think about taking the MCAT in the near future.
4. Talk to an advisor!
This could be one of the Pre-Med Hub board members or a pre-health advisor. Just make sure that you’re doing everything that you need to do. You don’t want to have to delay applying to medical school because you don’t have experience in a certain area that is important to medical schools (clinical exposure, volunteering, etc.)
5. HAVE FUN!!
Seriously. Whether it be not doing any work on Fridays or taking 5 minutes out of your day to do some yoga, please find some time for yourself. You want to avoid burnout as much as possible. Having some time to unwind your brain from a long day of rigorous science classes will be very much worth it in the end. And if you’re one of those people who feel guilty for not studying, know missing those 5 extra minutes to study to meditate will not cause your grade to change. Who knows it might even improve it!
From all of us at Pre-Med Hub, we hope you have a wonderful start to the semester! If you have any questions, feel free to post them on our website. 🙂
The Pre-Med Hub Board
“Many students get so caught up in the idea of having to prioritize volunteering, gain leadership in university orgs, and generally focus on creating the perfect profile for medical schools in terms of extracurriculars. However, students could potentially jeopardize their GPA in doing so”