Name: Brooke McCollum
Major(s) and minor(s): Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience major, Biomolecular Science major
Favorite class you took at Michigan: I really enjoyed all the psych classes I took, but I would say my overall favorite class was either Psych 402 or MCDB 423. Psych 402, Neuroscience of Mental Health, was the most laid back course I took at U of M. I took it for one of my psych electives for my BCN major, and it basically consisted of reading published research articles about neuroscience of mental health (that were not long) and then discussing them in class. Something else that I really enjoyed about the class was not only did it really explore the science behind mental illness, but we also talked a lot about the impact neuroscience research does and will have on the future of mental health discussions and the treatment around it. It was overall a well rounded class and because of that, I learned a ton. Also, there were no exams or quizzes! MCDB 423, Introduction to Research in Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology, was an upper biology lab I took for BCN as well. I really liked this class because I used a lot of the techniques I had learned in my actual research lab, so I actually had a sense of what was going on compared to some other labs I had taken in the past. There were also really cool experiments we did like injected frog oocytes with RNA we had transcribed or growing dorsal root ganglia on plates from baby chickens we had dissected.
When/How did you study for the MCAT: Took TPR course, studied mid May through beginning of August
When did you take the MCAT: August of the summer before my senior year (August 2019)
What was your pre-med experience: My pre-med experience was very busy but fun and at times extremely stressful, but I would not have wanted it any other way. Throughout my three and a half years, I volunteered through the University of Michigan Hospital and Arbor Hospice. I worked at a research lab and scribed at St. Joe’s Emergency Department and obviously, was an advisor and later on, an E-board member for Pre-Med Hub.
Recommendations/advice for current students: One reason I choose to go to Michigan is because of the numerous opportunities that are available to undergrads. I do not think at many other schools I would have had the opportunity to work in a cancer research lab that is run by someone that has their own wikipedia page. Michigan is a research institution, so take advantage of it! Another recommendation I would give is to relax and take a breath every once in awhile. Not only is Michigan as a school stressful, but the pre-med track can amplify this stress. It is okay to take a break and go have fun with friends or do something else you enjoy.