Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience (BCN) (major)
Favorite class you took at Michigan:
I have several favorite classes:
Psych 424/426: Senior Honors Research: This course is a program for students completing an honors thesis. It was one of my most rewarding experiences in college. Although writing an honors thesis can initially be intimidating, you will receive guidance from the program director (my year was Dr. Lustig) through workshops, and support from your lab mentors. If you are looking to learn more about designing your own research methods and hypotheses, interpreting results, and improving your scientific communication skills, I highly recommend doing a thesis.
Psych 314: Positive Psychology: In this course, I learned about the science of what makes life worth living and practices that promote human functioning. Dr. Park does an excellent job at combining theoretical knowledge with practical application to our daily life. She brings energy to the class and emphasizes the importance of incorporating class material to ourselves.
Chem 230: Physical Chemistry: I enjoyed this course because it pushed me to continuously use problem solving skills. I not only learned about chemistry concepts, but also applied them to new question sets. Dr. Gottfried is an incredible professor. The course is very clearly organized from the flipped classroom style to the lectures that are broken down into digestible and intuitive segments. I found this class rewarding because it was challenging, yet allowed me to develop critical thinking skills.
When/How did you study for the MCAT:
The first time I studied for the MCAT was second semester junior year. I took the exam in June. I used the Kaplan books for content review, UWorld for practice problems, and the AAMC bundle. For content review, I found it helpful to review multiple subjects within one day, so that I would be used to switching between patterns of thinking, much like during the MCAT. After taking the exam, I found that I spent too much time on content review and needed to improve on tackling questions and applying concepts. The second time around, I spent more time doing practice exams. I created a spreadsheet of concepts I missed on each problem set. Since I identified these concepts as my weakness, I made sure to review them daily, with an emphasis on those that I missed more than once. I took my second exam in January. Since I had winter break free from classes, I spent the 2-3 weeks before the exam taking practice tests every other day or every three days (spend one day on practice exam, one day reviewing what questions I got wrong and why, and one day reviewing concepts/doing practice problems. The last two days can combine into one day, depending on the amount needed to be reviewed). I did this to build endurance and practice on timing. I would like to note that before studying for the second exam, I gave myself time where I completely set aside MCAT materials. I found it important to approach the second exam with a clear mind and avoid burn out.
When did you take the MCAT: June and following January
What was your pre-med experience:
My pre-med experience was filled with challenges and achievements. Looking back, the challenges such as courses, time management, and figuring out my academic interests were necessary for developing the life skills and passions I have now. They made my pre-med journey rewarding and satisfying. I was fortunate to have support from my advisors, mentors, and family/friends. One of the best decisions I made in college was pursuing a major in BCN. It allowed me to explore concepts related to medicine in an interdisciplinary fashion, and One of the most important lessons I learned was to pursue the field of medicine, you have to figure out why it is meaningful to you
Recommendations/advice for current students:
Don’t be afraid to explore your interests. The best path of being not just a pre-med but a college student in general is figuring out what sparks your passion. You will encounter challenges. Remember that there are resources around you that are willing and wanting to help out (i.e. academic advisors, friends, Pre-Med Hub, etc). It is easy to fall into the trap of worrying about your classes, extracurriculars, and whether you’re “cut” to be a pre-med. It may be cliche but the stressors are temporary–your future will work out one way or another as long as you put in your best effort.