Can premeds be happy? I’m a freshman and thinking of the future ahead I’m terrified that I’m constantly not doing enough or looking ahead at how much there is to do and overwhelmed and confused on how to fit it in and manage it, especially because w/ covid I feel like my hospital volunteering experience and shadowing and everything is going downhill. I feel like my intentions for going into med were much purer and everything before but now I’m treating it more like a task is this just a phase exacerbated by covid or is this something else? I hate my outlook on everything these days I feel disconnected from the real world and much more selfish. Everything about the premed journey was exciting and a challenge I was willing to take on but rn it seems like so much pressure, and uncertainty like all this and I still might not get in. I told my family I wanted to do premed too so there’s all this other pressure on me as well. Guys, I’m just really scared is this how the entire four years will be? How do you handle the stress, the many things that need to be done, and the uncertainty that comes with this journey?
First, I want to reassure you that it is totally okay to not be okay. It is an unconventional time and I want to recognize there are a lot of stressors besides the already stressful pre-med courses. I would advise you to find some time (even if just half an hour every day) to relax and do something that you like. For example, I use my meal time every day to watch an episode of a sitcom to relax. It is a good way for me to escape all the stress that I had.
Second, it is normal to feel overwhelmed as a freshman on a pre-med track. This is definitely an extremely long process and involves a lot of energy and effort. I have had multiple times when I doubt my career choice and I would try to think back on why I want to do pre-med in the first place to rediscover the passion I have for medicine. If you have any doubts about your pre-med timeline, feel free to come to our office hours (Mon-Wed 6 pm – 10 pm). The link is https://umich-health.zoom.us/j/92012723150
Third, I just want to recognize the competitive environment of pre-med. It is easy to compare yourself with others and think that you did not do enough while everyone else around you is doing a lot. I have had a similar experience as you before. But then I realized that pre-med is a personal journey, everyone has a different pace and everyone has a different path to medical school. I then started to focus on myself and try to concentrate on my own progress as well as personal development.
Finally, I just wanted to say that all the advisors at Pre Med hub are here for you. We have all experienced some of the frustration that you had and we are happy to help. I hope this response is a little helpful. Good luck with your midterms and please take care!
——— PMH Advisor Haitong
In addition to everything that Haitong said, I also want to direct you to our Resources page. Here, you’ll find links to websites that offer general pre-med info, as well as UM-specific websites that are available for students to use to help manage/cope with stress. I also really want to emphasize what Haitong said about not being in this alone. This time is so uncertain for everyone across the globe, and hopefully it can provide some reassurance that medical school admissions committees are definitely going to be seeing applications in the future that lack certain clinical experiences, or may show fewer hours of a certain experience than normal. It might be helpful to use this time to reflect on your feelings right now and how they relate to your motivation to pursue medicine as a career. For instance, if you feel a sense of helplessness right now, you might think about how that’s driven by your desire to help others! Again, we are here to help if you want to reach out via drop-in advising. Hang in there 🙂
-Owen, PMH Co-President