Advice requested on ECs scheduling

Alright, so in a nutshell, my orientation at UC Davis was a waste of my time and due to erroneous information given to me by my orientation leader, I registered for classes that I was planning to change later since I was told I could change my registration the next day at 8 pm. I figured I would just register for some non-science lower division classes for my major (accounting, computers and an intro animal science class). The problem? Well, the orientation leader was completely wrong and I can’t re-register again until August 23rd so I’m not sure if I will be able to get into bio 1 or ochem 1 since as it is they were completely filled up by the time I was allowed to register.

My question is regarding how to schedule physics. After the orientation, I sat down with my major advisor who thankfully wasn’t an idiot (I was admitted to Davis as a different bio major and that major advisor’s favorite response was “I don’t know” to every question) and I was able to find out that I won’t be delayed in graduating by not doing bio 1 or ochem 1 this fall. I have my master plan, and it looks like unless I try to cram more classes into each quarter in the neighborhood of 16-17 units, it’s going to take me 8 quarters to graduate regardless so I’m looking at about three years (two years and two quarters to be exact).

I mentioned that I am just planning to take physics at the community college across the street from the station at work this fall, so I can get it done and out of the way, so it wasn’t added to the master plan. Plus it’s my understanding that the physics 7 program at Davis is so atrociously terrible that it should be avoided at all costs. I’m aware of the stigma of taking classes at a CC, but if I get good grades at Davis at the same time, I don’t see why it would matter. And if asked about it, I would just tell the interviewer that the physics at the CC worked better for my schedule, simple as that.

What I’m looking for advice-wise is whether you guys would recommend this path or just taking the physics at Davis and working it into my schedule. I don’t plan on taking my MCAT until the summer after my second year, so I do have plenty of time to get physics done at any rate. Also, the alternative I have to taking the physics 7 series is to take the physics 9 series. I’d have to check, but it has a higher math pre-requisite, but I think I just need to take one more calculus class to meet that pre-requisite in order to take the physics 9 series. I’m very interested to get some feedback on whether that would be worth it to avoid the physics 7 series. I was able to get an explanation of how the physics 7 series is structured, and basically, it’s a PBL course that apparently doesn’t even have an actual textbook for it. I’m sure further explanation is needed to see why I want to avoid it. Anyway, advice, comments, etc. will be much appreciated!

Oh yeah, the other thing I was going to ask was about ECs…inbetween working 24 hours a week, classes, my PADI Divemaster training, and possibly doing volunteer work as a Public Safety Diver, and my involvement in a dive club (and a second dive “club” that’s just an informal group of people), I don’t think I’m going to have much time to be active in any college clubs or other ECs and still have a life & time to go diving, so what impact is that going to have? I would imagine all the stuff I listed above outside classes count as ECs anyway but not sure if its “enough”. If it isn’t, well, I’m not sacrificing my life just to look good, but I’d like to know where I stand nonetheless.

I think that if you are doing your core classes at Davis you should be fine taking an occasional class at a CC. I took my Physics at Baylor in Waco & hated it. My instructors for both classes and labs could barely speak English it was awful. My stepson is taking a summer physics class at Pitt and has the same problem. I took ochem x2 & a gen chem class at a CC, had great instructors, small classes, and did very well. It was a lot less stressful and I think you learn it better…all meaning you will do better on the MCAT.

I think that you you have a great explanation for why you need to take it at a CC.

Good luck,

Rachel Yealy, DO