Am I going to make it?

Hey all,
I just writing to vent a bit. It’s almost the middle of semester and I am feeling a bit overwhelmed. I am working full time,and taking organic, physics, and a Kaplan MCAT review class on the weekends. I geuss that I am putting more pressure on myself because I feel like I must ace these classes because of my mediocre undergrad gpa. I’m pretty sure I’ll survive but it’s not going to be fun. Thanks for letting me ramble. I feel better just putting these things down on “paper”.

Damon, I hope things get better for you. That's a pretty heavy schedule! Wow. I just take my 1 class and work FT and that's enough for me. Good luck with everything.

{{{{hugs}}}} yes, Damon, you will make it. that is a very tough load but you can do it—hang in there!

That's a pretty heavy schedule! Wow. I just take my 1 class and work FT and that's enough for me.

My thoughts exactly, Stacy.
Damon, I give you a ton of credit for what you're doing. That's really incredible... Can you try to find some time, an evening or part of a weekend that you can schedule as you-time? I try to do that and it goes a long way in maintaining my sanity. If not... well, Thanksgiving isn't as far away as it seems! Hopefully you'll have a couple days off for that! Keep plugging away, you're doing great.

Thanks for the positive vibes everyone! I’m ok so long as I don’t slack off (ever rolleyes.gif ). I know we are all in the same boat basically. I hope everyone out there is hanging tough. smile.gif

I was thinking of trying to squeeze in 3 classes per semster with full time work. Looks like I may be getting in over my head. Best of luck!

Zan, I would strongly advise against that sort of courseload along with full time work. In fact I am hard pressed to imagine how folks do TWO classes along with a full-time job but maybe I am a wimp.
When you’re trying to squeeze in classes, remember: you aren’t going to get “do-overs” for bad grades earned now. Do NOT bite off more than you can chew. You can always decide to put off taking the MCAT; you can always change your mind about where you apply; you can change a major… but you can’t undo a grade you’ve earned. And the recent grades will get substantially more intense scrutiny than old grades, so it is important to do well. Sometimes in our enthusiastic embrace of the goal of getting into medical school, we tend to forget that tongue.gif but it’s really important!
(stepping off soapbox…)

Ya I’m not totally certain about it. Playing it by ear. But lately it’s been really slow at work, so I have some good opportunities to study at work. wink.gif

Repeat after me:
I think I can, I think I can, I think I can, I think I can…

(Can you tell I’ve been reading too many kids’ books?) wink.gif

I feel ya’ brother. I’m one of those crazy fools that also thinks he can go to school full-time, work full-time, and still have some semblance of a life with my wife and two daughters. I tried to take on training for a marathon this semester, but “luckily” an mri of my lower left leg (bone bruise) stopped that so now I have more study time. Yea!
I’m starting to hit burn-out though. I can’t wait for this semester to end so I can have that nice long break between the fall and spring semesters. Taking a full load during the summer with only a week off before the fall semester started was rough.
Alright, that’s enough. Now I sound like I’m whining. sad.gif

And a question for Mary (or anyone else):

You advised taking a lighter load and getting better grades. My question is, won’t adcoms take into account your course load and activities outside of school when looking at your gpa? So if person “A” takes one or two classes and gets better grades than person “B” who is taking a full-load, would they not recognize that and realize that A has a higher gpa but took an easier path, while B’s gpa is a little lower, but did it under tougher circumstances?
I can go the path of A, but I would like to graduate sometime before my kids do (they’re 6 mos and 2 yrs, by the way). I just assumed that if I had a few more B’s on my transcript, my work load and course load would balance it out. That, and a good MCAT score, of course tongue.gif

My question is, won't adcoms take into account your course load and activities outside of school when looking at your gpa?

Yeah, that's the conventional wisdom and it's what I always heard too. It's a balancing act, though, and you need to think about it like this: the FIRST thing the AdCom sees is a GPA calculated by AMCAS/AACOMAS. The NEXT thing they see is a list of grades. Sometime AFTER that, if the grades look good, they will read the application more carefully to find out just what you were doing when you earned those grades. So if a whole passel of Bs is the first thing they see, they may not read on to learn why they weren't As.
I can't speak for other schools, but at mine, I do know that folks on the AdCom have the common sense to recognize that someone who's not traditional college-age is going to have to work.
Honestly, my bottom line is, DO NOT compromise grades, ever; DO NOT ever think that a lower grade will be given some "understanding" if it was earned in some sort of challenging context. Don't forget that our competition, the full-time undergrad traditional students, could also have jobs and challenges - OPMs don't have a patent on challenging lives - and so the grades need to stay up there no matter what.
It does occur to me, though, that this might be a good discussion for us to have with an AdCom person at our next OPM convention! (note to self)

One thing I'll reiterate and add on to Mary's statement beased on my experience is the tremendous amount of added stress that I feel about my ability to get an A in each of my classes which stems from having the relatively larger class load (2 classes+ labs versus one). Especially with the combination of Physics and organic. Last year when I had gen chem and biology it wasn't such a deal. Also, in my new job I am unable to study during work hours. Just some thoughts.

Damon, it’s gonna be allright!

I think it’s really important for you - for ANYONE - to work out ways to fit in school, work, family AND friends BEFORE you go to medical school. Why? Because the issues are the same, and will have to be confronted sooner or later.

Hey - keep up the good work - you ARE going to make it!!


PS. OK - I wanted to add that while addressing the issue of grades IS really important, I think the issue of mental, physical, and spiritual health is often ignored during the premed process. Many undergrads (that included me too) work so hard to get in to medical school that they can’t see beyond “gettin in”. So make those A’s and B’s, but don’t place your health on the back burner either. OK - just my two cents worth.