Can't decide where to do pre-med!

I had a plan. Or so I thought.

I had systematically eliminated almost every option for where I would get my pre-med education and applied to the remaining school that I thought I wanted to go to. Prior to accepting their offer, I decided to reinforce that this was the right thing to do by taking a tour of what would have been my second choice. I had never been on a guided tour before, but as it’s only about 30 minutes from me, I was pretty familiar with the area and had driven around campus before.

Unfortunately, I liked the school a lot more than I thought I would. I still don’t like the setting all that much, and it is larger than I really wanted, but that also means that it has more opportunities and established programs (like an alternate spring break in Mexico to help at a clinic). It’s also a bigger name than the other school. The tour guide said that there was a cadaver lab that was under construction and should be opening in the next year or so that undergraduates should have access to.

I really want to do the best thing for myself to make my application as strong as possible. I think the smaller school that I have applied to may be able to get me better letters of recommendation, as the professors will get a better chance to know me. It’s a little less costly as well, which helps. I should have plenty of research opportunities there, though maybe not exactly medically related (is that a requirement, btw? I mean, if I did research in marine ecology, for instance, would that look bad?).

Bottom line, I think I could do well at both schools, but I think I would be happier at the first choice. More opportunities at #2 and the name recognition may make me more competitive.

I’m scheduled to take another tour of school #1 next week, so I can have a good comparison. After that I think I’ll call a couple of med schools around here and see what the adcoms have to say about the two schools.

I’m not sure if this is more of a frustrated vent or a plea for advice, but comments are welcome!