I am currrently in a post bacc program as my “second chance” attempt. I graduated from my undergraduate program with a Biology degree but did horrible. I was not focused and my extracurricular activities were my priority. I ended up graduating with a 2.6 GPA. I know, ridiculous. I thought it would be a good idea for me to apply to a post bacc program to show med schools that I actually can succeed in higher level science classes. Unfortunately, this was not the case. I always have something going on at home with family or I’m working a lot. I think I’ve been living where I am for so long that I just need a fresh start somewhere else with no distractions. And I only work because it’s the only way I can provide for myself but it definitely takes away from my studies. I feel like I’m just a complete failure once again. I earned three Cs’ and a D in the post bacc program which I know looks bad on my transcript but I am taking the class over I got a D in. I’m most likely not even going to boost my undergrad GPA over a 3.0 like I thought I would. I’ve faced the facts that my undergrad GPA will just not be competitive. Being a doctor is still my dream and I’m willing to do whatever it takes to get there even if I have to take a billion more steps than the average but is all hope lost for me? If not, what next steps could I take? Would doing a masters program be smart? I know it will be difficult convincing any school of my capabilities but I’m ready to put in the work. Any suggestions would be amazing!!
Please do not be discouraged! Your passion is there but I honestly think you may be spreading yourself too thin. WHICH IS WHAT I DID IN MY UNDERGRAD AND EVEN IN MY CURRENT YEARS… I’ve always had two jobs and went to school. I was raised by a single parent and I am an only child, we are from the Philippines and I had to self-taught myself many things because English was not my first language.
I had no guidance in applying for college so I applied to colleges that were incredibly expensive but was heavily advertised through my high school (meaning they would come to my high school and sell themselves). I did not know any better so I attended a private university costing $45k/annual. I was waiting to get out of Hawaii from island fever and overbearing mother. I just needed to experience going out without a curfew and meeting new people. So I did… cost me so much with plane tickets back and forth during Christmas Break, Spring Break and Summer Breaks (if I stayed in the dorms, I’d have to pay because tuition money for room and board only covered for my housing and food WHEN SCHOOL WAS IN SESSION). GIVEN THE COST OF HOW MUCH IT COST TO STAY, it was pretty much the same, so I went back and forth.
Then I had community-based scholarships that I had to maintain so aside from full courses and 2 or so student-campus jobs (I did not have a car), I had to volunteer and be involved enough (15 or so hours a week) to get letters of rec to renew my scholarships. Every year the tuition kept rising so finally, I took 23 units while volunteering and working and I was happy to even get my 3.4 cumulative gpa but keep in mind I had Cs for my science GPA is not impressive at all…
Immediately with no job prospects. I move home… to Hawaii, the very same place I tried to escape from. I wanted more of my freedom and with my mom, God bless her soul, I have a curfew and yes I don’t pay rent so I can’t complain much in this aspect. I did do a master’s program which I thought would be my good ‘GAP year’ but again with my scholarships, the money I saved up, went to fund my two uncles’ funerals. They are in the Philippines and my mom and I are the only ones in America so how could I not feel a little guilty about my privileges in America?
However, putting circumstances aside… due to financial crunch, my advice to you is try to take at [MOST two classes at a time until you finally get your four CORE classes: gen chem, organic chem, gen bio, and gen physics. TAKE THESE CLASSES AT A COMMUNITY COLLEGE, you do not need to go to a university or formal post back program. Then study crazy for the MCAT and take as many as 10 or so practice tests… I am a nontrade premed… so I’m not a success story (crosses fingers yet) BUT just like you, I’m already spread out. :roll:
Currently, I’m paying off immediate debt from when I had to move back home (ship car home, plane tickets… and even emergency room bills). After my master’s I went to the Bay Area because I received an science internship which led to me using up my savings that could’ve been gone towards taking my MCAT… I forced to stay in San Francisco Bay Area because it provides more research/science opportunities than Hawaii can offer. I also thought since my master’s stipend didn’t provide sufficient funds for savings… might as well work some more. Unfortunately, research assistants do not get paid well… maybe $16-$18/hour with my master’s degree. I worked again two jobs just to pay rent and keep afloat but long story short… my focus is not just trying to stay grounded and retake those four classes I mentioned and the new MCAT.
I’m feeling antsy that I’m closer to my 30s with NO SAVINGS except $45 because now I am also paying my student loans back. and Food in Hawaii is insane… $7 for a gallon of milk… baaaah… ON SALE… not even organic and store brand… crazy how discouraging spreading yourself and being financially depressed can be. But… take a break for a few months… school is always there if you are financially struggling.
The thing with being premed is many of us are so anxious about being competitive and doing too much. We need to calm down and relax… and not let our self esteem is burned and defined but unfortunate circumstances.
I’m honestly in the same boat as you. I did so much to prep for med school - double degree and worked pt at a pharmacuetical then worked at the mall on the weekends and tutored HS math and science right before I left to drive back to school all during college. I finished both BS but it wasn’t an amazing feat. I had like <3.0 in each major. I knew then I couldn’t apply yet to med school bc i didn’t think i wanted to anymore. Then I worked in pharmaceuticals for a few years and did well. I helped my family out a lot (like you I stayed near my home for so long) and like Frosty I have a filipino family (we are the only family in America) so of course every bad event I had to help out. It felt like an obligation to be that kid with a good earning job to help my parents and the family back home. Finally few things happened where I realized I still wanted more out of my life and I still wanted to do medicine. I asked my family and my longtime bf if it was ok if i quit my job.
I did. I moved in w/ my bf and he helped me a lot. I did 1 year post bac at a university taking undergrad science courses to help boost my undergrad gpa. I did well. It wasn’t a specific program but they had an amazing advisor tailored for pre-med. In the summer, I happened to find out about Drexel’s program premed masters certificate and it sounded so great I took a chance and applied. Within less than 2 weeks I got in! I was so thrilled I felt yay there is movement. I went and took a huge loan felt sad to leave my bf but he supported me 100% w/ my decision. 1st year there was like crazy. I mean I did well but I felt like I was working a sweat shop. I am not sure if the program was really necessary for me but it had its advantages bc my MCAT score the summer after jumped like 10 points. The first score was so terrible - I took it while I was working my FT Pharmaceutical job a few years back. I was then convinced I would be good enough for the 2nd yr at the school - taking premed courses against the medical student (that’s another story). Well it didn’t go well. I got so stressed with family things and then I got so sick. I tried to leave within the 1st semester but I was advised to stick it out and cut off a few classes. Even that didn’t help. The 2nd semester was even worse. It was like you couldn’t pick yourself back up because you fell so behind on a cumulative curriculum for all subjects. So I left that program severely in debt, bad 2nd year grades (embarrassing ones), and went back home to my bf with nothing. My brother encouraged me to apply that summer and did as much as he could to help but honestly no one wanted me once they saw those grades from the 2nd year. I even explained the situation and I tried emailing/calling those advisors/dean of the school to ask if they could write a formal letter which I can include in my application but no answer. I felt so discouraged with this 2nd time applying and not hearing back again. I called a few schools and they kind of just told me I have to fix that 2nd year grades.
But where do you go from there? You are so in debt, and you have so many credit hours under your belt - it seems so overwhelming to pick up and take one class at a time to fix things. The school called me asking if I wanted to come again a 3rd year but it would be difficult for me to get approved financial aid. Like all these loans just for that program when I probably didn’t even need it. I was doing well at the university near home.
The loan payments started so I had to work. I ended up taking another pharmaceutical job as a temp where my sister works. I moved to her state and lived with her. BTW she is not the easiest to deal with. SO imagine moving to a house with your sister and her fiance/husband for 1 year and going to work also with them and reporting to both of them…idk how they managed to get me in but that is a major conflict of interest. I hated it. I felt like cinderella at work and at home. But I did what I had to to pay my loan payments and sure enough more family problems that needed help. It has been just over a year and then I find out my bf gets a job in PA and will be moving. I moved in with him. Left my job. Left my sister. So much happier being away from that toxic environment ( don’t get me wrong i do love my sister - but it was eating at my spirit). I now can finally focus on doing my thing. I still want to but I feel so discouraged because now I’m 30 and I saw some of my classmates from previous programs getting in or getting matched. Like what do I do now? I need a job yes but I need to take classes too.
Anyways, just sharing that you are not alone spectacb. and Frosty like I totally understand you.