Everyone deserves a second chance

Hello there,

I am a recent graduate from UCLA. My story is one of ups and downs and unfortunately, mentally, I’m at a “down” period. I was, thank G-d, a great student throughout my life that slowly started becoming lazier during senior year of high school. My grades were still very high and was accepted to my preferred school with the intention of studying Biochemistry and ultimately going to medical school. Unfortunately, the same half-hearted, lazy work ethic carried over to my freshman year and I didn’t do particularly well. After hearing, erroneously, through friends that you can not receive less than a B in any science courses to be considered into Medical School, I thought my life was over. I began taking class much less seriously, leaving studying to right before a mid term or a final. My grades were essentially average. I didn’t seem to care, as long as I wasn’t failing I was content. I didn’t see any academic advisors during my first three years, and essentially chose classes for my major without realizing the ramifications of having three tough science classes in 1 quarter. I was living in a state of complete denial considering the hole in which I dug for myself to steep to climb out. I then received a blessing in disguise and was dismissed from UCLA due to an error (the professor made a mistake with my grade and brought my quarter GPA below 2.0). It was a wakeup call that I desperately need, if I didn’t change my ways I could really be kicked out. So i began soul searching and changed my major to History. I did very well in the classes and was able to complete my requirements for that major in a year and a half finishing off with a History Department GPA of 3.5. I decided to apply for my Masters in Public administration, but before I did I took a year off and in that time became a tutor and I volunteered for an at-risk center for teens and young adults who needed a second chance and help with schooling to receive GED, etc. I really enjoyed this, and due to the many children who needed help with biology and science, that was my primary focus the past 5 months. Suddenly the concepts that I seemed to not care about in College were incredibly fascinating! Organic chemistry, physics, Mathematics. It was all captivating to me. I realize that my dream of becoming a Doctor didn’t die, I tricked myself into believing it wasn’t for me pointing to the poor grades. I think the poor grades could be contributed to a lack of focus and studying. I realize now that the real path for me is in medicine. Unfortunately, my science GPA is rather low and I’ve taken a plethora of science courses. I’ve been scanning the pages of the internet trying to find something I can do to bolster my science GPA to give me a chance. I know what it’s like for someone to believe that their life is over and the incredible feeling they get when they’re given a second opportunity to succeed and pursue their dreams. I certainly realize that this is not going to be an easy task. It’s one that will force me to challenge myself in every possible way.

I believe my perception on learning is what prevented me from succeeding. I used to think that one is smart because he/she can understand a concept particularly fast or they know many things. The true smart learner is the humble learner, willing to learn from everyone and willing to tell themselves that while the concept may be difficult for them at the moment, it can be understood. Again, one can not change the past, but a person could change his future. I’m in the process of studying for the MCATs.

Here are some stats:

GPA 2.6

Science GPA 2.2

Any suggestions,

Thank you!

Hi! I am in literally almost in the same boat as you. I was dismissed from my UC back in 2008. I have seriously had a series of unfortunate events even since then. I failed Gchem two times in a row, as well as calculus and even worse things happened with bio literally its like F/C/D/D because I didn’t understand the whole application process and how classes worked. And even after those I still received poor grades one more F in Ochem 1 and a couple Cs. I guess to a degree I thought college and this whole app thing was just a game and that I would get in because I would. Entitled mindset at the time as you can tell. I don’t know why my advisors never told me to W but I think I was border line stubborn and arrogant considering I was the kid who never had to study for anything in their life. Then fast forward to 2011 and it hit me. I needed to at least try. I don’t know where my journey will take me but I need to at least follow through for once. I have many mistakes and regrets that I wish I could take back and I don’t want not applying (out of fear) to med school to be another. One thing that stuck to me since the Orlando conference I attended back in 2012 was by not applying/trying you have a 0% chance at being accepted, but by at least trying/applying regardless of how crappy you may think your app may be, you still give yourself a chance even if it may only be 1%. Also remember it only takes one acceptance to be a doctor. Keep pushing forward, retake classes, and rock the MCAT. I hope my little spiel helps at least a little. Feel free to PM if you need to talk further.

Oh and PS one of the biggest things I got out of my journey is that the process to medicine, whether you are a fresh high school grad or non-trad like us, is a process that needs to be respected and not rushed. I tried so hard to rush through and hence my grades. Take your time and respect the process. Nothing ever worth having was made overnight, well minus a baby but you know what I mean hah. Take care!

Welcome to OPM, Yonatan. Glad to have you here.

PersistentPreMed is right – if you don’t try, you have a 0% chance at getting in. At the same time, you have to be realistic and realize neither your cumulative nor your science GPA is considered very competitive. That’s not to discourage you, just to say that scoring well on the MCAT is especially critical in your case. With that in mind, remember to give plenty of time to not only studying content, but also to doing practice questions and taking practice tests (particularly AAMC tests, not just Kaplan, TPR, etc.). The practice questions help you with timing. The AAMC tests themselves are what really help you determine whether you’re ready for the MCAT.

Also, if you’re not aware, DO schools do offer grade replacement, which would likely change your GPA situation. That’s an option if you’re interested in the DO route and willing/interested in more courswork.

Hope that helps. Take care, and keep posting! Again, welcome.