Finally, a hello

Hello everyone. I have been registered for some time and have been lurking even before this for a few years. Today, I got the gall to say hello.

I want to tell you that you guys are an inspiration and I love the support that you show each other. So refreshing…unlike some other forums.

I am 35–gonna be 36 some time this year. I don’t have a degree and haven’t even started my science pre-reqs yet. I plan to this fall. I have just finished with College Alg/Trig and I think I did well. I wanted to take statistics and Pre-calc this summer but unfortunately I can only take one of the two (financial reasons). While I dislike math because I fear it, I do respect it. I failed pre-alg and after that vowed to never have that feeling again. Is pre-calc something to chance during the summer in your opinion?

Also, I have read on here that most of you take Gen bio and Gen Chem with its respective labs together in the same semester, is this still better to do? Also, does one take a class toward their majors the same semester as well? I am scared out of my mind about the thought. I tried taking a full course along with Gen Bio and withdrew instead of taking a C+. I think I just have to tweak my time management but…I don’t know. If you could also share how you managed lectures and labs and an additional, I’d love you forever, lol!

I’m sorry this was so long. I really love this site. It inspires me on my darkest days. The days when I think I’m a fool for doing this. So keep up the great work and know that you help people like me.

Thank you

OK, what you feel is exactly how I felt when I was returning to school after a 9 year withdrawal from a formal institute. In addition, when I was a student (the first time after high school), my grades sucked! So, when I returned to academia, I was terrified that I would repeat my past mistakes. But you know what, I didn’t. Why?? Because of TIME MANAGEMENT!!!

I surely don’t consider myself to be a “smart” student, by any stretch of the imagination. However, I do firmly believe that I put in the time and manage my courses accordingly. I am not the “read once, and get it” type at all. I am the “read before lecture, go to lecture (take little notes, highlight, make note cards, and do practice problems till I am fed up.” I have been implementing this tactic throughout my undergraduate career, and it seems to have drastically improved my grades. I don’t think that I “got smarter” between the age of 18 and 31, but I have prioritized my personal life to cater towards my goals.

Honestly, for biology, I think that everyone may agree with me on this one: it is straight memorization (for the most part). Especially the topics covered including plants (which you may not care for). If all else fails in completely understanding a topic, teach yourself to recognize the correct answers for ‘multiple choice’ based classes. I found that I did very well when I studied with the idea “would this be a good question to ask??”

For Chemistry: put in the work!!! Unlike many other classes that may cover topics that aren’t related along the way, chemistry is the exact opposite. From the moment you enter that class, attack it, hard. Nomenclature sucks and is sometimes frustrating, but know this: if you struggle early in that class, it is only going to get more challenging. The same goes for organic chemistry.

Physics: ugh…not my course of choice, for sure. This course was the one science course that I found to be most challenging, simply because I did not have a personal interest in. I FORCED myself to keep my book open. Even if I did not understand a concept, I taught myself to recognize word problems (by doing homework), and to dictate which formulas to apply.

In regards to course-load… you MUST teach yourself to balance multiple science/GE at one time. That is something that I believe schools will eventually acknowledge when looking at your application. How to balance it all? TIME MANAGEMENT!

If you have a personal life, filled with family and friends; they will have to understand, period. It is tough at first, you may not know anyone in your classes, and you will probably be one of the older ones in the course, SO WHAT!? You are not there to be the cool person anymore. The cool thing about school… you will meet others like yourself, who share a common goal, and you will naturally gravitate towards one another. Eventually, the semesters will blow by, and before you know it, you will be done. Next semester will be my last, as an undergraduate. When I began (at a junior college) I shared these EXACT feelings. You know what, think of it as another tool to be gained in life’s journey. Tack it onto your tool-belt and just enjoy the ride. I think it’s pretty cool doing it as an adult with life experience.

Kick BUTT and stand firm!!!

Thank you! I really needed that. I am the type of person that can talk myself out of anything and this was heavy on my mind. I believe that I will make a go for Gen Bio and Gen Chem together as you’re correct about being able handle those types of courses together.

It’s weird, I’m prepared to fail but I don’t want to fail. Thanks for the talk

Gingersnaps! Hi and welcome. Please don’t fret I too (like most people on here) bit off more than I can chew with my semester load (TWICE) and ended up withdrawing from everything when I started on this rat race a few years ago. Take just one class if need be.

I had to learn how to study as an adult, since studying while in my early 20s was out of the question, lol!

I too, do not consider myself “smart” however I am indecently dedicated once I set my mind to something.

I say set your mind to it, create a well managed plan, don’t get discouraged if you fall off the proverbial horse every now and above all else don’t give up! …Ever.


Avoid the “analysis paralysis” that negative self talk creates. If you are committed to your plan then you will succeed. f1r gives sound motivating advice. I would simply add to seek out resources of your university to help you with executing your plan. ie. During my first week of medical school we took a “how do you learn” test. I learned more about how to study from that 45 minute test then all my years of “pounding the books” Most universities will have a learning center that can help you with a similar test and with time management skills. The last thing you want to do at this stage of the journey is “bite off more than you can chew” and have to drop a course. If you have had issues with this in the past, you have to ask yourself, “What will you do differently this time to ensure you ACE both courses?” I agree that showing you can balance home/work with a demanding course load will not only be impressive to ADCOMS but it will translate to success in medical school. It is critical that you learn these skills now, as it is not that any 1 concept in medical school is hard, it is the QUANTITY of material you have to MASTER in order to succeed. Best of Luck, Cheers!

Thanks Julio and Celtic. I am trying to work on my negative thinking. Old dog, new tricks–you know

My problem is that I have no time management skills which discourages me very easily and early in the semester. I still have some time to research and mull some things over.

I really appreciate the support and encouragement. I like the saying ‘paralysis analysis’ and I think I will use that to motivate me :slight_smile: I plan to stick it out this time, so whatever happens at least I can say truly that I tried and that I tried my best.

Hi Ginger!

Welcome! I’m new here too.

We have a few things in common. I also have no degree, am the same age, and need to work on my time management.

I didn’t take chemistry and bio at the same time because of the way the scheduling worked out for me. I need to take classes during the day while my kids are in school. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always give me a lot of flexibility. Well, that and the fact that I’m now checking out the ratings of the professors on! I wish they had that when I went to college the first time around.

I just figured out your user name–we really do have lots in common. I also have a GED and have this crazy notion to become a Doctor! :slight_smile:

But, yeah I have the same issues with the scheduling part of things and I LOVE ratemyprofessor. More often than not the reviews are dead on.

Hello gingersnaps and others. I’m one of those new and crazy people too. I have ADN in nursing, was suppose to start BSN program this month. Went nuts, cancelled my admission and registered for all bunch of science classes at my community college.cant wait to start, wanted to take online bio 1 this summer, no spots open at my college for online class. Will have to do as much as I can online do to work schedule. Keep us updated on your progress and good luck!

Well hello and welcome! Bio in the summer huh? I like you already, lol. Let me know how that turns out for you. I’m nervous about bio myself and need all the tips willing to be offered.

Good luck and don’t forget to post.

Welcome to OPM!!! Trust me when I say that you are among kindred spirits here…

I don’t have much to add, other than to just encourage you to keep walking! We are almost the same age (I just turned 36 on Sunday), and I’m starting med school in about 2 months. I had so many of your same initial fears and concerns, and I originally almost quit, because I thought the whole plan was just too crazy. So just know that you can do this. Take it on semester at a time…focus on what’s right in front of you, and suddenly–you will find yourself at the pre-med finish line.

I tried not to think too hard about the entire plan. It scared/stressed me out too much. I just took little bites. And when each was done, I simply checked them off the list and kept right on running. Don’t stop… you can do it!

Keep us all posted, and again–welcome!!

Carrieliz - I use exactly the same strategy. I try not to think about how old I’ll be at what point in my journey --after all, I’ll be that age anyway, and I figure it’s better to be that age, and a doctor, than not! My brother says he thinks the world with me as a doctor in it is better than the world with me NOT a doctor in it, ao he is always Johnny on the spot to support me however needed in getting there!

I’m starting so say “in 6 weeks I’ll be a 4th year med student” (or actually, in 5 1/2 weeks!)

Important to look to the present and MAYBe the immediate future.


Well, couln’t register for bio 1 for summer 1, but starting precalc in summer 2. So, decided to go over algebra to refresh on that. As of right now literally fighting with algebra . Bio doesnt scare me, maybe I’m wrong, but I went over some concepts before in A&P classes and micro.Thinking of physics gives a huge anxiety though. Like others sais here I’m tryng not to think about it too much. Keep posting.


Aww, thanks ladies! The support here is phenomenal. Just recently I was down in the dumps…just reflecting on life I suppose but before I started posting I would lurk here and I found that when I would read some posts here and peruse the OPM diaries, I’d feel better. I drew strength from other ‘underdog’ situations.

Anyway, I also tried to register for Gen Chem for the summer at my 2 year college before I completely transfer but it is full and way locked down. It’s probably for the best that I don’t take it during the summer, who knows. But, I, too, have registered for pre-calc for the second summer session. Still working on a class schedule for the fall. In the mean time I have been trying to learn some terms for Gen Chem through Khan Academy and I’ve also been listening to an audio book of basic Spanish…look at me, ‘getting my baby gunner on’ lol.

I will keep you posted.

Way to go Kate! Congratulations!

Thanks! I have one more rotation (ER) for third year but since I’ll graduate May 31, 2014, I’ll be a doctor in less than a year!!

Hello Ginger and GirlOnFire! I’m new here too and like you, my long journey is about to begin. I just enrolled to take Gen Chem 1, followed by Gen Chem II this Summer. The thought of going back to school after years of easy, peaceful life frightens me right now. However, reading success stories of others before us, who were exactly in the same spot we are now, assures me that we too can reach the finish line if we press on.

Hi Conquer

Welcome. Your post reminded me of my first pre-req: Gen Chem 1 as well in spring 2010. As I sat on my first day, I though to myself “What the hell am I doing here!”. Really I took it one step at a time and about to start Med School this fall.

Good luck. I was sitting in your chair 3 years ago!

Hi Conquer! I would love to know how your summer courses go when you’re done. I’m taking Gen Chem in the fall and have been reading some material to become more familiar since I don’t remember it from the little bit of high school I did

Anyway, welcome and good luck!

Hi Redo-It-All!

Thanks for those uplifting words. Congratulations on your acceptance to UT Southwestern! I’m from Texas so I have my eyes set on UT and other Texas medical school systems. Just hoping my app will be attractive enough to the adcoms when all’s said and done