put a fork in me. Four weeks left, C’s in orgo & physics with an A in bio. The physics exam that I thought I’d ace I got a D. Averaging a 72. Professor says to stick in there but with everything the only hope is for a C. Maybe a B in Orgo. So with my A, B, C,…I’m just too burnt out to do anything. I’m exhausted and it pains me to say that this was too much and I believed I ruined my chances at med school. I’m just so tired, physically and mentally. Bed at 10pm up at 2am and nothing to show for it but crappy grades, major test anxiety, and a bit of depression. This sucks so bad. Feel like such a failure letting so many people down. I’m done. I’m just so tired and disillusioned with this whole deal. I want off of the rollercoaster. I’ve got so many W’s (5)…do I take another one? I don’t know…prof says to hang in there but…
Crooz, I have a couple questions and since you and I go waaaayyyyy back, I’m hoping these don’t offend you.
- Why are you taking 3 hard core science classes at the same time?
I understand people want to “simulate” a difficult semester to show adcoms you’re smart/ready for med school or maybe to prove it to yourself. But I’ve personally never ONCE heard an adcom say that a student needs to have a schedule like this to show they’re ready for med school.
If a student have a recent history of W’s or haven’t had hard classes in a while, the smarter thing to do IMHO, is to GRADUALLY work your way up to a difficult schedule, one class at a time.
- Are you working anywhere while taking this schedule? Okay, I understand folks need to work, but if a student is working with a schedule like this, it just makes your task that much harder and difficult to earn great grades.
Again, I understand that nontrads often balance their work with family responsibilities but that’s all the more reason to be conservative with your class schedule.
- Are you working with any other students or do you have tutors? One of the errors I think I made when I was taking general premed prereqs is that I didn’t take advantage of the FREE tutors at school nor did I work (at first) with other students in my major. I know you mentioned that the students at your school don’t seem very serious. But honestly, I think if that were the case for me, I’d find a school to attend where the students ARE serious. IMHO, the “company” you keep can make a difference in your attitude.
This response isn’t intended to be an attempt to shame you or make you feel any worse than you already do. It’s more to make you think about how to fix it so you can get back on the right track.
Good luck and hang in there!
Without a job I figured I could handle it. Quizzes and homework were going well but the test are another story. I get the info so the tutors were no help. I know the info and yet total brain freeze come exam time.
While the motto here is “it’s not a race” it kinda turned into one for me. I was trying to take the MCAT next year and got caught up and my pride wrote a check my old brain couldn’t handle. So I have yet another W. The only way I can see a silver lining, if there is one, is that a W won’t affect my GPA but it will bring a lot of redflags for the adcoms. I will have fewer schools looking at me and am opening myself up to the possibility of the Carribean or Mexico at this point. Yet in all honesty that is too far ahead to even consider. Money has tightened way up, to the point that we don’t have any and I’m feeling that burden.
I’m at a very dark place and dealing with the super FUD question of “what if I don’t make it?” Not the best focus but it is what it is. I’m really questioning if it’s really worth it.
Just where I’m at right now…
- croooz Said:
As a tutor, the one thing my students consistently need help with is taking exams. Give it a try, you don't know if it won't help until you try EVERYTHING.
- croooz Said:
For folks with other responsibilities other than self (ie family, spouse, ect), I don't think it's wise tell yourself when you're going to take the MCAT because stuff ALWAYS comes up. I say decide on when you're going to take the MCAT AFTER you've earned at least a "B" in ALL the prereq courses.
- croooz Said:
I will have fewer schools looking at me and am opening myself up to the possibility of the Carribean or Mexico at this point.
Running off the the Carib or Mexico is NOT going to "fix" your testing issues. In fact, it may make things MUCH worse because you'll be left to your own devices to make it outside of the US.
Also, you'll have a MUCH higher standard to meet to even practice in the US, which translates into you'll need to have superior grades AND superior USMLE scores.
Here's the thing, I TOTALLY get everything you're going through because I went through it myself. But heading off to some foreign med school with study and testing skills needing improvement isn't the solution.
All that said, I still think you should have gradually worked your way into a difficult schedule even if you weren't working if for no other reason than to give a you a HUGE shot of confidence. You could start with the subject that's easiest/most interesting for you, get an "A", then gradually work up to a more difficult schedule. At the same time, you could be doing medically related volunteer work or something else to show adcoms you're committed to this goal.
Finally, I'll leave you with this. If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you always got.
Scratch the old plan and develop a new one!
I noticed that you had a brutal sleep schedule. Google, “The Importance of Sleep in Learning.” Essentially, your brain is like a computer. When you download something on your computer, you have turn off the computer (put it to sleep) and turn it back on (wake up). Now, the computer processes the information in seconds. Humans need 7-8 hours to process the information.
I got caught up in the race to take the MCAT before it changes. Dumb. I’ll definitely talk to the tutors about testing because that is the area I need help in. Knowing the info and psyching myself out has been the nature of the beast with the prereqs. Spoke to my mentor who laughed at how he never expected e to take this approach since I’m so laid back about classes. So off to drop the physics, learn the info but not put the weight of the world on it, and get back to a sustainable marathon pace versus the retarded sprint I had going.
No worries about offending me. I’m here to learn and one thing I have proven is I can convince myself of anything…even to go against my own sage advice.
Thanks eagle eye. I’ll give it a read. My mentor was shocked at my schedule as well. Seems I’ve done everything wrong…go figure.
I just want to give U my two cents on this issue.
First, I agree that tutors are good idea.U probably have some free at the school but also on craiglist there are many people who are doing this. You can look around and try few of them and see which is best for Ur study type. But also did U try ratemyprofessor.com before U signed up for the classes? Because there are easy and difficult teachers in every school . For example, there were two brothers taking College Biology at the same time as I, with two different teachers and using same textbook. One had with same as I, and got A , other had with another teacher, and got F!!!
So next time U should really check what is the style and how easy is to get A/B. I know we go to school to learn and we need this info for MCAT but first U need the grades and later U can learn or learn stuff needed for MCAT.
Second, U should look on amazon or ebay or halfpraice books for some study guides or test banks for orgo or physics or whatever class U taking. It will give You hundreds of questions to practice from in the area that U are learning. Even if the author is not the same , usually material is the same. There is a whole series by Schaums in the form of question and answers and also I think REA has some test banks.
Third, U need to start liking tests . U have to change Ur thinking and realize that this is a war between us ( students ) and them (teachers) . this how I approach it. I am exited before each test because it is the only way for me to show them that I am good and I will pass it well.
Finally, not going to med school is not the end of the world. Believe me, I finished first year of DO school with really good grades ( As and few Bs) and now I am going to start Master in Nursing and later maybe nurse practitioner. Last year I would not imagine that it will happen but life had different path for me.
As a former Chem Prof, I’m going to have to strenuously VETO the previous comment!
First, taking the easy way out for premed coursework is a HORRIBLE idea on MULTIPLE levels, not the least of which is that if you don’t learn it the first time around, YOU’RE WASTING TIME. Since you’ll have to know it for the MCAT, why not just LEARN IT the first time, so that when it’s time to study for the MCAT, it will just be review??
Second, MANY of the comments on ratemyprofessor are from lazy ass/entitled students that think their profs should be easy on them because their “lack of child rearing parents” were. And in case you’re wondering my reviews are good on that site, but I know what’s its like to have lazy ass, entitled students in my classes.
Third, if premed preqs are seen to be an impossible challenge, med school won’t happen.
Finally, I suspect that the reason many of us are Nontrad premeds is because once upon a time, many of us were lazy ass, terrible students, looking for the easy way out. At some point you MUST demand the best from yourself or find something else to do that doesn’t eventually require you make life and death decisions. Do you want your Surgeon taking the easy way out while working on YOU?
PS- Let’s resist the urge to become like that other premed site.
unfortunately I have to respectfully disagree with U . Sometimes learning material for school and passing MCAT with good score in the same subject are two different things.
I was just being honest and trying to help her/him using some street smartness.
Everybody is different but for me its better to get to med school than have all A and do not get into med school.( or achieve any other goal). It is easy to say to somebody that hey should not go to med school because they cannot pass orgo with A, but I know many successful professional students ( not only medical school but also physical therapy and dental school) they were mediocre (B and C) in college but very good in graduate school. I also saw opposite just last year - all A in college and were not able to pass classes in med school. I believe that if this is somebody`s dream , everybody should try. Its just me.
When it comes to reatemyprofessor site - It helped me several times to chose wisely and avoid W later on. I agree it is not 100% reliable but can U show me web portal that is ? Even our oldpremed is based on our opinions and experiences.
- andrzej Said:
Street smart? Are you serious?? What in the world does street smart have to do with ANYTHING?? What you're describing sounds more like "slick a$$" where I come from, LOL!!!
- andrzej Said:
I never said anyone needed all "A's", what I DO say is that people who have at least a "B" in their preqs not only have a better chance of getting into med school, but STAYING in med school too. In other words, what's the point of getting in with mediocre grades and poor test taking skills (assuming a person can) when it will only catch up to you later?
- andrzej Said:
It is easy to say to somebody that hey should not go to med school because they cannot pass orgo with A, but I know many successful professional students ( not only medical school but also physical therapy and dental school) they were mediocre (B and C) in college but very good in graduate school. I also saw opposite just last year - all A in college and were not able to pass classes in med school. I believe that if this is somebody`s dream , everybody should try. Its just me.
Again, you completely missed the points I was making. I was IN med school classes with folks who had >32 MCAT's and >3.5 GPA's who were REPEATING the courses I was taking for the first time. So yeah, it goes without saying that grades/MCAT's don't mean everything. But they do mean a LOT to adcoms so folks in the process have a choice to make. Either try to slide in by the skin of your teeth and hope your poor study habits and test taking don't eventually get you kicked out, or walk in head held high, thoroughly prepared for the challenges ahead.
I’ve been absent from this site for the past couple of years while I was dragging myself through my pre-reqs, with some victories and some heart-wrenching exam scores.
I went through a few self-doubting, dark moments myself. Throughout this process, there are times where it seems like the whole world is against you and your goal. It’s important that you continue to focus on the task at hand, regardless of the grades you’re getting. Orgo is difficult–med schools understand this. Regardless of your GPA when you finish, you can overcome it. There are measures you can take to make your candidacy attractive–think grad school, additional upper division science credits, other highlights of your application. This isn’t the end of the ride, just a bump in the road; and there will be more before you’re done. Roll with the punches and focus on the task at hand.
Some suggestions that helped me:
-When taking core sciences at the same time, don’t spend too much time on one subject. I took Orgo and Bio at the same time. I found that going to the quiet section of the library (preferably a science library, where there are fewer people and distractions) and partitioning my studying into multiple 50-minute sections on each subject, alternating back and forth, this gives you less of a feeling of burning-out. Also, sometimes it helps to step back from a subject if you’re stuck on it and focus on something else.
-Don’t be afraid to approach your profs and GTFs with your feeling of being overwhelmed. Oftentimes they can be more insightful about the best approach to the subject and the exams than an adviser. Furthermore, they seem to really appreciate non-trads/post-bacs and are willing to go out of their way to help you succeed.
-Exercise, exercise, exercise! Especially during midterms and finals weeks. This is important for brain-function and getting the most from sleep; it also alleviates stress and depression. It may feel like you don’t have time for it, but taking 60-minutes every other day will make a huge difference. This approach will also help you make and keep a schedule which optimizes study time and keeps you away from distractions.
Best of luck, keep up the hard work. Don’t give up, make the most of your efforts so far!
You’ve also completely missed the point of what the MCAT is actually testing for, it’s a hellva lot MORE than E= MC squared, SMDH!!!
Im not sure what your exact circumstances are, but I think I can speak for everyone on this wonderful site, DONT GIVE UP. I know that’s easier said then done but I will use the great late George Washington as an example here.
Lets suppose he had decided not to fight the British(no offense to any British on here). But lets say he had not done so. Just gave up said “I’m Done”. Decided that this GREAT country wasn’t worth fighting for? Or any other great veteran that decided to give up. My point here is that we all reach our breaking point, and it is at this moment that we must press on. Not only for ourselves but for the ones around us that believe in us, for everyone on here that is rooting for you. Stay strong, dig deep and fight. And I promise you that you will never regret it.
I am done arguing. I thought we can give each other opinion without arguing and attacking each other (like it is on the other forum). Of course whatever U said is truth and whatever I said missed the point.
Maybe in Ur world there is only white and black and everything else is slick or whatever. I am an emigrant and had to overcome a lot here using whatever it takes to achieve my dream - being homeless, studying in dunkin donuts 16-18 hours at a time or whatever it took. And I am talking from the perspective of a med student.I achieved it. You , Croooz and many others are still trying to get into. So good luck to all of You. I have too many other problems right now than getting into arguments with anyone.
Croooz do not ever let anyone tell You that You can not achieve Your dream! Only because someone cannot achieve it, it does not mean that You cannot.
- andrzej Said:
Actually, I WAS accepted MD/PhD years ago but declined my admission for personal reasons. And let's be clear, you're no longer a med student, so I'm not exactly clear on how helpful your advice for Crooz to take the easy way into med school since he wants to finish med school, like so many of the rest of us.
FYI, I have a thriving business helping others overcome their science course and test taking anxiety issues, including the top dollar I'm paid to tutor folks taking the MCAT. So I feel MORE than qualified to speak on this issue based on what I've accomplished considering how IMPOSSIBLE it was based on my poor undergrad grades and first MCAT score.
What you're suggesting sounds a LOT like taking short cuts, and disagree or not, it's simply not a smart way to go about this process.
So don't expect to put bad advice out here and not get called out on it by someone who has succeeded in and works in this process.
I am really confused as to why people would think researching professors and avoiding the bad and crappy ones or even unreasonably difficult ones is a bad idea. Frankly, it is solid advice. Perhaps this is part of the issues the OP is having but I think the other posters have a good offered a few good ideas on how to tackle things.
I do think racing for the old MCAT is an unwise idea.
In regards to packing it in…that’s a very difficult and personal decision and sometimes frankly it can be the right one. I can’t really offer a lot of advice on that front as it’s really up to the OP to decide. I’ve a couple of people in my PB program who decided to go the NP or PA route and they have no regrets.
Ok last one and I am done. I am still med student (oms2 ) on leave of absence because my 33 years old wife is dying from stomach cancer and I also have a 2 year old and 3 months old daughters and no family. You have not finished medical school also yet and tutoring - well I also did it not only in med school but in nursing school and in college. As I said, it was my opinion and I was trying to help. good luck . its not my desire to give bad advice to anyone.
Maybe I missed it, but where was it stated that researching profs and avoiding bad/crappy ones is a bad idea? My statement was intended to communicate the fact that many times a “bad” professor is one that expects their students to think and doesn’t spoon feed info. A “crappy” professor is often one that doesn’t curve tests the way students would like. Honestly, I didn’t think that needed explaining around here, but I guess I was wrong.
- andrzej Said:
If I offended you in ANY way, I apologize. We made assumptions about each other and I can own up to mine and try to make amends.
Good luck to you and to ALL of us in the process of living life while becoming Physicians.
I’d look at andrzej’s posts a bit closer and see what he was really trying to communicate. In the future, a few minutes spent on that would be a good investment of time and save a lot of thread derailing.