It's that time of the semester already!

Gonnif kick this down to the family room if you want . . .

It’s just that time of the new semester already where I want to hear from other forum members. I did organic and 13 other hours last fall, did the Anatomy in the 12 days over Christmas break and was signed up for 21 hours this spring.

I dropped a 4 hour Rhetoric and have Nutrition, Human Physiolody, Bio I w/lab, PreCalc for Bio Majors and Abnormal Psych . . . 17 hours. I’m already at that point where I am asking myself “Self, what the heck did you do!”

On the other hand, after a very dissapointing transition from CC to the State Univ last fall, I think I am beginning to learn how to actually attend mega lectures and study on my own. (Notice that I post here a lot less ) Plus the working less is helping.

Anyway, just curious if everyone else is off to a good start, anybody who needs some encouragement, “Stick with it, It’s going to be worth it in the end!”


This is exactly why I come on here! I just left home to come to the library thinking to myself “what am I doing?” I left my family at home to enjoy the weekend together while I will be in the library for the next 7 hrs.

But then I remind myself what u just said and it is true! It helps to hear it from someone else. Even after a long day of studying, it is such a great feelinig to “know” this stuff and be another small step closer to that grade i earn and need. I miss the kids and hubby all day long but they all know what the plan is and are all very supportive

Anyone out there making all sorts of sacrifices, u are not alone. keep at it. if u don’t someone else will!

I’d say I started off well, but now in need of some encouragement! I was doing excellently well. I ended last semester w/a 4.0 semester having taken Gen Chem I & Bio I for a total of 10 credits while working 20 hours a week off campus and 5-8 hrs on campus and, of course, family duties, etc. My overall GPA is 3.9. This semester, I decided I was tired of only taking two classes per semester so I cut back my hours at work down to 8/week. Well, I took on a lab assisting work study job last semester for experience and it continued into this semester. Last semester was a piece of cake because my prof only had one class and his lab’s for that class were easy to deal w/. This semester he has two labs, one of them being Micro. So, I started off this semester busting my tail making Tryptic Soy Agar plates, Tryptic Soy Broth tubes, autoclaving, washing up, more washing up, more autoclaving and just generally running around.

Oh, and then there are my classes! Gen II is a lot more of the same from last semester, except, so far, a bit harder. Shapes of molecules has my brain spinning a little. Doesn’t help that I’m in Calculus, too. I was doing fine the first two days of that and feeling okay. Haven’t had a formal math class in almost 20 years, so I was a little scared. Started off okay, then during Friday’s class: BAM! I got lost and scared and wanted to throw up. Went home right after class and studied, worked problems, watched videos online up until it was time to hit the volunteer circuit. Put in a 4.5 hour shift volunteering and left there beat as all heck, but grateful my ex is so supportive and was able to spend the evening w/ our daughter. She was asleep when I finally got home.

So, today, I attempted studying calculus during breakfast while my girl played in the background. Not a good idea. My ex spent a few hours with her this afternoon so I could pour myself into it. I got stuck on this one problem that I JUST CANNOT FIGURE OUT! Once I think I get it, I go to do a problem and it’s like it all vanishes from my head! Plus, I’m obsessive, so, if I get stuck on a problem, I work it and work it and work it until I literally cannot think about anything anymore. So, now I’m exhausted and feeling stupid and asking “what more can I do?!?” I’m also taking a Genetics class online and I have gotten a bit ahead in that course, for now, but it will come up on me soon where I won’t be ahead anymore. I feel like I literally don’t have any more room in my brain and not a second of time to spare, either. Now, I’m wondering if maybe I can find a way to cut out the off campus job. Those 8 hours a week I have working there is some seriously precious time I could really use for school and for a bit of a life! Can I afford it? I don’t know if I can afford not to! The hard work certainly paid off in previous semester’s and I try to keep my mind on the main goal, but this is hard work isn’t it?! I will be really surprised if anyone of us does not get into med school. This journey takes a lot of sacrificing and dedication and there is no do over this time around! What a whirlwind! Sorry to vent, but thanks for “listening”!

Ditto-- doing great, hanging in there, but starting to panic about the MCAT in an overwhelming kind of way.

We can do this, guys. 3 more months in this semester…

Shannon–I tutor Gen Chem, so if you ever want to PM me a problem, I’d be more than happy to work through it with you! We have to stick together!!

Good luck guys… I have my first exam of the semester on Tuesday night (Orgo II), so I’m off to study again!

Keep telling yourself–you’re doing this for a reason, this is the right path for your life, and this too shall pass. In the blink of an eye, we will look back and wonder what we were so stressed over… (can we say intern year?)

Good night, all!

I understand too well the nervousness you’re both describing. I’m used to being in control…heck, I’m an ICU nurse who also does Rapid Response and goes to all the codes, etc. Heck, I instruct at ACLS (a step up from basic life support, CPR classes)…code blues don’t bother me at all. Physics, on the other hand, …(fill in your favorite expletive)…I aced O-chem, yet physics still fills me with dread. My math is 18 years old, and physics just plain scares me. My first exam (second quarter) is Tuesday, and I work a 12 hour shift on Monday. I’m still pretending MCAT is a distant dream…that will become real in May. It seems odd that an actual code, with a patient’s life at stake, doesn’t make me blink, but physics problem sets make my stomach do flips.

Thanks, carrieliz for your offer to help with Chem. As of right now, I’m not worried about Gen Chem II. I have the same prof as last year and so have a pretty good idea what he expects. So far, I’m not stuck on any chem problems. I think once I get my hand on some models in lab it will help me to visualize some of the molecular geometry stuff. I got an A in Gen Chem I w/o too much of as struggle so I’m not worried yet about II. That being said, I may very well get stuck along the way and may just take you up on the PM offer!

It’s Calculus that has me stuck right now. It’s actually just one problem that is making me crazy. The book we have is awful. It will go through an idea in 1.5 pages and then give 45 practice problems that supposedly can be done with the little info “explained” in the text. Not true at all. The text offers really bad “explanations” and doesn’t do very many examples and the ones it does offer are not fully broken done, so there are a lot of holes! It’s super frustrating, but thank God for the web and Khan Academy! The instructor is approachable, too. I can figure a lot out if I am given a few good step by step (really broken down) examples. Then, I “get” it and it sinks in. I wish we had a better book or a web supplement to it. I may just have to quit my off campus job and spend that extra time on Calculus.

sevenwheels: I completely get where you are coming from. While I have never been part of a trauma team or ran a code, I totally understand what you mean. Sitting down doing a physics (or calculus) problem is way different than being in the midst of a crisis and having to think fast and just work it. I’d rather do that, too! But, I suppose all these problems we have to work are going to build necessary critical thinking skills…

Which brings me to the MCAT. carrieliz, I feel for you there! I will be in your same boat this time next year, so I’m watching you! Hang in there. Keep kicking butt like you have. G/L on Orgo II exam, too!

While I’m in the midst of a personal pity party I would also like to complain about the following:

  1. A 3 yr old daughter going on 13 and the attitudes and frustrations that brings.

  2. Adult acne despite 2 Rx’s “solutions”.

  3. Weight gain despite working out 5-7 days/week.

    Okay, this all being said, I would like to also express my gratitude for:

  4. The opportunity to vent my frustrations in an open, welcoming forum where I know I won’t be judged and where I know others have been where I am and made it through!

  5. The opportunity and freedom to even be able to pursue such a lofty dream!

  6. The will and drive to make it happen.

  7. My life and health and family.

  8. OPM’s (and the Med Students, DO’s and MD’s they’ve become) everywhere who continue to inspire me.

Ok, I have to laugh. Shannon, see what I was doing was practicing my EK method for the verbal section of the MCAT…reading for the main point instead of reading for detail… that’s why I didn’t catch that you were stuck on Calculus–not Chemistry. Heheh

I guess I need more practice. =)

I also get the frustration and hilarity that can ensue when your little ones try to play or even help with homework. My 4 year old daughter loves to do “homework” when Mommy is doing hers. This weekend, as I was studying for Orgo, she came up with a marker, a sheet of paper, and my chemistry lab goggles on her face… and showed me that she had done her “homework.” This consisted of her marking all over the draft copy of my personal statement that I’d printed out and made notes on, but she drew an awesome picture of herself and Mommy holding hands and dancing our way to her school.

So…yes, I was frustrated. At the same time, all I could do was look at that little face with those goggles on and scoop her up and cover her with hugs and kisses.

There are important things. And then there are really important things.

I realize that it’s her way of trying to be a part of what I’m doing. Even though it gets crazy sometimes, I have to remind myself of that. She tells all our friends and family that she and her mommy both go to school (like we do it together)… and I want to honor that. I know that once I get to medical school, things will be even crazier, and I don’t want her to think that anything is more important than our family.

So we just find ways to move around things, and I mostly work when she’s asleep. LOL

I think something would be wrong with us if we weren’t worrying…wondering…slightly stressing… at this point in our journey. The endeavor we are embarking on is such an important one, and one missed-step will cause delays or dead ends. Net? These feelings are normal.

Thank God we have each other to keep it all in perspective, right?

Have a beautiful week, everyone!

Great thoughts, carrieliz! My daughter, too, talks about her and mama both going to school. She got a dr. kit for Xmas from my dad, too, so now she is going to be a dr., too. Though, she vacillates between an animal dr. and a people dr. I, of course, just want her to be happy! Love the chemistry goggles anecdote. My girl loves to dig in my backpack and see what kind of neat things I have in there. Fancy calculator, all those pencils!, and yes Chemistry goggles. I also try to keep my work for times when she is sleeping or away, but darn it if I can’t help but crack the books just a little when we are cuddling in bed at night and she is engrossed in Dora. But, she seems to get it, too. Mama studies…A LOT! But, she is never neglected and I have lots of notebooks with crayons markings along with my formulas and scratchings, too. It sure makes me smile when I am in the middle of class and I find one of her stickers on a page when I’m taking notes. Keeps it all in perspective. Gotta love it!

Thanks for making me smile, too, carrieliz!

Enjoy the ride everyone! It’s worth it and there are certainly happy moments to be had in all the craziness.

YES! Oh, Shannon, that cracks me up–my daughter always leaves gifts in my backpack. It’s always random stuff that she thinks her mommy will “need” in school, and it just melts my heart every time I find them. So precious!

It’s hard to believe that she was 3 when I started this journey, and she’ll be 13 (or older) when I’m a practicing physician… That’s a huge chunk of her life, and my husband and I both need to be extremely intentional to make sure those years are good ones for her. I don’t want her to feel like an afterthought, and some days I do better with that than others (“I can’t play right now… Mommy’s studying…” ugh…how I cringe when I hear those words come out of my mouth!) My family is my first priority. Always. But the way we live is morphing into a different shape for the time being. I think as long as we are continually encouraging and pouring love and life into our little ones, they will be just fine with our busy schedules! So far, so good anyway. (Although we do worry about it…)

On an unrelated note…

Somebody smack me-- I MUST be dreaming!! I made a 100% on my Organic II exam last night… first one of the semester, and I hit a homerun!!! Wo hoooo!

I guess having my 4 year old study with me was an excellent strategy!!!

Wow…it feels so good to start with a bit of a cushion, you know? I can breathe for the rest of the week. =) That opens up some time for Biology MCAT prep… onward and upward!!

Hey carrieliz: First and foremost: CONGRATS ON THAT 100%!!! Truly fabulous!

Our lives are pretty similar on this premed path, I must say. I am a year behind you and my daughter is three. She’ll be 4 this time next year when I’m in your boat finishing up premed prereqs and preparing for an early summer MCAT to apply in 2013 and matriculate in 2014. So, yep, my girl will be at least 13, depending on what path I find for residency, when I am a full fledged done w/ residency practicing doc! This path I have chosen is going to coincide with her whole childhood and entrance into adolescence. Those are precious years and I am mindful of that, especially, when like you, I find myself telling her “no” to fun things because I have to study. I, too, cringe sometimes when I have to tell her I have to do anything other than spend time playing with her. Plus, as an only child she doesn’t have any playmates around the house and is used to being the center of attention! But, in the end, I know I’m not neglecting her and I also am hoping I’m setting a great example for her. Gosh, I hope she figures things out faster than did I and finds her path earlier, but what will be will be.