Nervous, scared, excited,.....scared

So Chem1 starts on Tuesday and Chem2 6 weeks later and I am about to give birth to a mega sized load. My heart is in my throat. I’ve earned 2 W’s in Chem before due to not being able to attend classes. Work in the lab was too hectic and I underestimated the workload and class time.
I’m an admin poge now with a pretty cushy job but I am still nervous as if this were my 1st college class…heck 1st day of school in elementary school. I’ve planned out how much I will study and prepared my wife for my “only school & work” schedule. Basically Friday night will be date night but everything else is on pause. I thought about selling our condo but that is more involved that just merely putting up a for sale sign so that will probably go on hold as well.
I guess some or most of my anxiety has to do with…THIS IS IT! This is go time. Put up or shut up. Walk the talk. I know my problem which is I am ubber motivated at the beginning and bust out ridiculous 100’s at the beginning but then start to coast and by the end of the semester am struggling and cramming.
I hate that the lab is after the class because then my focus is to hurry up and just get thru the lab so I can go home. I guess typing this is kinda of therapeutic because it’s showing me what my problems are and correcting them.
I’m still not at 100% cool mode but I’m getting better as I reread these words. I guess I need to just work on my pace and not burn out early. I have 4 semesters to go and this is nothing compared to medical school. So just take it one hour at a time and do the small things everyday…prepare, read, study, review, attend class, review for lab, focus during lab, learn during lab, review after lab, drive home, review, sleep…RINSE & REPEAT.
Just as a FYI:
Summer I: Chem1
Summer II: Chem2
Fall: Orgo & Phy
Spring: Orgo2 & Phy2
Summer: EK MCAT Prep
August 2007: MCAT

You’ll do great.
It’ll be like drinking through a fire hose, but you will be amazed at how well you do. Your sessions will be so compressed that you won’t have time to get complacent toward the end, as you have in the past.
I’m taking Physiology and Chemistry II this summer; I will be in class from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm four days a week, for five weeks. I’m taking that time off work.
You might consider going to a reduced workload at the office if you are working full time.
Maybe we should have a summer-session thread where you and I and other crazies can commissurate in between studying.

Hey Crooz,

For one thing, HAVE FUN. Of course you’re scared; your previous experiences make sure of that. But you are a different person from the one who took chemistry so long ago. You have a reason for being there and a strong motivation to do well. Be sure to go with the idea that you are going to learn cool stuff. It isn’t ONLY about the goal of getting a good grade or getting stuff under your belt for the MCAT. Try to enjoy “learning for learning’s sake” – easy for ME to say, but my point is to relax just a little and really enjoy the experience. “Hey! I can still do this!” or “Wow! I had no idea that worked that way!” are good thoughts to have while taking your classes.


Well it wasn’t “that” long ago. About 5 years but yes I am different. It’s crazy that I’m excited about learning and understanding something as simple as significant figures or dimensional analysis. Before I couldn’t get past this fast enough to get to the “good stuff”…which never came.

Anyhow…is it bad that I prefer to do the labs alone? Since all we’re doing is observing and acquiring data then I mostly just want to get my numbers and leave. Slowing down to have the instructor explain how to use a vernier caliper, read a thermometer, tare a balance,…

I’m not being snoooty. I just marvel at how, even after the professor instructed everyone to stop and read the instructions which he just read OUTLOUD to us all and walked us all thru the “experiment”…there were still students completely lost.

I learned in the past to just keep my head down and truck on. I don’t expect alot from lab partners…only that they know what we are supposed to do…we can figure out the why after.

Is that a bad approach? Should I slow down and try to figure out the why during the lab? Should I slow down and use the class period to “teach” what should have been read before or even during class?

I just have a tough time taking another hour away from my wife and study time simply so that I can carry someone. I’ve had this happen in the past and it’s never fun. Person was 100% dependant on me and I missed 1 day of lab and they decided not to do the lab since I should have the answers!!!

I think I understand what you mean. I had Human Physiology about 11 years ago and am re-taking for a refresher. I forgot everything about the heart. In lab last night we did the sheep-heart dissection and I was so amazed at how freaking COOL it was.

This class is at a CC, so most are nursing students, and most were also suprised at how eager I was to handle it and cut into it. I think I’m labeled as the dorky, nerdy one, but I don’t care. I loved the labs when we did organ dissection from the first part, and I’m going to love it this summer too.

I am always amazed at how the human body is organized and works!

In re: labs–I was always one of the slow and confused ones–and was always one of the last ones out of the lab. Some of the fast ones also ended up going to med school. So I can’t say that either way is better. But–if you can find good lab partners–especially, other post-bacs–it is important to work with people, so that you can talk through what you’re doing and discuss what it means. If you think of labs as a task to get through, their value (admittedly sometimes limited in some courses) is much diminished. Ideally you should be thinking about what each step represents, not just how to do it. And I do think that having another person there who thinks about it a little differently can therefore be helpful even if it slows you down a little. But clearly, it has to be a person who thinks–not just a person who drags along behind you.

Good luck!


  • croooz Said: it bad that I prefer to do the labs alone? Since all we're doing is observing and acquiring data then I mostly just want to get my numbers and leave. Slowing down to have the instructor explain how to use a vernier caliper, read a thermometer, tare a balance,.......


Has this lab course begun yet? Maybe you can turn it into an opportunity--if you have substantial laboratory experience, partner with the lab instructor and help the other students through the lab. You will refresh and sharpen your own skills by teaching them to others, and you'll impress your lab instructor which is a really good thing when it comes time to ask for a letter of recommendation. "Croooz not only competently performed his lab experiments but generously shared his knowledge with his classmates and helped them through...." Direct hit.

Also, think of it as a way to bolster your grade. And if this segment of your curriculum is easy for you, treasure it and enjoy it because it's likely that other segments will not be so easy.

No TA for me…I’ve been humbled back to regular human status. Genius that I am I forgot to write my grams down in my lab notebook. I did write them down but just scribbled them on “some” sheet of paper. Went to do the post lab and was like sheeeeeeeeet!

So I hooked up with the guy across from me who is an economics major. Cool kid…ohhhhhhhh

I heard those fatal words…mark the day June 5, 2006…I got the "you don’t look THAT old! I’m not one to worry about age or how I look but that just came out of nowhere. I was like dang!

I have an appointment now for lipo, botox, beer belly tuck, hair implants, chest muscle implants, calf implants…viagra…

Hehehehe…I had a good laugh but it did wake me up. No time like the present to get this done. Luckily work is light for this week so I’m going to sneak in some studying during the day.


Yeah, I got the eye-opener fairly early in med school. I contracted a severe (RML/RLL) pneumonia during my second term of medical school. Coupled with my asthma, which was not well controlled at that time, it landed me in the hospital for 4 or so days. Of course, this occured during the last exam block of the term which was the week prior to finals week. Needless to say, I was behind the 8-ball!!!

At the beginning of the next term - after a 2-week break filled with make up exams - a well intended, YOUNG classmate of mine inquired about my health. How was I doing? Was I successful in passing all of courses? Blah, blah, blah…I thanked him for the caring inquiry & made note of the fact that I had indeed passed everything, but my grades took a bit of a hit.

His serious, compassionate reply was, “Wow! I am impressed! And, at your age…”

I asked him how old he thought I was…he replied, with a deer-in-the-headlights look, “Well, I figure you’re at least in your 30s”.

I just snickered & walked away.

I am WAY older than y’all so just imagine. I have had sincere and well-meaning colleagues commiserate about my health issues or those of family members by saying things like "When my mom had that… " or “My dad had the same experience.” Truth is I AM old enough to be their mom but still.

My co-chief is exactly one year older than my oldest kid.


“You don’t look that old” is vastly preferable to “Wow, you do indeed look that old.”

Well unfortunately I had to drop the class with a “W”. Makes it my 3rd W in Chemistry. I’m more than a little bummed.

A few unexpected circumstances which led to my downfall:

-mother-in-law came to stay rather unexpectedly

-1 of our cars died

-coworker was fired and their workload was redistributed

-supervisor had a “mild” MI and guess who got his work…

-new PI hired and decided to apply for a bunch of grants…who do you think had to teach this PI on how to write a grant…

I’m not sure but it seems a the planet’s were lined up perfectly for this not to workout. I wish I could say I feel good about my decision but I don’t. I fell like…a quitter. I just can’t see how I could’ve stayed. I went fomr having a pretty easy schedule to all of a sudden taking work home and getting called in on the weekends. Study time was taking a huge hit even with sleep being reduced to 4-5 hours a night.

Another step back…

It’s not a sprint, it’s not a sprint, it’s not a sprint, it’s not a sprint, it’s not a sprint, it’s not a sprint, it’s not a sprint, it’s not a sprint,

Wow… I thought I was having a tough time!

Chem I in the first summer session was a breeze.

The professor was excellant and my schedule cooperated fully. I got an ‘A’ without breaking too much of a sweat. This session, however… Ouch! It’s a different prof; one with a really offbeat teaching style, but it makes me crazy trying to follow him in lecture. My work schedule took a 90 deg. turn. My wife left the country for a month, and then called me with some alarming medical news. So I’ll be travelling to the other side of the globe for the weekend after I finish lab on Thursday. I’m in full crisis/panic mode now, and I’ve been pondering whether I should drop the lecture portion and take it during the fall semester (increasing my load to 19 cr-hrs). I talked to my professor after lab today. He was surprisingly supportive (still not much help with the drowning sensation he generates while he buzzes through reaction rates & equilibria at 110 mph) and he did everything short of begging to try to convince to just stay with it.

So, I try to make it through the week and study my behind off on the 25hr trip to the middle of nowhere (and be back in class on Monday!)

After seeing that I’m not the only one on the planet with stress, perspective is slowly returning.


Hang in there. I regret my decision because as quickly as things turned upside down the went right side up, upside down again, and now things have stabilized. Such is life. The second you make a decision “things” will come up to test your resolve. Hang in there if you can but if you aren’t able to then such is life. However that isn’t a license to take the easy way out.

I’m sure you’ll do fine. I’m forced to take the summer off. However with my bosses MI I’m the co-boss if that makes any sense. It’s actually working out and we’re talking about the fall semester and how I will not travel any longer. He’s cool with it because he wants to travel now.

It’s not a sprint. Keep pushing forward and we’ll one day, not too far, have the coveted MD/DO.