where did the time go?

I’m currently an undergraduate student. I still haven’t declared a major but i’m listed as undeclared-biological sciences. In less than two weeks I will have finished my first year of college and the first thought that comes to my mind is “oh no”. I had a load of problems adjusting to the college life and sadly, my grades are a direct reflection of that. Lately i’ve been having those ‘thinking too far ahead into the future’ type panic attacks and the thought that keeps running through my mind is where i’ll end up in life. Ideally I’d like to go to medical school and become a pediatrician or maybe a dermatologist but the whole low GPA deal is ruining the dream. Now, that finals are rolling around I’m scared that i’ll either fail or get a D in a Statistics course i’m taking, and on top of that my cumulative GPA is already under 3.0.

Sorry for the drawn out story but in short…i’m in need of some insight from those of you who have gone through this daunting process. What should I do? Am I a hopeless cause or is there some shimmering bit of hope left for me?


First of all - do not panic! Do whatever you can to finish this semester with the best result possible, and then try to figure out what went wrong and why!

It’s only your first year! With three more years ahead of you, you might actually finish with a good GPA!


I’ve got to echo Kasia - don’t panic!

You’ve already identified the source of your anxiety, and you’re learning that you don’t like how it feels to be in this situation. Do what you can to do your best with what’s left to you this semester - and understand that it’s not the end of the world. Hell, it’s not even the end of your college career ;).

It’s true that medical schools understand that many people have a hard time adjusting to college life, and they consider the first year to be a reflection of that.

More importantly, though, IMNSHO - this is a learning experience for you. You’re not hopeless; really, you have a great chance to pause for reflection and figure out your direction.

And something I’d still be saying even if you had a 4.0 : take the time to consider whether medicine is what you truly want. I know that my perspective and desires have changed a lot since I was 19 years old, and I think career plans - especially in this case - require serious deliberation. Be sure you’re going along this path for the right reasons :).

R - E - L - A - X

Take 10 deeeeeeep clensing breaths

R - E - L - A - X

[repeat the above steps until you feel better]

Seriously, I promise that I do not intend to sound like your father nor am I trying to minimize your situation or be patronizing. You are young & just starting out - take it easy on yourself. It takes time - there is NO SUBSTITUTE - to learn who you are, what makes you tick & what you need to do with your life. Hell, most of us are in our 30s & 40s & just now hitting our stride. For some reason, American society decided somewhere along the way that we should already know all about ourselves before our 2nd year of college. In my opinion, this is ultimately stupid & potentially destructive to your self-esteem & emotional/intellectual development.

My advice is simple. And, I will conceed, much easier to say than do - give yourself a break, relax & enjoy your education. If you have not found you niche yet, then you need to explore more. There is no one perfect major for pre-med. In fact, non-bio science majors potentially make you a more interesting applicant. Start taking random classes that tweak your interest. If you like old English lit - take a course! If you like philosophy - take a course! So what if it takes you a few extra years to graduate? It is your life & education and time invested in education is NEVER a waste! Furthermore, it will mkae you a more well-rounded, mature & interesting person. And, again in my opinion, it is critically important to not loose the “YOU” in this long & arduous process.

I wish you the best of luck & success. Feel free to post additional thoughts or questions.