Deciding to take the pre-med track is a big commitment in college. You will be married to a set of hard core science courses that will ask you for commitment and responsibility.
1. Coffee will be your new best friend.
Pulling all nighters studying, trying to get an A in Organic Chemistry or cramming for your next Bio exam will need your full attention for most of the day. It id definitely not the healthiest thing to be doing but hey, you gotta do what you gotta do!
2. the Library will be your new home.
As a pre-med, you will be needing extended amounts of hours trying to focus on your next step. Staying in the library for long hours, perhaps never even meeting your own bed again will be a lifestyle you have to prepare mentally for. it is important thus, to keep finding some short breaks where you can take care of yourself away from the horrendous workload.
3. Wait, I have a social life?
It is a “truth universally acknowledged that when one part of your life starts going okay, another falls spectacularly to pieces” according to the wise Bridget Jones. Being a pre-med might be an isolating experience in which you will wonder whether you even had friends! try to be part of some study groups to keep the social aspect of your life moving.
4. you start to grow an inner nerd you never thought you had
Some of the symptoms you might be diagnosed with may include making nerdy jokes at social events about molecular spins where everyone stares awkwardly at you, or even starting to see the world differently within your thermodynamic theory universe. You might notice that people are looking at you as if you were a descended alien on earth. Just carry on.
5. your mental health may need you to start paying attention to
being constantly in a high demanding and high stress environment will naturally make your mental health drop low on energy. A common symptom pre med students face is burnouts. You want to avoid that problem as much as possible: study for exams before hand instead of cramming and pulling all nighters, plan your week with a study plan so that you are getting enough sleep and that you’re eating healthy meals and not surviving on pasta.
6. priorities are shifted
As a premed in college you may notice that your priorities are starting to shift: you no longer prioritize hitting the bar on a Friday night or playing cards against humanity with your buddies, but instead you start a committed monogamous relationship with your physics textbook.
7. your grades may not end up being as good as you expect them to be
if you were used to being the straight A kid, college pre med courses have surprises for you. most courses will have unexpected scenarios for you to solve and analytically think about. This may mean that the 4.0 will be hard to maintain. But this should not stop you. Grades are not the end all be all of your future medical career.
8. Might as well become a monk
When the MCAT is there, you will not leave your seated chair position. The MCAT is a highly demanding exam that will require your full attention and abilities. You may as well tell people you are on a meditation retreat. Scoring well on the MCAT is essential for getting into medical school, even moreso than your college GPA.
9. Your academic adviser becomes your life guru
Questions on credits and finishing up that major? you will get used to multiple trips to your academic advisor who will -hopefully- have insightful comments that will help you with your career. No need to go to India on a spiritual quest: just go to the college advising center. they will help you find your sanity back.
10. Remember: Intelligent people ask for help
Finally, do not forget that life as a premed in college is difficult and challenging academically, emotionally, socially and mentally. Ask for help when you need it. When things hit the down road, talk to your counselor, therapist, friend etc. Getting through a rough ride is not to be done alone. It takes a village.