Life As a PreMed In College

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.

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10 Good Study Habits For Success in College

1. NEVER Study Right Before Class

As college students, we have all experienced that last minute cram session before the big exam. But actually, cramming sessions won’t really help with anything. The best thing to do is simply space out your studying so you finalize preparation before test day. Sometimes our hard-working brains need rest too!

2. . Setting Up a Schedule

Ever had to study and have had no clue where to start? It’s a good idea to use a calendar or reminders on your phone to help you plan out when you are going to study and for how long. As college students, we have lots of other activities on our plates and it’s important to stay organized and plan accordingly.

3. Study Breaks Are Brain Breaks

Yeah I know. Big test coming up and you don’t want to stop to even think about anything else. Well, you should. Every hour its a good idea to take a 10-15min “brain break” to avoid headaches and/or stress. Grab a snack and some water, but stay motivated!

4. Form Study Groups…It’s More Helpful Than You May Think

Get to know the people in your classes. Making friends on the first few days of the first week is super important in establishing a small group of people you can go to with questions or to set up study sessions. Take turns quizzing each other and discussing exam topics to make studying more effective and interesting.

5. Color Code Your Notes

Sometimes our brains get too caught up in chunky paragraphs and never ending sentences. Luckily, a solution to this is to color code certain sections of your notes that stand out or are very important and need to be remembered. Keep highlighters around when you study to make this process faster. You can even use a key to categorize different topics by color.

6. Draw a Chart (For Us Visual Learners)

Sometimes it’s hard to connect your thoughts, especially for subjects such as history. Drawing bubble charts and venn diagrams can help organize subtopics and show their relationships in a more understandable manner.

7. Music Is Important

It’s always a good idea to listen to music when you study. However, having headphones or earbuds can confuse you as you study, so its best to have your music playing from a speaker at a low volume as background noise. I also recommend listening to music without lyrics so your head isn’t trying to juggle singing along with retaining info. I know, its hard to avoid.

8. Keep Study Sessions Short and Sweet

The shorter your study sessions, the more effective. Avoid distractions and focus for a few hours then come back to your work the following day or hours later. Studying for one subject too long can stress you out, but small doses of work are a more relaxed and effective way to accomplish your goal…an A+ on that midterm.

9. Chewing Gum: One of the Smartest and Simplest Studying Tools 

Chew gum while you study and on your exams! A component of the minty flavor causes your brain to focus more and having something to keep your mouth busy avoids other distractions like playing with your pencil.

10. Last and Most Importantly, HAVE FUN!

It’s college! Studying can be fun and beneficial if done right. Have fun and plan your studying out so you maintain a balanced life as a student.

Should You Take Computer Science in College?

What Major should I Take?

If you’re an incoming freshman, a prospective student, or a high school student, chances are that you are thinking of a major to pursue. As days pass and technologies progress there will be a couple of industries that really stand out. One of them is the tech industry. As robots continue to take human jobs why not be behind the creation of the robots to secure your place. Ultimately, there are three key factors in deciding your major!

1. Job Employment

As the human population increases, securing a high-paying job will become more and more difficult. According to the Bureau Labor of Statistics, the job growth of Computer Science is higher than average at 17%. There are many jobs open for Computer Science and the Tech industry as well. Of course, you shouldn’t solely choose your major just because of the job growth.

2. Flexibility of Major

With many majors, you are confined to a certain field. Whether it be in Business or Liberal Arts, there is not much more you can do. With a Computer Science Degree, you can branch off to other topics such as Mathematics or Data Science. This makes Computer Science a very flexible degree making job searches even easier.

3. Be apart of the Future

There is no doubt that the future is all technology. As a Computer Science student, you will be directly working with the software of computers and electronics. You could be working on the next Facebook or maybe even the new Google. The is no limit to this Field. Even though it is a very fast paced and a constantly changing field, it is one of the best ones to get involved with.

Cons:

1. Work Ethic

If you thought you could slack the next four years of college, oh boy you’re in for a ride! The work ethic has to be there. With hours of time behind the computer you need to make time for exercising, socializing, and.. well being human.

2. Constantly Changing Field

Have you ever seen the meme where it talks about graduating with a degree but all the employers are looking for 10 years of experience… well yeah, this is it.

You need to be on top of everything. It is a very competitive field but it can be VERY rewarding. Working at one of the big tech companies, or even working at a startup can feel really good.

3. You have to fall in love with Computers

I’m not talking about your Social Media and Email checking. You have to start loving how computers work and processing data. I recommend checking out free online resources like codeacedemy or videos on YouTube. If the things are interesting then you might be on to something…

Ultimately, you need to love what you do because if you don’t work will feel like a prison.

College Personal Statements: Thinking Outside the Box

It is college application season, which means it is time to cry, stress, and write! College Personal statements are surely stressful as they can make the difference between being accepted or denied. Many of you are probably stuck on what to even write. Here are 5 simple and effective ways to help you mind jogging.

1. Become the Black Sheep (In the good way of course)

For all those applicants who are aiming for high tier schools (IVY, UC, or private), college admissions do not want to see just participation or awards in sports, music, volunteer, and etc. For one simple reason: MOST APPLICANTS HAVE THOSE ALREADY. Almost every person has done some-sort of volunteering like key club or won first-place in a tournament. Show that you have done something only very few people have done. For me, it was taking me and my tennis team to the state competition twice. Fewer than 100 people can do that, which made stood me out. Everyone has their own unique aspects as a person, it’s just up to the person to find out what that is.

2. Show You Made a Difference

Instead of easily listing your awards or leadership positions, talk about the difference(s) you have made and to what extent. Every applicant has all accomplished great things, but not every applicant has made a profound difference in their community. No college wants a conceited and selfish student. Every college wants students who contributes for the good of society.

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My Difference

I was working at a law firm when this one refugee called. She has a 6-year-old son and has never been married. She gave up her jobs to take care of her son and just had an abortion. On top of all that is her family seeing her as a complete disgrace. She is now seeking shelter in the U.S. to escape her horrified life. Firms rarely take asylum cases since refugees do not have money but hearing her story, I could not say no. I asked my manager if we could make an exception, but he said no. I offered to pay out of my pocket and our firm took the case. We attended her hearings and filed her court documents. She is now married and lives a comfortable life with a wonderful man in the United States. I saw a good mother who needed a second chance. Seeing her son safe and smiling along with her mother shines a glowing light to my world and reminds me of how blessed we each are. More importantly, giving them a new beginning is one of the proudest things I have done and I hope to have the opportunity to do it again.       

3. Be Genuine

Do not try to oversell yourself. This could be the hardest part for some people. The last thing a University wants is an overexaggerated applicant. College admissions have seen over 100,000 applications and they can easily tell if you are trying to magnify yourself. I am not saying to undervalue yourself either. You want to find the perfect balance of portraying yourself in the most natural and achieving person. If it were up to me, I would rather have a honest person who has done only a few things than a person who gave himself more credit than he deserved.

4. GPA and test scores still matter

Aside from being the best person you  can possibly be, your grades still matter. GPA, SAT, and ACT scores play a HUGE FACTOR in a college’s decision. Try not to slack off during your senior year as some universities will ask you for your 1st semester or quarter grades. Otherwise, enjoy your last year in High school because you deserved it!

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5. Be Humble

Nobody likes a boaster. I am confident that you have accomplished incredible things. However, stay humble and genuine Do not try to brag or show how grand you are as there are going to be thousands of applicants who try to beef up their essays. Remember that college admissions have seen over a hundred thousand applicants. They can easily see right through you. Talk about the goals you accomplished, but do not oversell.

6. Show Passion

Focus on a 2-3 extracurricular activities that are you deeply invested and interested in. Do not have over say you are strongly involved with over 5 organizations as college admissions will think you are indecisive and lying. There was 3 main focuses in my college application: Speech and Debate, Tennis, and volunteering for my community. A person can only do so much. Remember that you only to be good at one thing to succeed in life. Show that you are a focus and driven person who has accomplished phenomenal things in the activities you are passionate in.

For me, I had a profound passion in Speech and Debate and Tennis. I was in both those activities for all 4 years in my High School career and won many this.

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7. Be Humble

Writing your personal statement and filling out your college application is not a one day task. To have a well-thought out statement is going to take weeks or even months. Start early and do not procrastinate. As for essays, ask your peers for their input. I will be happy to provide mine. You can contact me

8. Have Fun

It is common for students to only focus on the goal and forget the experience. Appreciate the process as you will get to know yourself better. When I was writing my personal statement, I was able to reflect on my 4 years at High School. All my accomplishments, tears, and moments of joy all in one paper. That is what your personal statement should be.  

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We have all made a difference in someone else’s life and now it’s time to tell your dream college about it. Whatever you do, know that college, for many, is just the beginning of a lifelong journey. Make the best out of your situation as things will eventually take a positive turn.