August 28, 2013
Officially my first day as a pre-medical college student! Three STEM courses (seven sections), one humanities course, one symposium; nineteen units. I still want to declare a business administration minor…that’s doable…OH HEY CLUB FAIR IS TODAY LET’S SIGN UP FOR #ALL THE CLUBS. Wait let me go get another cup of coffee first.
Start of classes was exhilarating: both as the start of college classes, and as a pre-med. It took a little time to get used to having a course load weighted heavily on a specific realm of academics (STEM), opposed to the standard, “English, History, Math, Science” split of the last twelve years. It looked daunting at first (oh my goodness FULL days of classes?) but when what you’re studying is tailored to the subjects and post-graduate interests you have, it’s so easy to even love the exhaustion you get from it all.
August 29, 2013
Today I learned that drinking over five cups of coffee in twenty-four hours will actually make you feel sick in the morning.
(But it really will help you get through a six-class day though.)
(Also have to assure dormmates I’m not hungover.)
I’ve met pre-healths (pre-health: pre-med, pre-dental, pre-PA, etc.) who don’t drink coffee…yet. On the other hand, my coffeemaker is conveniently situation on top of the mini-fridge, between my closet, the door, and my desk.
There’s also a cup of coffee drawn on my whiteboard at the moment. I tried going one breakfast without coffee…I lasted an hour and booked it to the cafe for one to get through back-to-back chemistry and biology lectures.
Caffiene: 1000; Jo: -1
Of course, it works differently for everyone, but between studying and pre-labs and post-labs and problem sets and socializing…oh and eating and sleeping…caffeine will be there. Always.
September 3, 2013
WHOA I DON’T HAVE CLASSES TOMORROW OR THE FIFTH. BRB, RUNNING OFF TO THE ZOO AND MANHATTAN AND RELISHING THESE DAYS OFF (because once labs start this is basically never happening again).
As stated by a (now) sophomore pre-med here, “It’s not that pre-med is particularly difficult,” it’s about managing your time, and being meticulous about where you’re spending it. I find leaving campus very helpful, and at this point, could probably navigate the subway from campus to Manhattan in my sleep. Despite major stereotypes, through and through pre-meds aren’t void of social lives. In a crudely broad generalization, our hours are more consciously rationed out between what we want: to study, to get ahead, to review, to work out, to go out, to eat, to sleep.
September 4, 2013
The zoo’s fun! I totally remember coming here in kindergarten!
(I swear I’m seventeen.)
(And I swear I’m actually in college.)
Zoo = animals + ecosystems = biology => educational, right?
Just kidding, we went to the zoo because it’s free on Wednesdays, right off campus, and I really wanted to see a tiger (Also because we all have super packed Wednesdays and this would be one of the few times we’d get to come on Donation Day!). Taking advantage of local, unique places (and free) is a great way to spend time off during the day and socialize off-campus.
September 7, 2013
Me: writes a 1300+ word article on college rivalries for The Prospect
Me: cries over having to write a paragraph for theology
Me: gets weeks ahead on biology assignments
Sometimes I wonder why I chose a science focus.
And then I try to do theology.
How do I do theology?! (While a science major and pre-med, I do love the humanities. I’m glad to be taking a humanities course alongside three STEM courses, to round out myself mentally; the two most definitely have different ways of thinking, and how to study.)
September 8, 2013
Apparently I have a reputation on this floor already…
…I’m “that girl who’s always in the lounge studying until 4AM.” (Not true. I’m only up until around 3AM.) Hehehehe.
As many new college students have, do, and will always say: I’ve never studied so much in my life. It hasn’t felt like a heavy toll (yet?), but I can definitely feel the change in study time and habits. Far more time “pre-reading” the next lecture’s PowerPoints and chapters, actually spending time re-annotating lecture or recitation notes, and actually getting multiple days’ headstart on problem sets, to know what to ask questions on. Compared to my humanities class, (especially as chem and bio have labs) STEM and pre-med classes are more loaded with pre- and post- work every time each section meets, while my theology class has a big focus on pre-reading, and highly active participation in class, and having few (but huge) assignments.
September 10, 2013
Very first day of biology lab. Asked teaching fellow about doing research. Her response: “…you’re premed, aren’t you?”
Pre-Med: Stereotypes Exist and You Can’t Tell Me Otherwise.
#doalltheresearch! #askallthequestions! #sitfrontrowinallthelectures!
Whoohoo for making friends by consistently sitting in the front row! (I’m not even slightly joking. It’s hilarious, honest, and so very helpful, all at the same time.)
September 11, 2013
Today I learned that doing a lot of what you love, and studying a lot of what you love (or, love-hate) is definitely a reality. Also, averaging around 6-7 extracurriculars with pre-health (some even double majoring and/or minoring) is a thing. An actual thing!
Throughout high school, and escalating as I was getting ready for college, people left and right kept reminding me: Slow. Down. Don’t burn out. Remember that you’re not only taking on so much more academically first semester, but actually adjusting to a whole new world and culture (and microcultures) at the same time.
I’ve been keeping myself grounded among galores of club emails and intro meetings (and, proudly, willing myself to firmly decide not to do all of them), and keeping in mind the lists of activities upperclassmen pre-meds do. At the pre-health symposium, the student mentors listed their extracurriculars, doing everything from clinical volunteering to “every intramural sport [they] can”. Talking to some juniors one-on-one, they did about half the amount of those activities their first semester of college, but built everything up as they found what they loved and got connections. So: Slow down. And enjoy…and sleep…and eat…
September 12, 2013
Things I’ve heard recently: from people feeling like they have too much work and too little time, people are “too” busy, to people not studying or prepping.
At first, I was extremely disheartened hearing these. I thought being with other pre-med (worka-/caffeine-aholics) would actually be stressful and feel overwhelmingly tense; but this reminds me that not everyone goes into college with the same mentalities (which makes for great diversity of opinion), interests, or work habits. Simultaneously, every single one of us is adjusting socially and academically to college, and from the “high school to college” focus, to “pre-professional to professional/workforce” focus.
Three full weeks into classes later, I love all that I have experienced with college, the pre-med track, science major, and (let’s be real) New York City. Not to say it has all been perfect: being both physically and mentally exhausted at times, wondering if I’m in the right program or major, wondering if even the way I study is “right”. But going through all of those so fast, and so soon, is exciting, and exactly why I love it all.
Check It Out
“Pre-Meds: The Caffeine Addicted, Cut-Throat, Control Lovers” by Yours Truly
BuzzFeed’s “15 ‘Joys’ Of Being A Medical Student“