Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

How a Pre-Med Student at SBU Can (Potentially) Stay Sane

I’ll just come right out and say it – Stony Brook is just about overrun with pre-med students. You can’t really blame us; we’re just across the highway from what is probably the best primary care and trauma center on Long Island, and one of the best in New York. For Long Islanders who want to stay local and anyone else who wants to attend a top-tier research university for a state school price, Stony Brook is the place to be. This can be beneficial in a lot of ways: the professors and advisors are used to having pre-meds in their classes and offices respectively, and there are plenty of other people around to commiserate with you, because they’re all going through exactly the same crazy classes and lack of sleep.

In other ways, though, it can be extremely lonely and a bit disheartening to be just “one of many.” When nearly everyone around you studies the same things and is competing for the same high grades, amazing MCAT scores, internships, shadowing and research positions, and med school seats, it can easily feel like you’re falling behind or you’re just simply not good enough to succeed. Everything feels like a competition, and let me tell you from experience, it can be cutthroat.  

It doesn’t have to be all bad, though. Everyone survives it; of course, it will be difficult at times but the key is to always keep your goal in mind. If your dream is to work with kids every day on the pediatric floor of a hospital, but you’re currently struggling your way through organic chemistry, try not to let your dream slip out of sight. Things begin to feel hopeless when you can’t seem to remember why you’re bothering to put yourself through what I like to call “Synthesis Hell” (that’s an orgo joke).

The other thing that really helps keep me from losing my mind is having a rock-solid support system. That can take shape in any number of different ways: your parents, your siblings, your pre-med roommate, your best friends from home who will always be willing to take your 3 a.m. freak-out calls, your significant other, your favorite professor/advisor, or a study group you’ve put together of like-minded students trying not to go insane. Every little bit of support helps.

Whether you’re a freshman at Stony Brook, just now realizing the extent of the hard work ahead of you, or a seasoned senior getting ready to take the leap toward the big time, I wish you all the luck (and sanity) in the world.

Similar Reads👯‍♀️