Tips for Being a Pre-Med Student in College

As a Pre-Med student in my senior year, I have learned a lot about what it means to be a college student. I cannot say I am a pro, but I am slowly but surely getting there. Being Pre-Med is an intense journey, but totally worth it. Over the past four years, I learned a few things to help me succeed and I want to pass this information on to anyone who it can help!

  1. 1. Meet with your Pre-Health Advisor from time to time.

    Stony Brook has advisors that you can talk to about your career plan. I think it's a good idea to check in and make sure that you are on the right path. Don’t wait until senior year to go!

     

  2. 2. Do things you are actually interested in! 

    Don’t join clubs because you think they will look good on a resume. It is very easy to see right through someone who is ingenuine about something they are involved in. Things you are passionate about will shine through. College is a time to get involved and explore new things. Being Pre-Med is only part of your identity. If you are interested in community service clubs, that’s always a plus, but just like anything in the world, do something you are passionate about and dedicated to. You are a whole person with different interests and different hobbies. 

  3. 3. One bad semester will not determine your whole path.

    My GPA freshman year was a lot lower than it is now and that’s okay. I think part of being a freshman was figuring out how to balance my schedule and how to study. It took some trial and error (a lot), but it definitely gets easier. Sure it will make things a bit more difficult, but if being a doctor is something you truly want, you will find a way to make it happen. 

  4. 4. Form Connections.

    This is so important. I first thought that I could handle being Pre-Med alone. I thought: “as long as I study and get good grades, I can do it myself.” This was a big character flaw for me which I wasn't willing to accept. As my course load got harder over time, I realized that talking to people and asking for help really makes a difference. Find like-minded people who have similar goals. Trust me. It makes college more enjoyable. It’s nice to have a group of people who understand your struggles and can share that bond with you. 

  5. 5. Use Google Calendar. 

    I feel like a promoter for Google Calendar because I love it so much! I plan everything in Google Calendar. As each semester goes by, you will become more and more busy each week. Even though I am capable of keeping track of my events, Google Calendar makes it way easier, which removes the stress of having to remember all of my events. I like Google Calendar because it’s an app on your phone, you can access it from any computer, and it gives you 10 minute notifications before each event you scheduled (also because you can change the colors of your events to make them look neat and pretty.)

  6. 6. Don't worry about what other people are doing. 

    I think this is the most important lesson I have had to learn. It is so easy to compare yourself to others, which leads you down a rabbit hole of self-doubt. It is very easy to find someone who has a higher GPA than you, or is involved in more clubs than you. At the end of the day, you can only be responsible for yourself and your actions. You should want to be the best you can be for yourself and your goals. Do not try to succeed just to compete with other people. In the long run, you will not feel accomplished with yourself if you are constantly worrying about what other people are accomplishing. Push yourself to do better each day for yourself. 

  7. 7. Balance is key. 

    Do not neglect all other aspects of your life just because of your course load. Of course, your GPA is very important. You are in school to get a solid education. However, if you ignore friends, clubs, and exercise, you will burn out very fast. As a senior Pre-med student, it took me awhile to realize this. Sometimes, prioritizing yourself is needed. Even if you have to plan time to work out and just have free time, make it happen! There are plenty of hours in the day to accomplish this. I used to think that I had to pick between academics, a social life and the amount of sleep I got as if it were a complicated love triangle of college. For a while, this was accurate. However, as you get older, I think it becomes more manageable. You just have to push through the tough times!

Being Pre-Med is difficult. You may have to skip some social events you were hoping to go to and lose some sleep in the process. I think learning how to be a better student is part of the whole process. It will pay off in the long run. Ultimately, know that you are strong and capable. Do not let anything or anyone stop you from your dreams of becoming a doctor!