I Was a Pre-Med Student For a Week

I released the largest sigh of relief known to man the very moment I found out I would never have to take a science or math-related course again. As a pre-law student with no requirements for law school, I enjoy the simple pleasure of taking undergraduate extracurriculars. I have the opportunity to explore different areas like Portuguese, for example. Yet, as the only pre-law student in my friend group, I constantly hear about the growing pains of organic chemistry and physics. As a result, I decided to shadow one of my closest friends for a week. Sruthy, a second-year health education and behavior major, led me through a week filled with studying for orgo 2 and genetics.

Studying every day

Having to study constantly for one class was quite new to me. I often study for Portuguese, as that helps me keep in check with the language, but Sruthy spends at least one to two hours a day studying for her organic chemistry course. Like many pre-med students, this class is a requirement and is integral to the medical school admissions process.

Not only does she juggle Study Edge and Rogue Chem study guides, but she also rewatches and relearns lecture videos of her professor. The issue I find with most of these science-related courses is that the material you need to study isn’t clearly placed in front of you. Instead, students spend most of their time cramming in as much information as possible in order to do somewhat well on their exams.

Sruthy also studies with other pre-med students in similar courses. She finds that within her study group, each member has their own unique set of skills. One thing I found really interesting was that pre-med students formed communities and groups within the track. This isn’t something I find within the pre-law track. I find that people tend to be more competitive and less likely to help on the pre-law track, compared to pre-med students who help each other out during difficult courses.

Conducting research

Sruthy also works in a research lab within the university. She typically spends two to three hours a week participating in the lab. Her lab is researching the usage of oil to heal ailments, which I find to be an interesting topic. Sruthy uses the lab as a way to further enhance what she’s learning in school. It also permits her to learn from other medical professionals and expand her knowledge of STEM professions.

I’ve noticed that most individuals participating in labs are pre-med students. Through participating in a lab, they enable themselves to gain experience that they will be able to use during the medical school application period.

As a pre-law student, the number of research opportunities we have available is fairly limited. I wish we had more access to research projects like pre-med students do.

Dancing to de-stress

Sruthy’s biggest way of de-stressing is through dancing, one of the things I would dread to do. Sruthy is a part of an Indian dance group at UF called Gator Adaa. She spends a lot of time practicing for competitions. However, from watching her, I can tell that this brings her the most joy, which then makes everything else seem minimal. As a friend, I’m glad she’s found something to de-stress her from the stress-filled track of being pre-med.

I’ll stick to pre-law

This whole experience of studying for organic chemistry exams has made me realize I made the right choice. Sruthy’s passion to become a doctor is one that I lacked. I believe that it is her determination to become a doctor that pushes her through the hours of studying. Being pre-law isn’t easy, but stepping into the shoes of a pre-med student has made me appreciate my track a little more.