Dear Prospective Pre-Med Student,
First off, congratulations on making one of the first of many decisions at Williams; being Pre-Health. Pre-Health is definitely a journey that you’ll probably question every step of the way. Prepare for late nights in Schow Library. Prepare for the lab reports that take ALL night, and even when they’re finished--they’re not really finished. You basically just hand it in because your tired of finding new things that you don’t understand. Prepare for all the failed experiments and the 25% yields. You’ll probably always have finals scheduled at the latest date that it could possibly be scheduled. Get ready for the 15-paged Organic Lab report due on Thursday and 15.5 paged Genetics lab report due on Friday. Get ready for the pity in the voice of every other student when they say “Oh you’re Pre-med, why would you ever do that to yourself?” When you complain about the stress of being pre-med, you'll hear over and over again “Why don’t you just drop it”. But the thing is, no one ever understands your drive but you. People may think you’re a masochist but you know the story behind your passion.
So, look forward to the study rooms in schow filled with with laughter while you come together to finish up those last couple of problems on the PSET. Look forward to the inside jokes about stem classes and Professors that no other majors can understand. Look forward to the feeling of turning in a new lab report that sounds even better than the last. One that you know you put so much effort into it. Look forward to the successful recrystallization and separations. Look forward to getting through all the required classes so that you can finally take things that you are interested in. Get ready for the feeling of finally finding a class and subject matter that really hones in on your curiosity for the field. The feeling after you have finally completed with both levels of Organic Chemistry, priceless. The feeling once you’re in your last semester of chemistry ever, unexplainable. Look forward to finding some of your closest friends in a major that no one else dares touch, except or you and your crew. Through this experience you get close to so many like minded people who may not know your specific story, but understand your ambition.
Pre-Health at Williams may feel really lonely at first but you should always know, you can’t do it alone. The quicker you are able to realize this, the easier it gets. Another thing to remember is you are doing it too. You will spend a lot of time comparing yourself to the next pre-health student beside you. However, as you make your way through the courses--regardless of what grades you get, the simple fact that you have completed another level and are still going is an accomplishment in itself. Pat yourself on the back for even the smallest accomplishments, trust me it’ll make the days a little lighter. Once you are able to have your own confidence in your effort and motive you will be able to do the problems you thought were impossible. Things get rough, that is true; but don’t let one bad overall grade in a class or failed problem set completely take over. Confidence, patience, and Collaboration go a long way in this major.
Lastly, if you ever decide to drop it don’t ever let anyone including YOURSELF make you feel bad about it. Dropping Pre-health doesn’t indicate any weakness in your character as compared to those who stuck with it. In fact, it portrays your strength. Look at is it as having the courage to drop something that you have been deeply connected to at first. You have gained an impressive amount of clarity within yourself to analyze and decide on where you interests and desires really are. A lot of people maintain the Premed option because they think it was the only thing to do, but you knew better.
So, whether you decide to drop it or stick with it; stay strong and keep on!
A Fellow Pre-Med Soldier