Why You Should Drop that Class

For most of the states in America, school season has already started.

For most schools, you can drop out of class within the first week of school without a record on your transcript. After that you can drop out of class after a certain period of time with a W(withdrawal) on your transcript. I highly do not suggest that you drop any courses unless you are 200% sure the course isn’t for you. You should always keep pushing yourself in your studies. Don’t easily choose the drop out option. If there’s a slight hint you can handle the course, don’t drop out. If you are going to drop a course, it would be better off to drop your class at the beginning so that you focus on your other classes or choose a different class to take.

Projects are Too Difficult

The first and foremost thing you should do when you go to your first day of lecture is READ THE SYLLABUS. Typically, the syllabus should note your responsibilities and big projects or assignments you must complete. If these projects are too difficult for you to complete, you might consider dropping out. Continue reading

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Studying Tips

Today was actually my first day back at university. I tried so hard, but I still had to take morning classes, physics at that! I’ll probably need to fix my sleep routine, because I was still half asleep at 8:30 A.M!!

Since school season has already started, I thought it would be a good idea to refresh some studying tips to excel in your classes!

Syllabus Notes

Read the Syllabus. Create a schedule. Note each due date and exam dates. Note all responsibilities you have for the class, such as talking in graded discussion, turning in your assignments in the proper folder, and organizing your assignments correctly.

Keep a Positive Mindset

Studying is worth the time and effort because knowledge is power. With a positive mindset, you can turn your worst subject to one of your best subjects.

Take Better Notes

Maybe the style of notes that you are taking is not as efficient as you think it is. Try different styles, such as Cornell notes, quick outlines, charts, or bullets, to see which helps you remember lectures better. You could also change the way you’re taking notes such as typing notes in class rather than handwriting them down.

Try reorganizing or paraphrasing your notes. This will help imprint concepts into your mind. DO NOT write everything down word for word. Do not be too absorbed copying in quantity. Instead, learn concepts and materials from your notes as you write.

Color Code Your Notes

Color Coding your notes may speed up your memory if you keep the colors consistent. If you’re taking a test asking for which macromolecule makes up an enzyme, you may recall the answer in one of the biochemistry notes you’ve taken in blue.

Highlight Your Notes

Highlighting the important part of your notes or parts that you do not remember may help you remember which areas you need to look over. However, highlighting a majority of your notes would not help you.

Online Lectures // Class Lectures

Although lecture slides are posted online, this does not mean that it would not be beneficial in attending class. Instead, look over the lecture slides before class so you could actively learn the material as your instructor presents it to you. Don’t work on other assignments in class. PAY ATTENTION! Continue reading

I Started a Medical Journey Journal

The journey to become a physician is an extremely long route. In order to be a physician, typically, you must complete high school, earn a four year bachelor degree in undergrad, complete four years of medical school, and then finish up 3-5 years of residency. We’re looking at about 30 years before students can become official doctors, that is without considering any breaks or gap years.

In order to stay on top of my journey, I decided to create a Medical Journey Journal. I absolutely love planning ahead. In this journal, I separate the journal into three sections: Pre-Med, Medical School, and Residency. Whenever, I find some important tips or information, I would write them down in this journal. I highly recommend students to create a journal that details education and life plans.

 

I use a very inexpensive composition notebook as my journal. Composition notebooks are well bounded, which make sure that none of my papers would fall out and avoid uncomfortable writing, unlike spiral notebooks.

I applied two Avery Multiuse Ultra tabs labeled: Medical School and Residency. These Avery tabs are extremely durable and makes finding my different sections easier.

In the front cover of my notebook, I taped on some business cards that I received from my college advisers and some medical school advisers/specialists.

Pre-Med

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In this section, I firstly list off all my shadowing, volunteering, and experiences I have accomplished thus far so that I can refer back to when I write up resumes. I also have lists of possible shadowing, volunteering, and internships taped in for future references. Then, I have a list of goals that I would like to accomplish before entering medical school.

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Following, I have the MCAT specifications. In the next pages, I have requirements necessary to complete my biochemistry/pre-med major as well as graduating with honors. Additionally, I have some prerequisites for pharmacy as my back up plan.

Next, I have a diagram of different types of loans, scholarship information, and financial aids that may be useful for my undergrad study.

At the end, I note all of my classes, grades, and awards I received for each semester. This allows me to keep on track with my GPA goals.  Continue reading

Incoming Freshmen Tips

I cannot believe that June is almost coming to an end. This month was so busy that I lost track of time.

If you’re an incoming freshman, nervous about your college experience, I got some tips that will lighten the weight off your shoulders. If you have already completed your freshman year, some of these tips may also be helpful for you.

Check out Clubs

Universities often have a day where students can look at what clubs are offered during orientation week, but it doesn’t hurt to check some clubs out online. Clubs tend to have Facebook groups/pages that you can check out. Look at pictures and events and see which clubs fits you. Attend the involvement fair anyhow. Maybe representatives may change your mind!

Enrolling in Classes

I’m not sure about all of the universities/colleges out there, but I enrolled in my freshman classes in early June. I believe some students had the opportunity to enroll in May. I apologize if this post came too late. Most students at my university had to enroll on-campus. I was unable to enroll on-campus so I enrolled over the phone, which I was very nervous about since I could not visually see what my schedule look like while planning.

Before my enrollment day, I looked up classes offered by my university ahead of time. I simply googled “University Class Catalog” and got pretty accurate classes and their times. I recommend looking up classes at least a week in advance. Each student at my university had only about 30 minutes to plan with their adviser. By looking up classes ahead of time, you will speed up the enrollment process and make it easier.  You will also have time to ask any further questions.

If you have decided on a major, go on your university’s site and look at your degree spreadsheet. If you are undecided, look up some of the general education classes that you are required to take.  It is important that you should take all the classes your degree requires, but remember that you can take fun and interesting classes as your electives!

Check out ratemyprofessor.com or other sites where upperclassmen have shared their experiences with their professors. TAKE EVERY OPINION WITH A GRAIN OF SALT.

Decide what times you are most comfortable learning. I suggest trying not to take super early morning and night classes. I learned that in college, it is harder to wake up early. I took night classes my first semester and it conflicted with so many clubs that I wanted to join. My campus was pretty safe. However, I still feel uncomfortable walking alone at night with only a few people walking with me. Walk along with your lab partners back to your dorm if the streets are empty! Continue reading

Update: Freshman Experience

Did my experience in high school prepare me for my first year of college?
My answer is most definitely.

My high school experience involved taking many rigorous classes. I took many Advanced Placement classes with the mindset of receiving credit for college, which would allow me to speed the process of achieving my bachelor’s degree or make room for other classes I would be interested in taking. Although I did not receive credit for all of my exams, I did gain experience of dealing with challenging classes that pushed my brain power, challenged my time management skills, and pressured me to cope with stress.

I was also involved in many clubs.  I was involved in community service clubs such as Key Club and the National Honors Society. I was also involved in cultural clubs, academic clubs, and career specific clubs. Becoming a secretary in Key Club and Art Club left a major impact my senior year. I was able to develop communication and leadership skills as well as interact with my peers, teachers, and community. I became more open minded to different types of backgrounds people came from and the ideas that they carried. On top of these clubs, I played the violin and took part in the School Orchestra and Symphony for about 9 years since 4th grade.

I highly suggest that students should take some challenging courses and be involved in clubs during high school.

Freshman Year, was a year filled with many new experiences. 

Decision:

All the colleges I applied to were in-state universities. I only applied to in-state schools since I knew that a great majority of my tuition, books, and housing fees would be paid by scholarships and grants. I am currently attending a large, four-year in-state public university. It is not a prestigious university, but it still has a good Pre-Med program to prepare me for Med School while meeting my financial window. Looking back now, I regret not applying to out-of-state universities. If you’re a high school student, you should definitely apply to a variety of universities: in-state and out-of-state and high ranking/prestigious schools and safe schools. You never know what opportunities you may find!
Continue reading

Summer Gains

Summer is approaching, which means you have all the time in the world to sleep! Just kidding. Summer is a long period of time that you should continue to maintain your growth and productivity!

Finals are around the corner, but there are some things you should keep in mind for a productive summer! Depending on the activity, you may want to schedule ahead of time or after your last final.

Volunteer

Pre-Med students! I encourage you to spend some time in the hospital. Gain experience by working with doctors, nurses, and other health professionals. Also, it is always nice to help others and give back to your community!

Don’t stop at the hospital. There are many volunteer opportunities out there! Volunteer at a local food bank or animal shelter. Take part in any events that you are passionate about!

Shadow

Three months is a long time that you could learn a physician’s work. You could probably shadow multiple physicians during this time!

Maybe medical school may not be your thing. Reach out to other occupations to have shadowing sessions! Find which career interests you and gain experience from it! Continue reading

The Medical Tag

Hi there! Things have been busy recently with exams and paper deadlines, but now I’m back! I have been tagged by Mavis from @doctorinspe to do a Medical Tag. I hope that through this tag, the medical community on WordPress will grow. If you are tagged, I wish that you will join this tag and build this community! If you are interested in the medical profession and have encountered this post, I hope that you will too join!

Who are you and where do you study?
I am a first generation Vietnamese American college student. I am an eighteen year old freshman studying biochemistry/pre-med. I am currently studying in a large four-year public state university in the U.S.

When did you start studying medicine or premed courses?
I entered college with a declared major in biochemistry/pre-med, but I have already started my pre-med courses in high school. At my high school, I was able to take Advanced Placement courses, such as AP Chemistry and AP Biology, that gave me college credit. This has helped me stay ahead with my plan on graduating on time and making room for other exciting classes (Genetics, Anatomy, Physiology, etc!)

What made you choose the medical field?
I first decided to pursue pharmacy in 9th grade under the influence of my older sister. However, I did not seriously considered medical school until 11th grade. I was involved in a medical club in high school that exposed me to a great variety of medical professionals. One speaker stuck out to me. She was a procedural dermatologist that owned her own clinic. Her speech inspired me to become diligent and persistent in pursuing a career that I would love to wake up to each day. Through her speech I also realized my love for skincare. Continue reading