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Wayne State University

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Apr 27 / WSU Pre-Health

Finals

While running late for my Spanish final this morning, smoothie in hand, sliding my feet halfway into my Nikes, searching frantically for that one paper I need that’s scattered in one of my 14 random piles on my desk, I realized something.

I am super disorganized. At the beginning of each semester, I pride myself on buying new school supplies, labeling all of my necessary notebooks and folders, and keeping all of my assignments in their respective notebook or folder. But by the end of the semester, my purse is filled with wrinkled papers from various classes, my homework is scattered on my dining room table, and I barely wake up in time to get to class.

While I definitely think that this disorganization is due in part to my own personal laziness, I also think that every student wit ha strenuous course load can relate. I realize that this disorganize way of being has led me to forget assignments, lose papers, and cause me to be stressed out over frantically searching for the thing I misplaced. Don’t let this mid-to-end of the semester slump get you down and let disorganization create a template in your life. Here’s some easy ways to stay organized:

  1. Buy a planner: Lemme say that again… BUY A PLANNER. And write everything in it.
  2. If you think you do not need a planner… BUY A PLANNER anyways.
  3. Buy a notebook for each class and take notes in the right notebook
  4. Keep your bedroom and study areas clean. This can be a difficult one; the last thing I want to do in the morning is make my bed and clean up my laundry, but its necessary in creating an inviting study space and encouraging you to stay organized!
  5. Create daily checklists and goals. Make a list of goals of homework you would like to complete that day, or chapters in your Bio book that you want to study. It is such a good feeling to complete that goal and to cross it off of your to-do list.
  6. Create a weekly schedule. Allocate your time in advance. Figure out your obligations for the week (work, school, volunteering) and then decide what times per day you will study or do homework

I hope these tricks and tips can help you in the organization department and lessen your stress during finals week. Happy studying!

Olivia

 

Apr 22 / WSU Pre-Health

The Pain of Rejection

As college students, we can be faced with rejection all too often. Whether it is a dream job, research position, medical school admission, or boy with looks like Leonardo DiCaprio who sits next to you in English, rejection never seems to get easier. But what is it exactly about rejection that hurts so much?

Most obviously, it’s the realization that the vision we had for ourselves will not come to fruition. I’m often guilty of planning out what my entire life will be like if I land a job that I haven’t even interview for. No surprise then when I don’t get the job, I feel as though the whole world is conspiring against me. Being let down and getting your hopes up is never on anyone’s agenda, so whenever I am presented with an amazing opportunity I like to remember to “expect the worst but hope for the best.” While you should feel confident in yourself that things WILL work out, there is always a chance that perhaps they won’t, and for that you should be prepared.

Admittedly, although I was accepted into five of the six colleges I applied to in high school, I cannot deny that the one rejection still didn’t sting a little. Even after excitedly accepting my admission to Wayne, I was still hurt by the rejection from a college that I never really intended to attend. I think what’s worse than getting your hopes up for future plans is the question of why exactly you were rejected. After any rejection, my mind soon becomes plagued with doubt – what was it about me that they didn’t like? What’s important to remember, however, is that you can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be someone who doesn’t like peaches. Try not to take any rejection too personal – maybe you didn’t get the job because another candidate of equal qualifications simply had availability during more of the hours that the job needed. While it’s easy to jump to conclusions and rethink every response given during an interview or what could have been improved on in an application, the reason you weren’t picked could just be logistical.

What’s important is to not let past rejections haunt you. Try to focus on the positive things you have going for you presently. While I may have been rejected from a great university, I attend an equally great one where I have been able to thrive. Rejection is never the end of the world, but might simply require an alternative path of achieving your end goal.

Best wishes,
Haley

Apr 8 / WSU Pre-Health

Major Changes

College students choose their majors for all sorts of different reasons. Life experiences, successes in school, guidance from teachers and professors, and family circumstances can all aid a student in choosing what career path they could potentially embark on. When this student starts college, they are excited and ready to see what the future holds for them in said career. For pre-med majors, they realize the long path ahead of them, but understand that it will be worth it when you are doing what you love.

Last night, as I was sitting at my desk at 2:00 A.M. trying to figure out my chemistry homework, study for my Spanish exam, and complete my math test review, I forgot about all of the reasons behind choosing my major.

“Wouldn’t it be just SOOO much easier to be like an elementary school teacher? That can’t be difficult, right? Don’t you just have to know how to count and draw shapes? Kids love me! I think I can handle that.”

There’s no such thing as the easy way. Every student, whether their major is art history or chemical engineering, will struggle with classes, succeed in classes, and experience moments of regret and self-doubt about their major choice. I came to realize how difficult it must be for students to completely change their mind about what they want to do, and how we receive very little guidance about how to know exactly what career is right for us. Here are some tips for when you’re contemplating a MAJOR change:

  1. Remember why you chose your major in the first place. Was there a special reason? Why did you feel passionate about it? Try and recall why you were interested in careers within that field.
  2. Expose yourself to careers in your major’s field. Before you change your pre-medicine major, shadow an ER doctor or an OB-GYN, talk to your aunt who’s a nurse. Make sure you are absolutely positive that you are not interested in those careers anymore. This is a great way to be sure about your decision.
  3. Don’t quit because your coursework is difficult. When you are extremely overwhelmed with homework and studying, it’s hard not to think, “How the heck and I going to make it through medical school? Should I change my major? How do I know I am smart enough?” Truthfully, I have moments like these all of the time, and it is important to remember that if this major is truly what you really want, you need to be willing to work for it. Every major requires extensive work, so remember why you chose that area of study and try to give it your all.
  4. Expose yourself to careers in your possible new major’s field. BEFORE you change your major from pre-medicine to architecture, figure out exactly what an architect does. Shadow a local architect, and look up the degrees needed to achieve all you want out of this field. You don’t want to be surprised by any information about your major when it is too late. Be prepared!
  5. Talk to your family. Your mom knows how your eyes lit up that one day you came home from volunteering and you just KNEW that medicine was for you. Your grandma knows how you love to help people in need and that you get frustrated by selfishness. Your family is going to be there for you, no matter what. They know you inside and out, and can probably give you some good feedback when it comes to a life changing decision such as a major change.

Good luck!
Olivia

Feb 11 / WSU Pre-Health

Motivation

Let’s be honest, it’s hard to stay motivated during a typical Michigan winter. When I should be studying for my upcoming tests, all I can think about doing is watching Netflix snuggled up under my covers. While it is difficult to fight this urge, it is possible to be proactive and push through this winter slump. Here are a few tips I’ve learned to help motivate me and keep me on track in all of my classes:

Focus on the now: If you’re reading this, you’re most likely a pre-med student. You probably have an unusually heavy course load and you are trying as hard as you can to be “well-rounded” and seem like you’re the jack-of-all-trades for future applications. It’s important to not allow yourself to get overwhelmed with the endless tasks you have to complete. Focus on the present and think only about tasks that are due in the immediate future. Not only will this help to preserve your sanity, but it will also improve your grades.

Be an ACTIVE listener: While it is easier to sit in class on your computer discreetly sending iMessages to your high school friends (one of my favorite hobbies), you aren’t learning anything. Give yourself the benefit of the 55-minute class that you are paying thousands of dollars to sit in. Put your phone away, ask questions, and actually think about the information that you are processing. By doing this, you can just review the information taught in class, instead of trying to figure it out on your own.

Provide ample time for studying: Don’t over-commit yourself. It’s important to remember that if you are really planning on going to medical school, your undergraduate studies are building the foundation for your future, and that needs to be a priority.

Tell your boyfriend you’ll text him later: Put your phone away when you study. Snapchat, Instagram, and Twitter will forgive you. This is a really hard one for me because my phone is attached to my hip at all times, but putting my phone away and only focusing on one task has really improved my grades, and the productivity of my study time.

I hope that all of these tips will help you during the winter semester!

Best,
Olivia

Jan 12 / WSU Pre-Health

New Year, New Semester

With the winter semester in full effect, I cannot believe that I am already almost a junior in college. Where did the time go? It seems like yesterday that I was going to my senior prom, applying to colleges, and feeling unwanted anxiety over the amount of change that I was about to experience.

While many don’t know this, I didn’t initially start my college education at Wayne State. I applied to eleven schools and in all honestly, Wayne State wasn’t even on my radar. All of my friends were planning wonderful adventures at out-of-state schools, and I wanted that experience as well. While I applied to many Michigan schools, I decided to attend the University of South Carolina as a Bio major. While it was a great school with many academic programs and opportunities, my family was a twelve-hour drive away, and after one semester, I decided to move back home.

This process wasn’t easy. I had no clue where to transfer and no desire to apply to schools again and undergo the nerve-wracking process I had just finished with. I was extremely stressed out and I didn’t even know what I wanted from my college experience. At this point, my parents told me about how great of a school Wayne State is, and how many of their friends who are physicians received their education from this amazing university. I immediately applied, was accepted, and was equally nervous and excited for this new beginning.

I was very discouraged about being a transfer student. Some of my credits didn’t transfer, I didn’t know any of my peers, and I had to basically start over. I was behind, and being a very “Type-A” person, being behind isn’t my cup of tea. I soon realized though that none of these things should have caused me stress.

I’m sure that there are many pre-medical students who are facing some kind of anxiety or nervousness about how they are going to achieve their goals. While going through my whole transfer process, I definitely experience setbacks and challenges. Don’t let these setbacks define you. So what if you need to retake a difficult course, or take the MCAT twice? Everyone has his or her own issues and situations that they must deal with, but if you are passionate and driven, you can do anything.

So at the beginning of this new semester, remember that you are smart enough and prepared enough to succeed. You CAN do this!

Best wishes,
Olivia