Attending A Pre-Med School

3 Struggles Of Attending A Pre-Med Dominated University — No Matter What Your Major Is

It's a hard knock life for the many pre-med students out there.

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Even though we as college students are technically considered adults, we are still burdened by stress at a young age. Especially in a pre-med oriented school, we feel pressured to keep up with or even surpass the achievements of others as we struggle to maintain our busy schedules while attempting to balance what little time we have left for ourselves. It's a sad reality.

1. The competition

Coming from a very pre-med oriented university, I can't help but feel the competitive vibes around me. During the lecture, I can hear the students around me ask their peers what score they received on the most recent midterm while others boast about how busy they are during the week because of all of the things that they are doing outside of the classroom.

It's this dog eat dog environment and constant comparison that makes students and myself included feel as if we are somehow lagging behind or not doing as much as we should be doing so we push ourselves even harder to keep up. As much as we don't want to, we have the tendency to measure our success in terms of others' success, and this, in turn, makes it more difficult for us to focus on ourselves. Now, I'm sure that you've been told not to compare yourself to others, but in the end, isn't that how you gain admission into medical school? By being compared to others? It's all relative.

2. The authenticity

It's not rare to see a pre-med student taking 18 or more credits while trying to squeeze in some volunteer work, a campus job, and even some research hours all into one day. At times, however, I question whether or not they truly want to do all of these things, but at the same time, I understand that they feel pressured to embody the "ideal" medical school applicant.

One of my friends once said to me, "I need to beef up my resume", and it's sad to see how she now feels constantly pressured to apply for a volunteer position or a job because of this. I also see others dread the work that they do, but they continue to stick with it and overload themselves because they believe that is what admissions officers want to see. I am a firm believer of doing something because you genuinely want to and not because you feel like you have to, yet this mentality gets lost as one becomes so immersed in meeting the requirements of the medical school.

3. The balance

While doing well in your classes is important, so is eating, showering, and sleeping. In fact, I think that one's physical and mental health triumphs all else. I recall the hectic week that one of my friends recently pushed through. She had a weekend class and an exam as part of something she pursues on the side, and that same week, we had a chemistry midterm followed by a biology one and not to mention all of the other assignments we had due in between. My friend already felt tired and burnt out from the weekend, and this led her to miss a lecture and some homework assignments. She even went a day without eating an actual meal.

With only a bag of popcorn for dinner one night, she stayed up until FOUR in the morning to catch up on what she had missed during the day. Many of my other friends who are pre-med struggle to balance academics, extracurriculars, leisure time, and maintenance of their overall health because there is always a trade-off. There are only 24 hours in a day, and one thing has to be sacrificed in order to obtain the other, and I wish it wasn't this way.

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To The Nursing Major During The Hardest Week Of The Year

I know that no grade can possibly prove what kind of nurse you will be. I know that no assignment will showcase your compassion. I know that no amount of bad days will ever take away the empathy inside of you that makes you an exceptional nurse.

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To the Nursing Major During Finals Week,

I know you're tired, I know you're stressed, and I know you feel like you can't go on. I know that no part of this seems fair, and I know you are by far the biggest critic of yourself. I know that you've thought about giving up. I know that you feel alone. I know that you wonder why in the world you chose one of the hardest college majors, especially on the days it leaves you feeling empty and broken.

But, I also know that you love nursing school. I know your eyes light up when you're with patients, and I know your heart races when you think of graduation. I know that you love the people that you're in school with, like truly, we're-all-in-this-together, family type of love. I know that you look at the older nurses with admiration, just hoping and praying that you will remain that calm and composed one day. I know that every time someone asks what your college major is that you beam with pride as you tell them it's nursing, and I know that your heart skips a beat knowing that you are making a difference.

I know that no grade can possibly prove what kind of nurse you will be. I know that no assignment will showcase your compassion. I know that a failed class doesn't mean you aren't meant to do this. I know that a 'C' on a test that you studied so. dang. hard. for does not mean that you are not intelligent. I know that no amount of bad days will ever take away the empathy inside of you that makes you an exceptional nurse.

I know that nursing school isn't fair. I know you wish it was easier. I know that some days you can't remember why it's worth it. I know you want to go out and have fun. I know that staying up until 1:00 A.M. doing paperwork, only to have to be up and at clinicals before the sun rises is not fair. I know that studying this much only to be failing the class is hard. I know you wish your friends and family understood. I know that this is difficult.

Nursing school isn't glamorous, with the white lab coat and stethoscope. Nursing school is crying, randomly and a lot. Nursing school is exhaustion. Nursing school is drinking so much coffee that you lose track. Nursing school is being so stressed that you can't eat. Nursing school is four cumulative finals jam-packed into one week that is enough to make you go insane.

But, nursing school is worth it. I know that when these assignments are turned in and finals are over, that you will find the motivation to keep going. I know that one good day of making a difference in a patient's life is worth a hundred bad days of nursing school.

Keep hanging in there, nursing majors. It'll all be worth it— this I know, for sure.

So, if you have a nursing major in your life, hug them and tell them that you're proud of them. Nursing school is tough, nursing school is scary, and nursing school is overwhelming; but a simple 'thank-you' from someone we love is all we need to keep going.

Sincerely,

A third-year nursing student who knows

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Body Image Lessons That I Didn't Learn From A Professor

What I realized about body image my freshman year of college

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Girls usually struggle with self image in general. But the game changes when it's time to go to college. When you are constantly surrounded by your peers, you begin to compare all of the little things they do to you. You compare their bodies to yours. You try to figure out what they are doing that you're not. Or vice versa, why they don't have to do anything to look the way they do. But by the end of my first year, I realized that I would never be happy with myself if I kept thinking this way. So I recorded some realizations I had throughout the year that helped me to improve my body image.

My body is, and never will be the same as any other girl... and that's okay

Different sized and shaped strawberries

https://picjumbo.com/strawberries-with-yellow-background/

It can be so easy in college to compare your body to the girls that surround you. Like the one's live with and you see on a daily basis. There is no point in comparing apples to oranges, so why would you compare your body to a girl who was made completely different? So what you can't fit into her party pants, you can rock another pair just as well.

What works for her, might not work for me

Daily Planner

https://kaboompics.com/photo/9447/planners-organizers-in-bed-women-s-home-office

With different body types, comes different food and exercise needs. Some girls don't need to work out or eat healthy to keep a slim frame. Some girls are naturally muscular. Your routine needs to be catered to you, and there is no need to analyze what someone else eats or does to try to attain their stature. You have to do what feels right for YOUR body to have a good self image.

Don't spend too much time on istagram

https://stocksnap.io/photo/JUC6R3PPLE

Obviously social media effects our body image because of how easily and frequently photos are edited and then presented for the most likes. So if there is a certain account that always makes you feel bad when you see their content, unfollow, and take that aspect out of your life. However, because social media is unavoidable you can't completely escape all the provoking images. So when scrolling, think positively about those who's pictures you see, don't compare, and be aware of the previous lessons.

It's okay for your body to fluctuate

https://pixabay.com/photos/scale-diet-fat-health-tape-weight-403585/

The weight and look of your body can easily fluctuate, It's just natural. And in the same way your life fluctuates, your body may follow along and thats not a big deal! In exam season, there might not be enough time to go to the gym everyday. Or during the holidays there might be an increase of indulgence in treats. But its all okay as long as your getting things done or enjoying life. The only time it becomes an issue if the fluctuations turn unhealthy.

Cut out the negativity

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If a friend is constantly complaining to you about their body, it can trigger distress in you, and set you back. So if someone else's body image issues are interfering with you mentally, you need to call them out on their B.S. or stop allowing them say those things in front of you.

Wear clothes that you feel comfortable in

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If you wear things that you feel comfortable in, then you wont constantly be thinking about how your stomach, legs, or arms look throughout the day. Wear something that you are confident in, even if it means wearing leggings every day of the week!

I'm not a little kid anymore, therefore my body is not going to look like one

https://unsplash.com/photos/sGSBkfK1hJU

Curves and changes that come after high school can take anyone by surprise, but it's supposed to happen. You can't really be mad at biology...you can only find the beauty in it.

Everyone has their own insecurities

https://jimsomerville.files.wordpress.com/2012/12/girl-looking-in-mirror.jpg?w=640

Even if someone has your ideal body, odds are they still despise theirs. I have met friends in college that are stick skinny, yet are self conscious about it. I know curvy girls that are very insecure. And even an "average" body type has a thousand things that they nit-pick about themselves. No one has their dream body and never will, which is why I had to learn to love the little things about mine.

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