As a naive, little high school senior, I was so excited to be a "pre-med" major in college. If you're not familiar with the concept, pre-med is not an actual college major — it is a "track," as my advisor likes to say. I refer to it as a lifestyle choice, because no matter which school you go to, there are certain common experiences all pre-med students will struggle through during their college careers.
1. You're constantly taking science classes, so that is all you know now.
The day you have to take a humanities class is that day you become the class idiot, but at least you know the mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell.
2. But at least you've made it through organic chemistry.
Don't even bother asking anyone what they learned in organic chemistry. Ninety-eight percent will tell you they learned to draw really great looking hexagons — sorry, benzene rings.
3. Unfortunately, there's still the MCAT.
The MCAT will loom over you from the day you decide you're pre-med until the day you take the MCAT. Or die. Whichever comes first. It claims to be a "science reasoning" exam, even though there is no reason behind it. Unless that reason is to make all our lives as miserable as possible.
4. In the meantime, you have to deal with that kid who is also pre-med, which means you're essentially stuck with him (or her) until you graduate.
Pre-med courses are usually pretty specific, so you end up spending most of your day with the same people. This can be the best or the worst, depending on how much you like those people. Unfortunately, there is always someone who is constantly testing that whole "murder is terrible" stance you have.
5. Of course, there's always that professor, especially the one who stands between you and your A in the class.
Trust me, I fear for professors who refuse to round up grades for pre-med students. Those professors may look stoic and intimidating, but I guarantee you they're at least a little scared for their lives.
6. Don't even get me started on how much coffee you consume each day.
Hint: you could stop the hearts of an entire herd of elephants with that much caffeine.
7. Balanced meals are but a distant memory.
Your new food groups include: cereal, coffee and whatever you can order on Tapingo. Vegetables? Coffee comes from beans, right?
8. So is sleep...
If you haven't skipped classes to sleep at least once, you're a liar. You're constantly regretting every nap you never took (starting with your pre-school years).
9. The worst part is when it doesn't even matter how much you study, so you resort to little prayers before every exam.
Some days it won't even matter if you started studying for this exam a week before, if you sacrificed those few hours of sleep you get or if you drink a few gallons of coffee. It will still feel like you know absolutely nothing on the exam, and you'll consider drawing the professor a nice picture instead.
10. Then, you walk out of your exam and realize all the stupid mistakes you made.
It's always after you finish and turn in your exam that you figure out the right answer to the problem(s) you guessed on. Thank you, brain, for your spot-on timing. It's so greatly appreciated.
11. You feel dead inside because you worry about grades all the time, but occasionally there are tears of joy when you make it through another semester with your GPA intact.
A friend of mine once compared GPA to a statue. Every non-A you receive is someone taking a hammer to that statue, and you can never completely repair it. No pressure.
12. Your sanity on the other hand? That's debatable.
The constant state of physical, mental and emotional exhaustion eventually gets the best of us.
13. Everyone questions whether you can function as a normal human being in society anymore.
The important thing is that at least you're trying, right?
14. Yet, you wouldn't want it any other way. Mostly because you don't know what you would do with your life if you don't get into medical school.
You will be told you need to find a backup plan for your life, but you figure you'll probably wing it.
In the end, it will be worth it. You'll earn your acceptance to medical school,] or you might find out that pre-med just isn't the lifestyle for you. One way or another, you'll make it through!