What I Wish I Knew About Being A PreMed At Cornell

What I Wish I Knew About Being A PreMed At Cornell

A guide for underclassmen.
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Cornell is stressful as it is; being premed adds even more stress. After four years, I’ve picked up a few tricks.     

Pick a major you are interested in (bonus points if it’s easy)

Medical schools have a decent number of requirements, but don’t try to pick a major that tailors to that. If you’re a biology major but hate biology, you’re going to have an awful time in your upper-level classes. Pick a major with a manageable number of requirements that you’re passionate about and fill the medical school courses in as electives.     

Have a backup plan 

Yes, medical school is the dream, but it’s very difficult to get in. Plus, you may get to senior year and realize you don’t love medicine and don’t want to spend the next four to twenty years studying it. Unless you are lucky enough to have a job lined up with family or friends, it’s a good idea to have a backup plan. Maybe get some professional experience outside the medical field or network with companies at career fair starting freshman year.

HCEC – It is real and it will ruin your winter break  Unless you start early. Moral of the story: start early. You are basically writing your medical school application in January instead of June. Also you have to register in November. Also you have to have your recommendations by March. Basically, there’s a nifty timeline Cornell provides here you should follow it.   
Go to office hours 

Sure you got an A in Organic Chemistry, but what is your professor going to write about you in a letter of recommendation? It would make a much better letter of recommendation if your professor could talk about your hopes and dreams, not just your killer test grades.    

Interfolio Credentials Service– Use it, it is your best friend 

Okay, so it costs a little bit of money, but it’s worth every penny. Say you took a class freshman year and you find yourself applying to medical school at the end of junior year. You bonded with the professor, did well in the class, he or she is the perfect person to write a letter of recommendation. When do you think they would write a better letter: freshman year or junior year?

 

Interfolio lets you ask for a letter freshman year and they save it (pretty much forever if you keep paying them) for when you need it. This is also great for those taking gap years.    

Consider a gap year 

Cornell burns you out. Why would you want to go to school for another four years right after? Think about doing research, working in clinical trials or gaining other experience that would strengthen your medical school application.    

Study for the MCAT as you go 

Studying for the MCAT all at once during your junior summer will make you wish you had never considered medical school in the first place. You have to remember everything you learned for the past three years and apply it to MCAT-style questions. Learning what topics are on the MCAT early on and forming outlines for yourself while you’re still in the classes will make studying a breeze. Think about adding some practice MCAT passages that apply to your biology chapter, too.     

Relax

Take up yoga. Learn to paint. Have something to do that isn’t studying, your lab or your medical internship. Not only will it help your stress level, it gives you something to talk to interviewers about other than that surgery you observed last summer. 

Remember: Cornell's medical school acceptance rate is not bad. May the odds be ever in your favor. 


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5 Perks Of Having A Long-Distance Best Friend

The best kind of long-distance relationship.
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Sometimes, people get annoyed when girls refer to multiple people as their "best friend," but they don't understand. We have different types of best friends. There's the going out together best friend, the see each other everyday best friend and the constant, low maintenance best friend.

While I'm lucky enough to have two out of the three at the same school as me, my "low maintenance" best friend goes to college six hours from Baton Rouge.

This type of friend is special because no matter how long you go without talking or seeing each other, you're always insanely close. Even though I miss her daily, having a long-distance best friend has its perks. Here are just a few of them...

1. Getting to see each other is a special event.

Sometimes when you see someone all the time, you take that person and their friendship for granted. When you don't get to see one of your favorite people very often, the times when you're together are truly appreciated.

2. You always have someone to give unbiased advice.

This person knows you best, but they probably don't know the people you're telling them about, so they can give you better advice than anyone else.

3. You always have someone to text and FaceTime.

While there may be hundreds of miles between you, they're also just a phone call away. You know they'll always be there for you even when they can't physically be there.

4. You can plan fun trips to visit each other.

When you can visit each other, you get to meet the people you've heard so much about and experience all the places they love. You get to have your own college experience and, sometimes, theirs, too.

5. You know they will always be a part of your life.

If you can survive going to school in different states, you've both proven that your friendship will last forever. You both care enough to make time for the other in the midst of exams, social events, and homework.

The long-distance best friend is a forever friend. While I wish I could see mine more, I wouldn't trade her for anything.

Cover Image Credit: Just For Laughs-Chicago

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10 Study Habits You Should Never Break

Tips and tricks to surviving finals and midterms.

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It's starting to become that time of year again - wrapping up the semester and preparing for the dreaded week of finals and mid-terms. I couldn't be more excited to be done with high school. But finals stink. I luckily don't have many classes that are going to require taking a test, mine are mostly projects.

All throughout high school, I had really struggled with testing and study habits. I didn't know how to study and therefore continued to do poorly because of my study habits or lack of. It was not until my junior year in high school, I had found my way of studying and it has worked for me for every test since. I color coat everything and write things down a million times. It is time-consuming but it is worth it in the end. You just have to find what works with you and stick with it. Here are some tips and tricks to hopefully help you with your study habits. I wish I had someone to tell me these things when I was struggling at the start of high school.

1. Time management

Don't be silly and study the night before the test and expect to do well. Some people can actually do this but I am a person who has to work their tail off for what kind of grades I receive so studying the night before a test would result in me not doing well. But it is different for everyone. What I typically do is if I know the test date ahead of time, I write it down in my planner and then as we learn something I add it to a notecard so as we go on with a unit I remember what we have learned in the start of the unit. I typically study a week prior to the test.

2. Find a study space

I like when my environment is completely quiet, I find it hard for me to focus when I am surrounded by noise. I usually study in my room or somewhere where no one is at

3. Choose a style of studying you like

I am a freak when it comes to studying. I am a very visual person. I will read the chapters in the book, highlight the important stuff, take notes and color coat them, highlight them. Draw diagrams or pictures if needed. And sometimes write small important things a couple of times. Yes, it's time-consuming but it has gotten me to not fail my test. With more unvisual classes like math, I write a notecard of all the formulas and buttons I will need for that unit. I do all of this as we go through each unit. I also use Quizlet to help me remember vocabulary words.

4. Actually do the study guides or Quizlets, they help

I complete the study guides a couple of times. Sounds crazy but it helps me memorize stuff so much better. There are tons of resources out on the internet, use them. Quizlet, Books online etc can all be valuable resources, just got to know what is available. Sometimes my friends will make a Quizlet and we will have the same class and I will use her Quizlet. Why make what's already made for you?

5. Write things out

I love technology and all but I think some of us have gotten away from writing things actually down on a notebook. Believe it or not, it has been proven that physically writing things out helps you memorize things better. I use a notebook for class and color coat my own notes. I also use flashcards for vocab words and color coat them as well. As you can tell I love color coating.

6. Have a study buddy

Personally I study better alone but when I do study with groups we bounce ideas off each other to get a better understanding of the material. It again depends on how you like to study.

7. Eliminate distractions

I used to have a problem with getting distracted from being on my phone and then I'd realize I just wasted 30 minutes scrolling through Instagram when I could have been studying. So turn your phone off or put it where you can't see it because it really does shorten your time of studying without being on it.

8. Use memory games (pneumonic devices) 

This helps me so much! When I am working on a test I always remember pneumonic devices before anything else.

9. Take your time

Don't rush through the material, you'll get it eventually. If you don't know it, highlight it and come back. Also if you have already mastered and memorized a topic, don't keep studying that study the things you don't know and haven't mastered.

10.  Find what works best for you!

You have to find out what works for you and what doesn't. Your study habits are completely unique to you. If something works for you, continue to do that.

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