5 Tips for Rising College Premeds
written by: Anna Vardapetyan
Hello to all the rising Premeds! Congrats on all your accomplishments thus far, and we wish you the best in your future endeavors. However, here are the 5 things we believe you should take into consideration before you officially set sail on this new chapter in your life.
1. Time Management
Being a Premed is hard, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do it. Whether you like it or not, time management is going to be your new best friend. You have to be sure to be organized; stay on top of your game; and try your best to leave procrastination out the window.
It’s no secret that research is one of the many things that medical schools look for in applications. While this article won’t go too in depth about the different ways you can get research, here is what we’re telling you: start as soon as possible. Scout professors you’re interested in and make connections with them. Go to their office hours, familiarize yourself with their work, and show a genuine interest. Be sure to have a couple of professors in mind, because holding out on one opportunity won’t always work. Keep in mind that research doesn’t have to be wet lab, if that’s not what you’re truly interested in or passionate about. There are tons of other research opportunities waiting for you out there; it just takes a little bit of digging around, but don’t give up!
3. How to Navigate Extra-curriculars
In high school, we may have joined clubs or other activities to achieve the perfect, most well-rounded resume. In college, and especially as you’re enriching your career, this well-roundedness doesn’t necessarily apply anymore. When navigating the types of clubs and extracurriculars you want to join, partake in the ones you are most interested in and have a genuine passion for. This isn’t to discourage you from joining academic clubs, as they, too, are very useful and valuable if you are interested in what they do. However, immersing yourself in academics/honor societies shouldn’t stop you from joining a social club or being a part of organizations that may not directly tie into medicine. Stand out from the crowd and pursue your true passions. Lastly, be sure you’re joining organizations that you want to get as deeply involved in as possible.
Volunteer, volunteer, volunteer! It’s important to experience different fields of medicine to find which is right for you. Get as much exposure on different levels. Not only will this look good on your application, but you will be able to get a sense of the commitment you’re making and the life you’ll lead.
5. Become a Medical Professional for the Right Reasons
I mean this. Forget the money, the familial pressures, or the “stability” that comes along with entering the medical field. Any college you go to as a pre-med — yes, even without grade deflation — is going to be tough. The system, the professors, and the classes (especially the general “weed-out” courses) will not only be testing your knowledge, but also your endurance. Exams will be difficult, and sometimes, you’ll be spending much of your time in office hours, the library, or tutoring sessions. Yes, it’s trying, and it can be quite overwhelming. You may find yourself asking if this is the right path for you, and getting clinical exposure is the most important way of answering this question. However, if you do find that becoming a physician is your calling, AMWA is here to support and encourage women every step of the way on their journeys to becoming dedicated, passionate healthcare professionals.