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tips for success

Student Life

5 Ways to Prep for Pre-Med

June 26, 2021

Congratulations on being admitted to a pre-med program! All the hard work you have put into your academics in the last couple of years has finally paid off, but if you’re planning on a career in the medical field, your work is only just beginning. Pre-med will be your first main challenge in pursuing your dream, and you need to prepare carefully if you want to make it through the selection process.

Start Studying for the MCAT

The MCAT, or the Medical College Admission Test, is used as the standard exam for those seeking admissions to AMA-accredited programs. It’s often considered one of the toughest preliminary admission exams out there. The exam covers four sections (biology, chemistry, psychology, critical analysis) and takes place over a lengthy 7.5 hours.

Due to the tough syllabus and questions, it’s never too early to start studying for the MCAT exam, especially during college. You will need a lot of prep materials which includes books, notes, and test papers. Make sure you’re choosing high-quality materials. For example, get the best MCAT prep books to maximize your chances on the actual exam. Your MCAT studies can give you an upper hand in your pre-med classes as well.

Reach Out to Your Advisor As Soon As Possible

The role of an academic advisor is an important one, especially if you’re gunning for a career in STEM fields. This is doubly important for pre-med since there are almost innumerable branches and specializations in the medical field. A good advisor can help ensure that you stay on track and fulfill all the basic pre-med requirements.

Reaching out to an advisor can also help you get a sense of what the program will be like in practice, get advice for classes to sign up for, and so on. A written recommendation from your academic advisor can make a favorable impression when you actually start applying to med school, so don’t ignore this aspect.

Know Your Long-Term Plan

You will have a hard time focusing on what you need to do if you don’t have a long-term plan. Being a doctor is a noble ambition, but it’s also a long road filled with many hurdles. By the time you finish both med school and college, you’ll likely be in your mid to late twenties. Investing in such a lengthy period of time requires deliberate planning.

Your long-term plans need to account for med-school admission and the financial investment behind your studies. You’ll also want to determine how to maintain a social life and participate in extracurricular activities. Once you get through med school, there are other things to consider, such as applying for a residency program, passing your medical license test, and finding a job.

Connect With Other Pre-Med Students

While preparing to begin your pre-med program, reach out and connect with other pre-med students in your program. Your school and program likely have events set up, either virtually or in-person, to help incoming students get to know one another. Take advantage of these opportunities.

Doing so will provide you with like-minded people to communicate and make friends with. By working on your preparations together, you can pool resources and help each other out in studying. This also gives you built-in accountability partners.

Remember to Relax and Enjoy the Summer

Last but not least, don’t forget to relax and enjoy the summer. While preparation is important, you also need to remember to enjoy the current moment. If you just graduated from high school, you owe it to yourself to relax and enjoy life a little before devoting yourself to your college and pre-med studies for the foreseeable future. Make memories that you can carry with you for the rest of your life!

If you’re short on cash, you can also start working part-time to save up some money. Training to be a doctor is expensive, from the MCAT prep materials to medical school itself. It can never hurt to have some extra savings.

Be Ready for the Long Run

Preparing for college can seem overwhelming under any circumstances, and getting ready for a pre-med program can seem even more so. However, with enough planning and preparation, you can pull it off!

Student Life Transition

8 Tips To Rely on When Choosing a University

May 19, 2021

Choosing a university is a pretty stressful experience. After all, you will likely spend at least 4 years there!

The great variety of universities doesn’t make the choice any easier. So what should you look out for while choosing a higher education institution?

Here are 8 bulletproof tips to rely on while choosing a college or university!

Decide On a Major

Some universities are famous for their science labs while others are most known for their amazing writers and innovative artists. After you have chosen what field you want to work in, take a look at top-performing universities in the industry. It will narrow down the choice significantly.

Choose a Location

If you are not comfortable living too far away from friends and family, don’t choose a location across the country. The experience will be overshadowed by a constant feeling of missing everyone. Staying closer to home will probably save you a lot of money, too! Everyone’s situation is unique.

Also, climate matters. Do you tolerate heat well? What is too cold for you? Does rainy weather make you sick? Keep all of this in mind when choosing where to attend school.

Learn More About the Campus

You will spend a lot of time on campus so you might want to discover whether it suits your preference. Check how busy it is, what vibe it has, what typical students are like, and whether professors have a big flow of students they barely know or they are available to answer all the questions and help. What is the town or city like that surrounds the campus? Make sure to check out the crime rate and if desirable locations to live if you were to choose to attend a school there.

Determine Your Budget

Some cities and universities are more costly than others. It is not only about tuition but about the cost of accommodation, food, textbooks, etc. Find out about available scholarships and internships as well. It’s not worth the heartbreak to fall in love with a campus only to find out the cost of attendance is way out of your budget.

Check Student Accommodations

If you want to leave your hometown, student accommodation is an essential criterion. If you think that it is just the place where you will sleep and it does not matter, you will be surprised how much it can change your college experience. Find out the condition of rooms, services like laundry, and the number of roommates you may have. Depending on each individual’s situation, you may want to locate student disabilities, work-study options, veteran services, or other campus outreach programs.

Learn More About Student Life

College years are the best. However, it mostly depends on you and the university. Check what clubs and societies there are on campus, what kind of events are organized, and also some opportunities for volunteering and getting to know people.

Check Out Opportunities

Going to college is a great opportunity to discover the world and yourself. Check what exchange programs, conferences, or internships you may try while studying. Many campuses have resource offices and student success programs that have more information about these opportunities.

Rank Your Needs

It’s unlikely there is a university that fulfill each and every one of your requirements. Take a look at previous points and rank what is more important to you: costs, location, or accommodation. It will make the final choice much easier. 

Stick to these tips and make a more accurate and thought-through choice. We hope you will find the right fit and have the time of your life on campus!

BIO: Susan Craig is an experienced writer and active contributor for Studocu.  She is fond of blogging, motivation articles, and management. Her goal is to provide quality and inspiring content.

Student Life

Bullet Journaling to Help You Get Organized

April 22, 2021

A recent survey done by Greenfield Online found that 47% of students felt they didn’t have good enough organizational skills to succeed at college. 54% felt that if they had been better organized, they would have ultimately achieved a higher grade. The fact is that your organizational skills can have a direct impact on your success.

This is why it’s important to find a system that works for you. Bullet journaling is ideal for this because it follows your own system and is all kept in one single notebook. You can use your bullet journal (BuJo) to brainstorm, make to-do lists, create timetables and schedules, and set yourself reminders. This will help you get your college work done and achieve the grade that you deserve

What is bullet journaling? 

The bullet journal was first developed by the designer Ryder Carroll. It is a unique method of organization using a journal containing dots rather than lines. Since the method was brought to the public in 2013, it has gained a big following on social media, and has also had a successful Kickstarter campaign. All you need is a pen and notebook. The main features of a bullet journal are:

  • A table of contents or index
  • Rapid logging – using simple symbols to help organize your tasks
  • Logs – your to-do lists, including timescales
  • Collections -your ideas, organized in a logical way
  • Migration – an efficient way of updating your lists and tasks, moving forward items still to do

Keeping logs

Your logs are one of the most effective ways of organizing your college work. Making these lists is an easy way to get your priorities straight and manage your time every day. If you get into this practice and make it a habit, new and more complex tasks won’t seem so overwhelming. This will be easier if you keep a tidy workspace around you. Being organized promotes a positive mind set, and will help your mental wellbeing to be free from clutter. To help you keep track and get organized, bullet journaling involves using rapid logging symbols to help you keep track of what you have done and what you are still to achieve.

These symbols are:

  • Task
  • Note

     X    Completed

     >   Migrated

     <   Scheduled

     ⭘ Event

For each task you have listed in your log, marking it with a symbol will help you to keep track. When you migrate tasks to a new to-do list, you can decide whether they are still a priority, or whether to simply remove them from your journal completely. 

Building Collections

The collections in your bullet journal will make up most of your notebook. These are your thoughts and ideas, and can be on any subject you choose. Many people keep track of sleep patterns, fitness, phases of the moon, poetry ideas, restaurants to try, or books to read. Having a section for keeping track of your student finances could be extremely useful too. You may find it helpful to make a collection for each subject that you are studying. You might want to list research you are undertaking, or papers that you are intending to read. You can also have a collection simply for brainstorming, using it as a creative outlet – an effective type of personal therapy to help you focus your ideas and give them clarity. 

Bullet journaling is an organized but personal way to keep track of your life. As a student, your journal can be a valuable tool in helping you to get your work done and stay focussed throughout the school year.