Wednesday, October 25, 2017

when graduating early ISN'T good

When my adviser told me I could and should graduate early, I was pumped. A whole year's head start on medical school? Wow. Unfortunately, he didn't really lay out all that entailed. I thought something didn't sound right, and asked if it would be bad to take my MCAT early, but he said it was probably fine.

While I was dreaming of cheaper tuition and graduating early from medical school, it took a genius junior (she has a 4.0, y'all)  taking pity on me for me to come back to earth.

Graduating in what was supposed to be your junior year totally ruins the take-the- MCAT-in-your -junior -year plan. It puts you taking the MCAT before you've had physics, biochemistry, and all those other super important classes. You're stuck cramming and teaching yourself all those things in one miserable summer. When most premeds have a horrid junior year and then a relaxed senior year, you're forced to fit it all in early. 

So I am going to take a minor (probably in Spanish or ASL) and drag out my college time to four years. I still get to register early because of my hours, which is a plus, but I won't be leaving early.

Of course, graduating early is cheaper, and you could take a gap year. If you feel confident teaching yourself the material, go ahead! But I know I definitely need all the pre-req experience I can get.

I guess the important takeaway is that your adviser isn't always right, even if they can be super nice and helpful. They see SO many students, and don't always understand your particular situation.  Don't be afraid to ask questions and learn from upperclassmen. I  knew graduating early as a pre-med didn't sound right, but I just assumed he was right and all-knowing.  Sometimes, you have to be your own advocate. Research, question, and even call medical schools! Find out what's best for you.

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