So the first week of school went absolutely wonderfully. I knew how to use the bus system because I practiced with my friends, I went to all my buildings and classes a week before school started, and I pretty much knew what I wanted out of my next three years of college… but people were telling me what to do like they knew what was best for me!
For instance, since I am a biochemistry major with pre-medicine track, I know that I need to have my schedule a certain way in order to be 100% prepared to fulfill my major on time to graduate as well as be prepared for the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT). I was thinking about my schedule and the rigorousness of it since June. I knew exactly what I was getting myself into. When I received my schedule that I was only taking Chemistry, I was worried. I knew that I needed to take biology and chemistry together. I already had expository writing, calculus, introduction to psych, FIGS, and Academic Mentoring… so why not just drop expos, right? Wrong. Expos is a pre-req for biology. Why? I don’t know, lots of reading I guess. So I had to drop something else. Psych and FIGS can easily be dropped! NOPE! They wouldn’t let me do that for some reason. I ended up dropping Calculus (which I don’t care for because I’m good at math and it’s not heavily on the MCAT, anyway). But the advisors wouldn’t even listen to me when I told them that I knew exactly what I was getting myself into. They brought me to four different advisors to try to explain to me that taking Expos, Calc, Bio, and Chem together is extremely hard. (The pharm students are doing it, what makes me different?). Little do they know that I actually took AP Calc, AP Bio, AP Chem and scored 3’s across the board. So I do know a little about each subject, I’ll just have to sharpen up my memory for each class and that’s it! Maybe they’re right. They’ve seen too many students fail taking all three of those classes together, but just know that you may be different so don’t be afraid to try to push your way through! They originally didn’t even want to add biology to my schedule which if you’re doing pre-medicine, you must really try to push for it! You’ll have to take 2-3 sciences/ semester in the future so you must knock them generals out!
ON TOP OF THAT… when you go to student orientation, many people will tell you not to order your books until the first week of class. Which I originally thought was a poor choice because I knew that I wanted to take all the classes that I had… but me putting trust into other people decided to listen to others (again!)… and didn’t order any books until the first week… BAD IDEA!!!! Professors were assigning textbook work the first week of class and I am now immediately behind in a ton of reading! I knew that I wanted to take all the classes I had but I just doubted myself because older students told me to! Don’t listen to any of that. If you’re 100% set, then do your own thing and order those books! They jack up the prices and it takes 2 weeks for books to actually arrive at your doorstep (Especially if they’re coming from Idaho and they don’t decide to ship until 10 days after ordering). Listen to mentors and upperclassmen but just remember that they may have been in a different position than you have been. They may not be as 100% ready as you are or as I am.
Everyone has different methods of studying. As of now, I could pretty much go through an entire Chemistry lecture without taking notes (that’s what I’ve been doing). I have been blessed with the wonderful Rajoo (she’s the best chem prof there is)… and I haven’t once taken a note in her lecture. But many people do because she does write very important stuff on the board! But like I said, I was an AP student. I know everything that’s going on (so far) and can do processes forwards and backwards. If you don’t want to take notes and you feel it’s not the best, you don’t have to! However, look out for the syllabus when it tells you how to get good grades! It may directly tell you to write all lecture notes because the exams may heavily involve what’s on the board! Just putting it out there!
All in all, I was satisfied but a bit angry for having been pushed around by other people and told what to do by “heavy suggestions”… I thought that I knew what was best for me… but in reality.. I know that I KNEW what was best for me. People don’t know the systems as much as you think you know it. IF you feel like you know what you want, go for it. Don’t let anyone stop you! They definitely put me a little behind!