Anonymous asked:

Do you have any advice for an upcoming freshman next year. I'm so scared and stressed already (even before school has started) about the work out I'm going to get. I'm majoring in biology, on the premed track. I'm already taking the maximum number of classes per semester for my first semester (because I have to) and I'm so stressed out already. I'm just really scared I'm not going to do well my first semester. I'm scared I won't make straight As like I want/need. The college workload scares me.

Ok. First, take a deep breath. There is no reason that you should be this stressed before you even set foot on campus. While I am not on the pre-med path, I do have friends who are so I have seen how difficult it is and I will try to help you to the best of my abilities.

First, seek out your major (biology) advisor early in the first few weeks of school. I would even suggest emailing them in advance to schedule an appointment, as the first few weeks are normally extremely busy for advisors and they may not offer open office hours during this period. Explain your goals and they will lay out all the expectations and requirements on the table for you. Some advisors may even be able to create a 4-year plan so you will be able to see which classes you need to take each semester. Planning early will help you stay organized of your requirements and ensure that you graduate on time

I would also recommend meeting individually with your professors within the first two weeks of classes. If you’re a freshman, then you will probably be in larger classes. Meeting with a professor face to face will make you more than a name on an exam. Explain to them that you are aiming to get an A in their course and ask them what you need to do to receive your desired grade. Keep this up throughout the year as well.  Go to their office before exams for help and after to go over any problems you still don’t understand. This will help you develop a good relationship with your professors. They will be more lenient with your grades if they can see the effort you are putting in.

Side note, I’m not sure if I can stress enough how important it is to create and maintain these relationships throughout your time in college. Having good working relationships with professors can open up so many doors for you. You’ll be the first person they think of when they need a TA or a research assistant. Also, they will be willing to write recommendation letters for you when the time comes to apply to medical school.

Also, don’t feel like this is your only option. You may start classes and find that you’re more interested in Economics and choose a more business oriented path. Don’t feel like it’s bad or you’re a failure if you decide to switch tracks. College is all about discovering your interests and you should do what makes you happy. If you are 100% positive that you want to go onto medical school, don’t feel pressured to stay with biology. There are other majors, such as chemistry, physics and mathematics, that can also lead to med school. Just remember that you have options.

Finally (I’m going to end with a small PSA), if you are still feeling incredibly stressed once the semester begins, don’t be afraid to seek professional help. Universities generally have some type of counseling or psychological services available free of cost to students. Don’t hesitate to use these resources. It is so important to manage your stress and take care of your mental health. And there is no stigma associated with using these services. I know many people, including myself, who have taken advantage of this.

I hope that this is enough for now. I would love for you to keep me updated on how your semester goes. And if you have any more questions, feel free to come off anon and we can message privately. Best of luck with your first year of college.