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A little guidance please .

  1. Feb 10, 2006 #1
    A little guidance please.....

    I don't know whether I'm posting this is the right spot or not....I hope I am. I'm just feeling like I need a little academic guidance right now from those who have been there.

    Right now I am in my first year of univeristy, I went into it thinking I would find my niche right away and was confident it wouldn't take long before I found what I wanted to do for the rest of my life....boy was I wrong! I'm about a month and a half into my second semester and I'm still clueless. I'm currently trying to get into pharmacy or medical laboratory science (both programs require a pre-professional year) but they are so competitive (i.e you need at the very least a 3.7 GPA to be considered). I had a 3.7 coming out of the first semester, and second semester midterms are not upon me. Realistically I am not sure whether I can keep this up. I am studying 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, I have no life at all, am being forced to turn away from my hobbies, and my life is utterly consumed by having to get such a high GPA. In other words I'm not a happy camper....haha yes I know poor little me :redface:

    The classes I am taking I do enjoy, but I'm so consumed with grades that it feels like I am not able to enjoy them to their full potential. I absolutely love my organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry and biochemistry courses, but I'm so stressed out about having to get such high marks in them that I worry constantly about them.

    I've been thinking a lot about this lately, and have decided that I have the following options:
    1) Continue to go for the programs I listed above and probably go insane over worry and stress
    2) Go to the local tech school and take med lab sci there, then transfer back to the univeristy and upgrade from diploma to degree.
    3) Go into another science related field where I can take the time to enjoy what I am learning.

    The issue I have with going into a science field is that of job stability. I know if I got into pharmacy or med lab sci I would come out with a good, stable job that I enjoy. If I decided to major in biochemistry, or pharmacology or the like I'm worried I would not be able to get a job (with an undergraduate degree). And I'm not sure that I would want to spend another how many years to get the PhD. I've heard so many conflicting stories from so many people. Some say it's easy to get a good job, and others say you have to get a PhD and work for years as a post doc and maybe then if you're lucky you will get something half decent.

    Sorry for the long rambling post, but if you have any advice you can give me I would really appreciate it. I'm wrought with indecision and I need help!
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 11, 2006 #2
    i might not be the best person to talk to in the earth for guidance(i'm only 16:uhh: ) but i think you should just enjoy university and not worry about marks:zzz: so much seeing that you only get to live this life once:eek: . If you are constantly worrying about marks:zzz: , you're merely missing about on life and university:surprised . Sure, university is for studying :rolleyes: but when your mind is consumed with worries about marks, grades, etc. you cannot really focus on other things like your friends, family, etc.. Besides, constantly worrying about marks:frown: isn't good for your mindset which can lead to bad marks, grades, etc. You say that you absolutely love your courses :biggrin: so why are you so stressed about the marks:confused:. If you love them:!!) [the courses] that means that you fully understand them:approve: and enjoy solving problems related to the subjects which means you will get great marks:smile: . Don't worry about it:smile: : just have fun:cool:
  4. Feb 11, 2006 #3


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    "numbnut," awesome username:rofl:

    Scorpa, I wouldn't recommend you to go through a technical school seeing that you are so concerned about your grades and job stability. College can get like that sometimes, you've got to make smart choices, and not get delusional. That is, you don't want to get sidetracked, I can tell you right now that pursuing an alternate path may take a lot out of you, your enthusiasm for college academics in particular.

    My point is that, although, some people may suggest exploring different fields, college is not the time to be doing so. You don't want to spend any more than 4 years in undergrad, and exploring different choices certainly takes a lot of time as well as the credit hours (which is especially important in regard to scholarship requirements).

    As long as your g.p.a. is ~3.5 you'll have a good chance of getting into pharmacy school. Your life at this point may be unsatisfying, but I would advise that you find practical, efficient, smarter ways of managing your time. If you feel that you've reached the limit of your intellectual capacity, than you may want to consider a slightly lower standard of things. Another way to free up some space in your mind (as well as emotional resources and time) is to seek out the university services (you have a few years of undergrad ahead of you, use every aspect of it while it is free-tutoring services, counseling, intramurals, study groups). You can get a lot more done that way, and have time for your hobbies. Find ways to externalize things a bit and get things done.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2006
  5. Feb 11, 2006 #4
    I would love to get involved in intramurals but unfortunately all of those take place later at night and as I live off campus I don't want to be walking home in the dark alone. Plus everytime I do something not school related I feel so incredibly guilty I can't even enjoy it.

    I'm just so worried about what will happen if I don't get into the program I want, which there is a good chance that will happen. There are about 500 very qualified applicants for about 30 spots. My future is so uncertain right now and I hate that feeling!
  6. Feb 11, 2006 #5


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    yeah, that's actually a pretty good thing, you need to be competitive, in fact there are probably others who are going through the same thing as you are right now....some will find ways to sustain themselves and they'll be the one's to get the job positions. It's simple as that, they may be more talented then you, more hard working, determined.

    During my first years of undergrad I had no problems engaging in regular activities, such as basketball games with my dormitory floor, and still had time to study; I was in an honors dorm, so perhaps that made things a bit easier for me, in terms of how I managed my schedule, since everyone else was on the same plane.

    Yeah, I would highly disadvise you from walking alone (especially if you're a female), predators focus specifically on college students and they have all the time in the world to find and seize an opportunity (robbery, assault, rape, etc...). From what you've said so far, it seems you are spending way too much time studying, and wastefully so. If you're studying all day and week for an A, then you should, again, try to seek out the university tutorial services.
  7. Feb 11, 2006 #6
    I think I can safely say that Numbnut has mastered the art of using these smiley faces.
  8. Feb 11, 2006 #7
    I wouldn't necessarily say that I study all day and night for an A, although I do work hard for it. Most of my classes are filled with upper year undergraduate students whose plans are to take the harder courses later on in their academic careers so they can 'rock the curve' which makes it a bit harder but not impossibly so. I suppose my biggest problem is that I always feel guilty if I am not studying which after awhile results in me getting burned out and although I'm stills] studying it feels like I spend more of my time learning less and less.

    I think you're right I'm going to steer away from the tech school idea for now (although it really is a good school) and just focus on succeeding in university for now. I really am doing well right now, I just hate the feeling that the world is crashing down around me if I screw up on one little quiz. I think I just get stressed out to easily, to the point where I am no longer enjoying what I am doing and everything seems to be a burden. I really need to get out of that mindset.

    You mentioned above that if I feel I've reached my intellectual limits I should perhaps lower my standards, and I would agree with you if that was the case. However I'm a bit of the opposite, I don't feel like I've reached anywhere near my limits and that I have way more potential than I am showing, but that for some reason I just can't tap into it. It's not that I can't do the stuff, I had a 3.7 last semester so I obviously can, it's just that the stress and pressure of having to maintain that can be really overwhelming.

    I just feel like I need a back up plan in case pharmacy or med lab sci doesnt work out. But it seems like I'm getting conflicting views about opportunities with a science degree like chemistry, biochemistry or pharmacology. I don't want to get into something that doesn't have opportunities in it.

    Sorry for another long post, it's just tough trying to figure all this out.
  9. Feb 12, 2006 #8


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    Yeah, if you're stressed and all of the science is new material, you may need to so to speak learn from all of this so that you can manage yourself better with such courses in the future. I can certainly agree with you that you don't want to stay so stressed for such a long time, you simply won't last. Again, try to find external resources such as university tutors (such as a chemistry tutoring department).

    Which pharmacy school are you planning to attend? If you're going for Berkeley (not quite sure if this is the particular school with the reputation), than you've a lot of work to do. However, pharmacy schools aren't that competitive as you think. I got into pharmacy school a while back (U of Georgia), but sort of dropped out, honestly it was quite boring. Most of the people I met at the interview had low PCAT scores and were insufficient in chemistry. I'll give you a big tip, find work as a pharmacy technician, this is a big plus. And research the career a bit more so that at the interview, you'll be able to assert genuine interest in the field.
  10. Feb 12, 2006 #9
    The pharmacy school is U of Alberta, and as it is the best school for pharmacy in Canada it is very competitive. They don't even look at you if you have lower than 3.7 GPA.
  11. Feb 12, 2006 #10


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    If you can maintain a 3.7, might as well consider medical school.
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