poor gpa

hi guys!! i just wrapped up my first semester in college (thank the Lord), so i thought i should share some of the things i’ve learned with you.

  • make friends during the first few weeks!! 
    • participate in all the “welcome week” activities. step outside of your comfort zone and be willing to talk to anyone and everyone—everyone else is in the same position as you. find friends who have similar values as you. do not become too close with anyone who will influence you to do things that you do not want to do. befriend the people you sit next to in class—maybe they can become a study buddy. establish your friendships early on. from personal experience, it is harder to befriend people who have already formed their own friend groups. 
  • join clubs!!
    • join them early on in the semester.
    • join clubs that are specific to your major! not only will you meet people with similar interests and career goals, but you will also receive important information (opportunities, research programs, etc.) and get more hands-on experience.
    • if you are on a pre-professional track, join a club based on your program. i’m currently in the pre-dental health society club at my school!
    • join any club that interests you, but try not to join clubs that frequently overlap—it is better to attend clubs faithfully than sporadically. 
    • if you’re a person of faith, join a (or several) campus ministry/group to get connected with people who share your same faith. a majority of my friendships have come from doing this and it’s like having a second family. if you’re a christian, join cru!! cru is awesome!!!!
  • scheduling
    • only take 8 am’s if you are disciplined enough to go to sleep at a reasonable time and to wake up at or before 7 am. 
    • try to end your school day relatively early so that you have the rest of the day to do any studying that you have to do, while you’re still awake and alert. 
    • try to avoid night classes as they are very long and will probably interfere with a billion other things you want to do. 
    • if you are scheduling back-to-back classes, make sure you have enough time to get from one class to the other. 
  • coursework
    • exams are so important in college. there is homework, though, but it usually only accounts for a small percentage of your grade. you should still complete it. all of it. try to accumulate as many points as you can from homework and other assignments in case you don’t perform as well as you wish on the exams.
  • time-management is SOOO important!!
    • learn when to say no to social events. you can still do fun things, but know when you should refrain from it. 
    • managing time wisely significantly lowers academic-related stress.
    • create a skeletal schedule for your week–add your classes, when you want to wake up/go to sleep, any club meetings that you have, what time’s a good time for lunch, etc. 
    • determine what times work best in your schedule to dedicate to studying. 
    • schedule your free time so that 1. you have something to look forward to and are less likely to get distracted, and, 2. you can take a break from everything and feel refreshed.
  • dealing with professors
    • respect them (obviously). 
    • form good relationships with your professors, but, for the love of God, do not be a kiss up. they can tell when you are or aren’t being genuine. 
    • visit them during office hours for any questions you may have. make it known to them that you do care about what you’re learning and that you’re not only trying to get an A. 
  • reminders!!
    • sometimes you will try so hard and your grade will still not reflect the effort you put in.
    • learning > grades
    • grades do not always reflect intelligence. sometimes, a lower grade could be a result of something else, such as poor time-management.
    • your GPA does not define you.
    • you are here to learn.
    • rest!!
    • you can do this!!
    • i love you!!

disclaimer: this post is based on my experiences and things i have heard from people who i have interacted with. this advice might not apply to everyone who reads it. artwork by: paul antonson

i will be adding to this! just wanted to get some of it posted! feel free to message me with specific college-related questions and feel free to message/reply/reblog with any advice you think i should add. :)

love, melissa (@studenting

Normal Horoscope

Aries: Be brave, the charred callouses on your hands have yet to fade.

Taurus: You are someones anchor to the world. Literally hurtle yourself into the sea.

Gemini: The grass beneath your feet is part of a centuries old mushroom colony that dreams.

Cancer: The junior college near you is built atop navajo graves. This explains your poor gpa.

Leo: There is nothing to fear but the being of sentient fear that eats the cats in your neighborhood.

Virgo: Behind the ugly 70s wallpaper of your childhood home lies the palimpsest of a mad mathematicians writing. Burn it. None can know.

Libra: Clean yourself, something has marked you.

Scorpio: The city government has hired a PI to make sure you are staying hydrated.

Sagittarius: The old cavalry saber in your basement has made a friend.

Capricorn: You will sit on the bus next to a man who will one day grow kind.

Aquarius: Your toil will not go unnoticed, a cult will offer you membership with excellent vacation benefits.

Pisces: An angel of the night sits invisibly atop the head of your bed. She has fallen in love with you.

What to do if You Get a Bad Grade

I think I get this question more than any other.  It usually goes something like this: “I just found out I got a C/D/F and now I want to know if my med school dreams are dashed.  Can I fix this?”

Well for all of you in fear, here is the NotQuiteDoctor’s advice on what to do about getting a bad grade (insert trumpet fanfare).

The first thing I have to say is that I don’t know if your chances are damaged or not.  Medical school admissions are dependent on soooooo many factors.  From your MCAT and grades to your communication skills to the mood of your interviewer.  It’s a human process and thus prone to human errors.  Admission committees are trying to objectively decide who will make the best doctors.  That is a tough thing to predict.

So what can you do to have the best chances at medical school?  Well, see above.  Have good grades, a good MCAT, good extracurriculars and a winning personality.  Sometimes having all those things isn’t possible.  In this instance we are focusing on grades.  What happens if you have a weak GPA?

If you have a weak GPA you have to ask yourself a serious question: can you handle med school.  They weed people out for a reason…. med school is a hard process.  It involves sacrifices you have yet to imagine (including some I have yet to imagine).  Unfortunately just having a desire to be a doctor won’t cut it.  So is your GPA weak because you can’t hack it?  If you think that might be the case then save yourself lots of money and look for another career in health care.

Let’s say you had a bad semester, which happens.  External factors always affect academic performances and you can’t help a nasty break up or a death in the family.  If this is the case then you really need to evaluate that event and how if affected you.  You can’t move on before dealing with your own emotional issues.  Do some reflecting and find the lesson in that life event.  As you move forward let that be a motivator.  I had a very good friend die during one semester.  It was horribly painful and I had a tough time with it.  But I found a way to make his death mean something and it has been a meaningful part of my life ever since.

When you find that, incorporate it into your personal statement.  Explain why you had this rough semester and what you did to move past it.  You need to show that you are a fighter and won’t let life steam roll you.  Feature this event in a positive way (not in a pity me way).  Showing how you have grown can help answer questions about a questionable semester and put forward some of your best qualities.      

But what if you were just a mediocre student prior to deciding on medicine? (Which also happens a lot.)  Again, I say feature it.  Put your best and worst traits out there, showing you aren’t afraid to be honest.  It will also, hopefully, show how you have grown and matured as a student.  My own personal statement featured the fact that my interest in medicine started out as a selfish endeavor, looking for prestige and respect.  But as I learned more about what the profession was, I found a calling for a different reason.  Explain that you never cared about academics until you found a passion for X (insert passion here).  Hopefully the admissions committee will see that passion and recognize the talent it has bred.    

Worst case scenario, you can always do some post-bacc work or get a masters degree to beef up your application.  Is it sucky to have to take extra time?  Sure.  But the real question is, how far will you go to be a doctor?  If you aren’t willing to put in a couple extra years to get there, maybe that answers the question for you. 

I hope this helps.  As I am fond of saying, there is always a chance.  Success relies on what you are willing to give to obtain it.  I know several doctors who only got in after multiple tries.  Best of luck to all you applicants.


anonymous asked:

I think I really fucked up my life. I am a non trad who decided to pursue medicine after undergrad. I had a poor 2.6 undergrad gpa as a non-science major. I took all my science pre reqs and came out with a 3.2 cum science gpa. Not spectacular I know. I spent too much of my time working to make sure I was able to pay undergrad loans and bills. Now Im 4 years out, Ive taken the MCAT 3x now, and I don't know what to do anymore. I feel like such failure. Do you have any advice for me?

people are not failures. people fail, but it is what they learn from it and what they do afterwards that makes them who they are.

knowing ONLY what you have told me about your path, i would say that it may be time to think very critically about what it is that you want out of a career that you believe you will get out of medicine. getting a medical school spot is a rare and elite accomplishment, but it is NOT an achievement in itself. and that is not to take anything away from the people who have gotten into medical school, but to give you some perspective.

the path to happiness is not a ladder, where if you can’t make it up one rung, you can’t get to the top. it’s a jungle gym. there are many paths to fulfillment. and i would say that, objectively, for you, the path you’re on is not taking you to a good place. you are still young, you can still figure things out, and there is no shame in taking a different path that is better for you.

you can still win. you can still help people in a meaningful way and you can still be a respected person and you can still do whatever it is you believe that being a doctor is. but medicine IS a ladder, and if you can’t make it up the ladder, i’d suggest switching to the jungle gym.

and i say this, of course, as a ladder-jumper. the jungle gym is not that bad. it’s actually a lot funner, and more humane, and i’m still trying to help the people on the ladder :)

What you Need to Know About GPA-How to get Into Vet School Part 8

Over the past several years of my academic life, nothing has made me shudder quite like the little three-lettered word of… GPA. Most pre-vets, haunted by the obsession of grades, fondly daydream about obtaining a 4.0 GPA in college, easily allowing them to be accepted into vet school. However, life isn’t always that kind, nor it is that simple.  But hopefully the next few simple tips will help you begin to sort through the confusion of GPA when applying to vet school:

-> Every school calculates GPA differently. For better and for worse, there are several GPAs that can be evaluated by a school, including cumulative GPA, pre-req GPA (this will vary by school), science GPA, and last 45-credits GPA. Some take grade-replacement, some just take the average. Some consider post-bac GPA, some do not. Some look at all 4 GPAs, some only care about one. You might have a weak cumulative GPA but a really strong last 45- credits GPA. SO USE THIS TO YOUR ADVANTAGE AND APPLY SMARTLY.  

-> Some schools have a minimum requirement. This can vary by school, but one GPA cutoff I’ve seen is a 3.0 (I’ve also seen a 2.8 up to a 3.4 cutoff). A lot of schools also have pre-req requirements, where you need a C/C- or better in these classes to even apply. Therefore, please make sure to research if a school has a minimum, so you don’t waste valuable money applying in case you don’t meet those cutoffs. 

-> There is no magic “number” that will get you accepted. I hear quite a few pre-vets say “Oh, it won’t matter if I have 10 experience hours because I have a 3.97 GPA,” or “Is all my hopes and dreams dashed because I have a 3.3 GPA?” The thing about it is, there isn’t a perfect check mark that appears next to your application once you hit a number that indicates you are automatically accepted. There are SEVERAL different components to your application, and your GPA is just one of them. Which brings me to my next point:

-> GPA IS NOT EVERYTHING. Guys, I can’t say this enough. GPA is absolutely important, for sure, but it’s just one piece of the puzzle. I’ve seen those with a 4.0 get rejected from no experience or a bad interview, and I’ve seen those with a 3.2 get accepted that have wonderful experiences and just a really well-rounded application. Do not throw away valuable and crucial opportunities just because you have a great GPA and you think you can get accepted with your eyes closed. On the other hand, do not let a poor GPA ruin you. Focus on what you can improve on grade/application wise, see what caused you to get those bad grades, retake what classes are necessary, obtain as much experience/opportunities as you can grab, make your application as well-rounded as possible, apply as smartly as you can, get file reviews if you get rejected to see what you need to do to improve for next cycle, and always keep your head up. 


Disclaimer: As much as I love writing up these posts, please keep in mind these are only my opinions. There are many roads that can lead into vet school,and just because I offer an opinion does not make it correct, especially if your situation is different than mine was. Please don’t panic if you aren’t doing exactly what I say on here, everyone has different experiences and that is what makes them and you unique. I’m simply hoping this mini-series will be a guideline to help you begin your journey along the road to vet school.

Attention all vetblrs: I’m really excited to start this mini-series on getting into vet school, and I would love some collaboration! I encourage all vets and vet students to reblog this post and add in their own advice for the topic of the day! Those in countries other than the U.S. who have a different system/application are also more than welcome to chime in!