Whether you realize it or not, most of what you need to know to succeed as a premed you learned as a youngster, but may have forgotten. Here are 6 children’s books that will teach you as much as much as any best-selling self-help or motivational books about what it takes to succeed as a premed…and in college. And, unlike the textbooks that you’ve probably been burying your head in, they have fun pictures and are only a few pages.
The Little Engine That Could
On persistence, hard work, and the value of thinking positive
What the story is about: In the tale, a long train must be pulled over a high mountain. Larger engines, are asked to pull the train; for various reasons they refuse. The request is sent to a small engine, who agrees to try. The engine succeeds in pulling the train over the mountain while repeating its motto: I-think-I-can”.
Lessons for premeds: Getting into medical school is no walk in the park. From undertaking rigorous course loads to studying hours for the MCAT, the journey to becoming a doctor will require you to remain persistent and optimistic. Moreover, in the face of adversity, it is very important that you believe in yourself, your abilities, and your dream to become a doctor enough to make it through any tough and trying times you may encounter along as a pre-med.
Meaningful quote: “Puff, puff, chug, chug, went the little blue engine. ‘I think I can – I think I can – I think I can – I think I can – I think I can – I think I can – I think I can – I think I can – I think I can…Up, up, up. Faster and faster and faster and faster the little engine climbed until they reached the top of the mountain.”
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
On just having one of those days
Oh the Places You’ll Go
On self-determination and leadership
Harold and the Purple Crayon
On creating your own life path
What the story is about: Harold, a curious 4-year old boy, goes for a walk with his purple crayon and creates a world of his own by simply drawing it. Harold wants to go for a walk in the moonlight, but there is no moon, so he draws one. He has nowhere to walk, so he draws a path. He has many adventures looking for his room, he draws his own house and bed and starts going to sleep.
Lessons for premeds: Think about what you want for your future and go after it. As the saying goes “whatever the mind can conceive and believe it can achieve” and that is the mindset that you should always have regardless of what others may say or adversities you may face.
Meaningful quote: “One evening, after thinking it over for some time, Harold decided to go for a walk in the moonlight…there wasn’t any moon, and Harold needed a moon for a walk in the moonlight…fortunately, he had brought his purple crayon…so he drew a moon.”