As a Freshman it is really hard to try and get everything lined up for the next couple of years especially since you are just starting a new school. Many medical students remember it being really hard to figure out what they needed to do during their first year in college to prepare as a premed student.
First Things First:Do Well In Your Classes
The classes that you take during your first year provide a foundation for the rest of your courses in years to come. If you do not work hard to understand what you are learning in those classes, you will have trouble when you take harder classes. The general consensus among medical students is that if they could go back and tell themselves one thing, it would be to spend a lot of time making sure that they understood the basics which include their classes during your Freshman year.
It is hard to do well during your first year when you are not sure how to even handle all the classes you are taking. A great way to do this is to stay organized because it is really easy to forget things and get unorganized when there are a lot of distractions happening.
Many freshman students have trouble getting organized and staying organized. They are used to high school where the teachers are constantly reminding you what you need to do and when to do it. College is all about independence and this is why many students do not do well initially because they are not used to so much independence. The best thing for you to do is pick one way that you would like to stay organized. Many successful premeds am a big believer in organizers and planners. What you could do is list each assignment for each class on the day that you receive the assignment and then make another list of things you need to do that day. Once you finish a task, cross it out in blue and then if you are unable to complete a task that day, circle it in red so that the next day you see the item circled and remember you needed to finish a task from yesterday.
MAKE USE OF WEEKENDS
Many Freshmans look forward to the weekends because that is when you could catch up on sleep and relax more. But if many students could do undergrad all over again, they would probably wish they were a little more hardworking on the weekends. If you could do more work on the weekends then you could relax more during the week and not stress to get your work done.
It is nice to relax on the weekends and not worry about work, but the weekends are when you’re probably the most productive and might just start getting work done at 8 am and then go until 1pm and then take a lunch break and get some work done and then take the night off. Doesn’t sound half bad, right?
ACCEPT THAT YOU WILL MAKE MISTAKES
Most students who pursue premed enter college with strong backgrounds from high school and did pretty well in high school. With that background, sometimes it was hard for some students to accept that they could do poorly in a subject. Rather than accepting mistakes and making sure not to make them again, students, especially Freshmans, get very frustrated and fail to let the mistakes go. This is not healthy. It may take some time to realize that mistakes are the only way that we learn and to let yourself learn from mistakes made. Realizing early on that you will make mistakes is an important part of the process.
If you do see yourself running into a bunch of mistakes, try and take some time to figure out what the root of the problem is. Always ask others in your class that are doing well what they are doing to do well or talk to the Teacher’s Assistant (TA) or the Professor to get a better idea of what you should be doing. The TA and Professor are there for your help and it is surprising how few students actually ask for help.