Historically, there are many students who in their freshman year of college start out as pre-meds, but later on down the road change their minds due to some failure or difficulty they encountered. This type of thinking can lead to the premed exodus among freshman students. And many pre-med students come face-to-face with a struggle that is the epitome of the saying “The perfect is the enemy of the good.”

It is quite easy to give up as soon as one faces an obstacle or challenge during their freshman year as a premed.

However, it is almost impossible to get through a semester without some sort of “foreign” situation or “unknown” experience. It is a poor excuse to ditch your pre-med dreams just because it is a little more difficult than you might have anticipated. Instead, you have to begin to get into the habit of setting personal goals that fit who you are as a student. Accept the fact that everything you do from here on out will be through a new and improved version of yourself, but that it will be an ongoing process of self discovery. When you encounter tough situations, the next best thing to do is to figure out the best fix for those issues rather than throw in the towel on your medical school dreams.

Many freshman pre-meds believe that they have to be perfect, which adds stress and pressure to an already stressful and pressure-filled environment. And no matter how well they perform, they’ll continue to feel bad about themselves. This type of behavior usually comes when students compare themselves to other pre-meds – which in the end is completely pointless. It usually turns out that the students who you think are so much “better” are actually struggling with their own challenges and going through things behind closed doors. The trick to working through these feelings is to surround yourself with students who are successful – putting yourself in an environment will be good for your psyche and their positive and confident attitude may rub off on you.

As a premed, I can remember “doing the most.” This caused a lot of damage further down the line and despite having advisors around, I simply was doing it wrong. I had too much on my plate. I was constantly trying to multi task and balance an overloaded schedule. I now know that the better way would have been to choose my priorities and schedule items more wisely and not allow individuals around me to influence the decisions I made for myself in a negative way.

In the end, what it really came down to was having goals and celebrating accomplishments. And while every pre-med has their own story to tell and they work through the daily ups and downs of their journey, “if there’s a will, there’s a way.”