Doing anything ten times can be a lot. You would certainly do well if you studied a whole test ten times. You may find yourself in the ER if you drank ten cups of coffee. And your dentist might throw you a party if brushed your teeth ten times before bed each night. In the same way, I have somehow stumbled upon writing my tenth column. Surprising as it is, it has pushed me in ways I am not plainly used to. For that reason, it is not so surprising that I can look back to my first writings and see how things have already progressed in a quick six months.

How being a writer has anything to do with being a freshman is simple: experience, even over a short period of time, sometimes teaches better than any instructor could. In the moment, you might wonder if you are making any progress at all as a student. In fact, strong experience is only relative after the fact that it has already happened. If you are like me, you may do something over ten times and still feel like you do not have enough experience with it. If you are a freshman, I want to help answer the questions you have that your experiences have not fully answered on their own quite yet.

Do my professors really care?

I am only one to speak on my own experience, but do not get this wrong: your professor’s job description is to help you learn. A lot of times, learning comes in the form of tough love. They may not always care what you did over the weekend, and you may curse your professor’s name to the sky on a few occasions, but I have generally gathered that most professors care about and want to see you succeed in their classroom.

How often should I study?

Especially around freshman year, I found myself studying more than other classmates just to stay on the same page as everyone else. This might make you wonder if you will be able to succeed when things get even more difficult. If you spend more time at your desk than others, do not sweat it. It just means you might be a little more meticulous (usually a good thing) and learn in different ways than your classmates. Simply do your work until it is done. If it takes ten minutes, then cool. If it takes ten hours, then that is cool too.

Three people have already told me I will fail Organic Chemistry, what now?

Not only will you pass Organic Chemistry with flying colors, but also you will probably enjoy it. Do not listen to other people’s sob stories about what is to come – whether it be about organic or really anything. We are all a little different. Is it a difficult class? Most definitely. But you will make it through with a greater understanding and a particular awe of how the universe works. When others give you advice on how to succeed, listen to what they have to say. But if they are telling you how to fail, be leery until you discover for yourself.

Will these next four years be worth it?

Fortunately, nobody can really answer that but you. If you are in the business of becoming a doctor, then the beauty is that you are always writing your own story. You always hold the power to decide for yourself what is difficult, easy, and worth your time. I cannot look back, or forward, without feeling that I made the right choice to be where I am so far. There is always worry over getting into medical school, especially for freshman. But truthfully, there is no better time to be confident in your ability than now.

Take the risk. From me to you, it seems that things turn out okay after all.

Austin S. Greer crop

Austin Greer is a 4th year student at Indiana Wesleyan University and a current Student Advisory Board Member for PreMedLife.