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Program complete

I had to let everything sink in, but I’ve completed my 1-year program.

As of December I finished off physics 1, cell bio, and organic chemistry 2. I didn’t even want to bother to make a quick update because I was just that sick of classes that I didn’t even want to deal with anything premed related.

But yes, it’s done.

Physics 2 is the only pre-req left and that starts next week at the local community college. I’ll also be studying for the MCAT which I plan to take in the spring.

So far the review questions for MCAT seem easy. Does that mean I learned something from my year of hell? I hope so.

Quick update: Orgo I complete! :)

Organic chemistry I has been conquered! I just wanted to drop in and say this. I started organic chem II two weeks ago, so I’ve got to buckle down and get that done by December. I also will have physics I and cell bio ending at that time, so a lot of grades will be flooding in around then.

I’ve moved physics II to spring semester, but during the same time I will be preparing to take the MCAT. I’m not sure what date just yet. The MCAT exam dates have been released (as of a few days ago) for 2013, so if you’re in the market to take it next year, go ahead and take a look on the official website to make your plans!

I can’t believe my course work is almost done! This year has been so mentally draining/insane I can’t even form a coherent post to complain to you guys about it. Keep on keepin’ on, everyone!

Yikes, a hickup in the road of physics

So I ended up having to drop physics.

I wasn’t failing or anything, which makes the whole dropping bit a little strange, I guess, but I was admittedly having issues keeping up. The nature of quarter 3 for the program I am in is you’re taking organic chem 1 in 10 weeks, physics I in 10 weeks, and you’re taking cell bio in the traditional semester format along side those two classes while working full-time. The physics course we’re taking at our college is pretty brutal. It’s not that the material is overly hard, it’s just that the workload is demanding. We have weekly labs that, while designed to be short and easy, actually end up taking hours and hours to do weekly. Couple that with a 10 week crash-course in orgo which is no easy task for anyone and throw cell bio on top of that while I was working full-time in software development in a new role which required me to actually be coherent at work I was working 40hrs at work and then an additional 25-30hrs a week at home for studying/course work/labs/exams.

It was getting intense and I didn’t feel like I was adequately preparing myself for MCAT. So, I decided I would reduce one of the 10 week courses down. I picked physics, since I have an A in orgo and I had a B in physics. I dropped the 10 week physics course and I just signed up to retake physics 1 for fall semester in the traditional 16-week format for fall semester (September-December). Sometimes slower is better, I suppose. I am now down to a much more manageable 40 hour workweek and 15-20 hours of outside coursework! *laughs*

This does mean that I will be a little bit behind coursework wise, though. Instead of being completelyyyyy done with pre-reqs come the second week of December like I had intended, I will have to take physics 2 during spring semester. Not terrible. Hopefully better, honestly. I had been planning on a March MCAT, but since physics won’t be done till May, I might push back MCAT till then.

I joked that if I decide that med school isn’t for me and I need to get my masters in IT working full-time and doing a part-time masters will be complete and utter cake after working full-time and doing an accelerated 1-year post-bacc. 😉 It’s amazing what becomes easy when you push yourself.

Perspective on stress

I just wanted to get this off my chest because I’ve been pretty stressed lately with my postbacc.

I know I shouldn’t complain because I chose to do the 1-year postbacc option and whatnot, but sometimes I’m so stressed out when classwork piles up, I don’t feel prepared at all for exams, and I have no free time at all. I hear people at work or friends complaining about how hard their lives are such as having to work to 6-7pm a few times a week for a while and how stressed they were about that and how “terrible” it was and how “I couldn’t understand their stress at work!” even though they know I’m doing my postbacc program and I just want to sigh.

I guess it’s perspective, but this entire year for me has been work 9-5pm, 5:30pm-11pm studying, with a 30 minute dinner break, then shower, sleep, rinse, repeat. Every other day I get an hour gym break. Weekends are consumed by classes/lab work every other week. On free weekends, I’m usually studying, so it’s rare I get a free day to see friends/go out.

I know people have it worse than me, but for me, that’s normal, so I find it funny when people complain to me that working to 6pm or 7pm a few times a week is so stressful that I “wouldn’t understand” their stress.

And quarter 3 is off!

So it’s been about 7 weeks since my last update! Since then, quarter 3-of-4 of my one-year postbacc has started and this is where things have just started to get fun!

Quarter 3 has been the thing that all of us remaining 14 students have feared since day one of the program. The program intensity just ramped up significantly. Instead of 2 classes we’re now taking 3. Most of us were just finally getting comfortable juggling two accelerated classes plus working full-time, but now we’re juggling two accelerated classes, plus one regular “semester” class, as well as working full-time.

On the plate this quarter (July-September) is Organic Chem I (with lab), Physics I (with lab), and the first half of Cell Bio (with lab).

How do I feel about physics so far? Well… I hate it. I really, really do not like physics. I just don’t like it. Things I enjoy better than physics:

  • Doing laundry
  • Wearing heels that give me blisters
  • DrivingSitting through Philadelphia traffic on a Friday afternoon on I-76
  • Organic chemistry labs during the heat wave with no air conditioning
  • Giving the cat a bath

I just don’t like physics. It’s boring. I suck at math. It’s just bad. I’m going to suffer through it the next 6 months.

Organic chemistry is ok. I don’t think it’s as bad as everyone has told me it was going to be. Everyone I’ve ever spoken to has made me feel like O-chem is the hardest class they’ve ever taken, that everyone fails it, that it’s terrible, horrible, awful, you’re going to die a horrible, awful death, what have you. Maybe I’m insane, but honestly it doesn’t seem that terrible. It’s not the same as general chemistry, that’s for sure, but I don’t really think it’s that bad. The worst part is not having adequate time to really study it thoroughly due to working full-time and taking as many classes as I am, but I feel like if I was a full-time student, I’d have no problem with the class.

I’ll have to keep you guys updated on how it’s going a month from now. 🙂

Hope everyone’s having a super summer! Mine is flying by as my schedule consists of 9-5pm work, 5pm-11pm studying, sleep, rinse, repeat. 😉

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