Table of Contents
Preparing for Medical School is much closer to an ultra-marathon than a sprint. You will have to dedicate yourself for all of your Undergraduate studies to make sure you are as competitive as possible when it comes time for your applications. You need to keep focused but there is a fine line between dedicating your free-time to extracurricular activities and overwhelming yourself to the point of a breakdown. In this article, I will present the Top 5 Tips to Avoid Burning Out as a Pre-Med to help you plan your efforts accordingly to reach a Medical School in a few short years.
Number 1: Time-Management is Key
The best way to not burn out is to make sure you have a strategic plan going into your Undergraduate program. It is not unrealistic to assume that you need to have some type of acclimation period to learn the ropes of University. There will be a large number of opportunities that you may have never expected to consider but the point is to make sure you won't waste too much time during this window. You should find a research opportunity during Freshman Year and start to find places to volunteer in. It is a good idea to stagger your schedule so your first semester will not be too daunting so use this time to get involved in other facets of your application. You will be able to find a balance between school and extracurricular activities much quicker so you can do your best in each component.
Number 2: Seek Help Often
A semester will fly by quicker than you may think so it is essential that you are seeking out guidance whenever you have an opportunity. Classes may be difficult and you do not have the leverage to delay. A low grade can push you into a deep hole that will be difficult to climb out of so utilize the Teaching Assistants and Professors during office hours to improve your understanding of the material.
If you want to get accepted into a US medical program make it a habit to get to know the professors and the TAs, you will face less pressure about needing to score exceptionally well on every test in order to score highly. That can make it much more pleasant for you as you move from year to year because you will be studying more effectively. This is a good strategy to get used to now because in Medical School, it is essential that you seek the help of doctors and colleagues to help explain a concept so you can grasp it. The pace is so fast that if you delay, you can find yourself spiraling downward with all the material that you need to focus on. It is not a time to be shy or prideful. It is impossible for someone to know everything so you need to seek help whenever possible to not waste your time. You will feel more relaxed because you can understand a concept faster and you will not burn out.
As an added bonus, if you develop a good rapport with these professors and TAs, it will be much easier for you to approach them when it comes time to ask for Letters of Recommendation so you are not scrambling during the process. If you visited them everyday, they will surely be willing to help you with a letter with is a giant weight off of your shoulders during the application period.