I learned three great life lessons in a class that I almost failed.
I went against my advisor’s advice and registered for STAT 430. I thought I was going to crush this course. I spend 25+ hours studying on this class. I went to every single office hours. I tried my best, but I walked out with a D+.
That was the lowest grade in that class. This is an upper level class and no one gets below a C at Penn in upper level classes. But, I did. I got a D+.
Looking back, I learned 3 things why I failed that course.
a) I sucked at stat (not math though, I had a 800 on my MATH SAT)
b) I failed to prioritize and worked soo HARD, and,
c) I took too much on my plate without even realizing it.
I wanna explain what went wrong that semester.
First of all, I was taking 6 classes (a thesis class for International Relations, STAT, an upper level chemistry, and an upper level Economics class). They all were really demanding classes and needed a lot of time. I should not have taken that many classes. My advisor warned me not to take such a heavy load.
But I was too much of a rebel. I never listened to her and went with my frivolous thoughts. (I was immature back then.)
The funny part is I didn’t even need STAT 430 to graduate. It was a class I was taking for fun. (Was I crazy or something?)
To be honest, I did not know what I was doing. I was majoring in both International Relations and Chemistry. Why was I doing it? I just wanted to show off and be cool in the intellectual show and tell culture of Penn. Looking back, I was just a big fool.
I failed to prioritize my goals. ( I did not decide to be a pre-dental yet). I was just randomly taking classes to learn stuff. But that was a huge waste of my time because I could not possibly learn everything in the world and there was no method to my madness.
MEANWHILE, My friend and mentor – now a Penn Dental graduate – did it all differently from me.
I want to introduce her in this post. She was really smart about her decisions in college. In fact, she was my tutor for Organic Chemistry, mentor and a best friend for life.
This friend of mine, happens to be the most well-connected person I know. She went to undergrad with me at UPenn and recently graduated from Penn Dental as a dentist. She helped me a lot when I was applying to dental school. Even now, when I need advice about anything, she’s the first person I call.
I think everyone would benefit from our different approaches in life which ultimately led to similar goals.
She is a master at prioritizing and working SMART, not hard. Since her sophomore year in college, when she chose dentistry as her future career, she became laser focused on her goal. In fact, she dropped out of the most prestigious program -Vagelos Program at Penn and picked a relatively EASY MAJOR ( Biology) which had a LOT of overlap with pre-dental requirements.
This freed up her time for extracurricular intellectual pursuits on the side. That pottery class? Sculpture? Film Culture? The Third Reich? Financial Investing? Wharton’s plethora of management classes? Negotiation? Comparative Religion? She had time for it all !
She even had a great social life. She went out, in fact, on most weekends.
How?? Everyone wondered how she managed to carve out such a well-rounded curriculum as a Science major and had a great social life — well it turns out :
Turns out each of these seemingly ‘whimsical’ classes, were thoroughly researched before hand!
She front-loaded the work.
– There are many ways to do this: she used the university online course review but did not solely rely on that
– Know who to believe — she always managed to mentally compile and compare first-hand accounts from former students and sometimes these accounts were very eye opening but NOT IN THE WAY YOU EXPECT.
I will leave it up to her to tell everyone here the SPECIFICS of her secrets to Phenomenal Success.
But first, I want you to do me a favor.
I could not attend dental school because of a situation that was beyond my control (my mother was sick). So, I started Dental School Coach with the intention to help people get into their dream dental school. I want to help as many people as possible and it will be only possible by your help. Here’s what you can do to help:
a) Share our blog posts, video on Facebook and Twitter so that others can benefit from it.
b) Give a shout out to Dental School Coach on StudentDoctor.net Pre-dental Forum, if you felt I helped you in any way.
Within a few days, I will release an exclusive interview with this SUPERSTAR friend of mine.