Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Next Step After Ferrum?

by Brittany G., Panther Blogger

As the end of junior year approaches, each student has their own idea as to what they want to do after they graduate from Ferrum. Whether it is going to graduate school, finding a job, starting a family, or taking a nice and long vacation, there is always another goal that we want to accomplish after graduating. As for me, the next step is to continue my education at Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine in Blacksburg, Virginia.

Last weekend, I had the opportunity to meet with Admissions at the school to take a tour of the facilities, to gather information about what it takes to get into graduate school, as well as to talk to many of the students. We began by sitting in the lecture hall for a few hours going over what basic knowledge we would need to have before acceptance. There was a long list from general chemistry and anatomy to biochemistry and microbiology, which are just some of the many classes we should already have experience with. Before graduating college, you have to take the MCAT, which is a general knowledge test of physics, math, sciences, and writing, and you have to score at least in the high 20's to low 30's. In addition to that examination, students are required to come into the school with enough experience in job shadowing or internship with a doctor of osteopathic medicine to get a letter of recommendation.

Photo courtesy of Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (included
in my information packet)

Seems like a lot thus far, but nothing beats actually getting the chance to sit down and talk with current students. Those students are the people who have given me the best advice anyone has ever told me to prepare for medical school:

"If there is one thing that any student who plans on going to medical school should do before attending, it's to have fun spending every minute you can with family and friends the summer before attending. Medical school will be a full-time job once you're accepted at this particular school. Lectures consume about 5-6 hours a day with an hour lunch and at least 3 hours of laboratory work. It requires studying for several hours every night since examinations are placed about every other day to ensure students understand and comprehend what they are being taught instead of waiting for a huge test later on. No matter how hard we think undergraduate school is, there is always something more stressful and deserves more attention and better time management."

Photo courtesy of Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine
(included in my information packet)
Although my day visiting the school entailed a lot of information and question-asking that produced side effects of being stressed, overwhelmed and nervous, I know everything can be accomplished when we set ourselves up for success.

We must do the best we can in undergraduate school and accomplish everything we can, as well as have fun when the time is right. Even if there is no support from family or friends, it is always beneficial to have close ties with professors and other faculty at any college who would be willing to do almost anything to help you accomplish your goals. If there is one thing I could tell students thus far in the process, it is to be strong and confident in what you do at Ferrum because those who grow close to you will always be there to help you. 

Studying the easier stuff now and learning time management and patience will help you accomplish anything that will be in your way later in life. There is no room to say "can't" because every person "can" whether you're considering a job, graduate school, or any other possibility after graduating. The future ahead of you is what you make it!

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