Starting a pre-medical journey: freshman year edition

MD premed

You just started college. Part of you wants to follow your new friends in trying out new experiences, but then there's the "gunner" in you, thinking that you may need to start looking for things to do to help a potential "grad school" app.

Most students often think, understandably so, that you have to choose one lifestyle over the other. It's easy to believe that having a blast freshman year puts you behind in your pre-medical journey, or that starting research will label you as "lifeless" amongst your friends. However, contrary to popular belief, freshman year is THE time to find balance between these worlds as you transition to college life. 

Here are some things you can do to start your premed journey without getting too overwhelmed:

1. Find mentors

I think mentors are the most overpowered resource in any career aspiration. Beyond learning firsthand what they do, getting close with your mentors allows you to understand their mindsets and perspectives. This information will be invaluable when it comes time for you to hone in on your specific professional goals down the line.

2. Shadow some doctors

While most students shadow after they commit to a pre-medical journey, I believe that shadowing should be your first activity. Shadowing allows you to see what it's actually like to be a doctor. Investigate a specialty that sounds cool, and respectfully reach out to a doctor over email.

3. Find things you love that have nothing to do with medicine

College is more than just a pre-career. In fact, it is a fantastic opportunity to study abroad, join a dance group, or do something that makes you happy. These activities will be the glue that ties your college experience together.

Good luck! In the long, grueling marathon of medicine, enjoying your time in the journey is just as important as the achievements you earn!


academics MCAT study skills SAT medical school admissions expository writing English college admissions GRE GMAT LSAT MD/PhD admissions chemistry math physics ACT biology language learning writing strategy law school admissions graduate admissions MBA admissions creative writing homework help MD test anxiety AP exams interview prep summer activities history philosophy career advice academic advice premed ESL economics grammar personal statements study schedules admissions coaching law statistics & probability PSAT computer science organic chemistry psychology SSAT covid-19 CARS legal studies logic games USMLE calculus parents reading comprehension 1L Latin Spanish dental admissions DAT engineering excel political science French Linguistics Tutoring Approaches chinese research DO MBA coursework Social Advocacy case coaching classics genetics kinematics skills verbal reasoning ISEE academic integrity algebra business business skills careers geometry medical school mental health social sciences trigonometry 2L 3L Anki FlexMed Fourier Series Greek IB exams Italian MD/PhD programs STEM Sentence Correction Zoom amino acids analysis essay architecture art history artificial intelligence astrophysics athletics biochemistry capital markets cell biology central limit theorem chemical engineering chromatography climate change curriculum data science dental school diversity statement finance first generation student functions gap year harmonics health policy history of medicine history of science information sessions integrated reasoning international students investing investment banking mba meiosis mitosis music music theory neurology phrase structure rules plagiarism presentations pseudocode secondary applications sociology software software engineering teaching tech industry transfer typology virtual interviews writing circles