There’s only one thing that everyone at USG is talking about right now: Finals. For UMCP, the last day of final exams is the 20th. I was looking at my finals schedule the other day and realized that I actually have my biochemistry final at 8 am on a Saturday (well at least there will be no traffic). Last week I looked like a complete wreck- running to and out of class trying to get as much studying done as possible, getting on average about 4-5 hours of sleep at night, coffee cups and soda cans all over my room, and it goes on.
Some signs that it’s finals week at USG:
- There are no rooms available in bldg. 3 to study in- ON A SATURDAY
- Clubs have stopped holding meetings because everyone needs to study
- You have to reserve a study room in the library a lot more in advance if you need to use it
- Everyone looks like zombies
These past couple of days, though, something changed in me. This happened after watching a video about Ebola in my MIEH 321 class (the class that I talked about in my last post). I saw all the hardships that the victims and the families of the victims had to go through and I thought are grades really that important? Of course we know that professional schools and employers want to see a high GPA, but is that the only thing that is important about an application? Is the amount of information that we learn for about one week and then forget about really going do anything for us in the future? It certainly is not going to help find a cure for Ebola.
I remember when applying for internships at NIH a couple of years ago, I contacted multiple scientists for a summer position. None of the scientists asked me for my GPA, instead they asked me for what my previous experience is in research, what I am interested in, and what courses have I taken. Grades are important but what also matters is experience and what you have done outside the classroom. Learning about how to perform a western blot and actually doing a western blot in the lab are totally different things.
My message is definitely not to stop studying and working hard to get good grades on finals (please do). It is just that it is not the end of the world if you do not get the grade you want. If you have a passion for something you will succeed and be able to make a future in that field. You just have to get out there and experience it.