I am a senior at the University of Maryland College Park here at USG, studying Biological Sciences. Becoming a Biology major wasn’t a simple decision, and during my first two years at Montgomery College, I was very indecisive about my major and what to pursue. Though STEM was always in my mind, I was too afraid to take the challenge. Many required science and math courses made me afraid of the schooling ahead of me. But when I finally decided on biological science, I did not regret my decision at all.
As my classes progressed, I realized every STEM course worked together to prove how connected every part of life is, and they cannot live without each other, especially in health. That inspired me to follow the Biological Science path for Pre-Med.
Now, as I finish my second to last semester at USG and preparing to graduate in May 2022, I am slowly getting ready to pursue my dream of becoming a doctor working in the field of pediatrics. A specific field isn’t clear for me to pursue just yet, but I know for fact pediatrics is where my heart is.
One of the most difficult things as a pre-med student isn’t just the classes or studying for MCATS, but it’s getting internships and gaining clinical experience. Due to COVID, many opportunities have closed but as time passes, more and more are opening back up.
My tips for up-and-coming Pre-med students are these:
- Volunteer, not only clinically but in the community
- It shows you care about the world around you outside of your field
- Get to know the people you work with or your professors
- Networking and gaining connections is very useful for letters of recommendation or unknown opportunities
- Don’t be afraid to apply to internships or other positions
- Many students ignore an application because they feel unworthy, confidence is key because you just may be chosen for that position.
- Stay active in volunteer or other work
- It is important to do this constantly through your schooling, Med Schools want to see where you invest your free time and how you manage a tight schedule
- This prepares you for the rigorous schedules of Med School
- Utilize HPAO and/or other campus resources available to you
- Take advantage of those who can help you, and you must do so as soon as possible to get you where you need to be.
- HPAO (for UMD college Park students, online)
- Career and Internship Services Center (for all students, online or at USG)
- Macklin Center for Academic Success (for all students, online or at USG)
Let’s follow our dreams and don’t get discouraged!
You’re an inspiration, Astrid! Thanks for sharing this great info and your personal journey toward your degree.