All Roads Lead Away from Pre-Med

    Istarted out like many a Triton freshman: an eager biochemistry
    major who studied hard in his CHEM 6A class, flirted with the idea of medical
    school and worked as an animal caretaker in a lab.

    But CHEM 6A became CHEM 6B, and my plans took a hit when I
    got the first C of my life after studying for almost 11 straight hours the
    night before the final, sans Adderall. Even though I didn’t really find the
    subject of chemistry particularly exhilarating and delta-H problems haunted my
    dreams (seriously), I begrudgingly pressed on because I knew that all bio
    majors have to complete a very specific list of major requirements with the
    obvious inclusion of, you guessed it, chemistry.

    Next up came more pre-med classes: physics and organic
    chemistry. To say the least, I hated both of them — a lot. Organic chemistry
    mechanisms look like Satanic symbols and, honestly, who the hell gives a rat’s
    ass about how fast a stupid toy car rolls down a ramp? Not me, that’s for sure.
    In fact, I hated physics so much that I decided not to take PHYS 1C — waves,
    optics and modern physics — during Spring Quarter of sophomore year, instead
    saving it for, as you may have guessed again, now.

    By some fluke, I enrolled in and successfully completed
    physics lab two years ago without enrolling in lecture, so don’t believe it
    when they tell you on TritonLink that they automatically drop you if you’re not
    simultaneously enrolled in both the lecture and lab classes. Suck on that,
    physics department.

    I’ll get back to physics later, but it was also at this time
    that I started to become disillusioned with my lab job. The research going on
    inside was extremely interesting and involved salamanders whose entire limbs
    grow back after being amputated (shout out to Dr. Gardiner, who was actually
    one of the coolest guys I could have ever wanted to work for), but working with
    boring-ass, cookie-cutter undergraduate student assistants who were only doing
    time in the lab to get into medical school started taking its toll. So I
    resigned my position, never to see a dimwitted axolotl grin again. (Look it
    up.)

    I started thinking about why I was still a bio major. After
    briefly considering medical school freshman year I realized I had no desire (at
    all, actually) to be around blood, needles, bones, open wounds, diseases,
    confused old people and that distinct medical establishment chemical smell.

    But as a bio major, being in classes filled to capacity with
    all these pre-people (pre-med, pre-vet, pre-dental, pre-pharmacy,
    pre-optometry, pre-my asshole, blah blah) was definitely discouraging. To be
    sure, I can’t hate on all pre-meds, as some of my good friends here will be in
    medical school one day (maybe), but a lot of you people really need to lighten
    up.

    Seriously, stop looking shocked that I’m speaking to you in
    lecture and get some goddamn people skills, because one day you robots might
    need to tell someone that a beloved family member is dying. Also, I never want
    to hear “If I don’t get into med school, I’ll try dental school” or anything of
    similar nature ever again. This just proves you people are money-grubbing
    machines who care more about status than actually about helping people. Plus, I
    know that you guys all cheat on the physics labs, too.

    These super-competitive classes were starting to make me to
    forget why I liked to study biology. But then came classes that I liked: animal
    behavior, ecology, genetics — classes that made me sigh with relief when I sat
    down in lecture because I no longer had to worry about vicious pre-meds ripping
    my throat out if I asked them to help me with a homework question. After
    choking down chemistry and physics, my major actually became enjoyable again.

    But all that has returned this quarter with waves, optics
    and modern physics. Like a stubborn itch, it’s re-exposing me to the horrors of
    the pre-med world, not to mention that I find sound waves the opposite of
    interesting. The professor, like me, realized the med-student farce on the
    first day when he jokingly acknowledged that many students in the lecture hall
    “think they’re entering medicine.”

    So I say to all you people who made me agonize over my
    lower-division bio classes here because a lot of you aren’t actually human:
    chill out. Honestly, you’re annoying to those of us in biology who are actually
    doing it because we find the study of life interesting. Oh yeah, good luck on
    your MCATs.

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