A weird secret that allowed me to get an A in all of my hardest classes
We all know that as premeds we will have to take some of the hardest science courses that our university has to offer, and on top of that we’re expected to make an A in those courses. For alot of people this is not an easy task to undertake, most premeds struggle with doing well on exams and making the grades they want to. But what separates those who excel in class from those who don’t actually would surprise most premeds. Its not any sort of shortcut, or secret method to remember everything. It is something much bigger than that.
You will always hear me reemphasizing the same message, “Its not about shortcuts. Its about actually becoming the real deal.” Building a foundation and mastering the basics of being a good student is 1000 times better than knowing the best way to cram or how to make the perfect cheat sheet. Its not all about fancy ways to take notes or memorization techniques (once you have the foundation down then these sort of things can definitely add to your abilities as a student). Its really about being an actually good student, not someone who is always trying to cram for exams and survive during the semester. Remember, you want to be a doctor. Now is the time to develop good study habits and learn how to learn. Being a good student is just like being good at anything else! The same way if you want to be good at Karate, you will need to first learn the proper techniques and develop a good base. From there it is practice and discipline. Just knowing how to throw a fancy tornado kick doesn’t mean you will do well in a fight, you need to have mastered the basics first. If you learn the basics of being a good student and practice them with diligence, you will be a black belt level premed in no time! This particular tip I am sharing with you today is one of the foundational skills that every good student must have.
So what is this weird secret that has allowed me to get an A in all of my hardest classes?
It is learning to love whatever you are learning.
This happens to be one of the most important things I attribute to making all A’s semester after semester. This is a strong advantage I hold over many of my fellow classmates. Is that I absolutely love to learn everything! This one shift, is enough to completely change not only your grades but how enjoyable your life as a premed is . Back when I was in high school, I was definitely not an all A student. I was making some A’s but mostly B and C’s. Now I am making the top grade in all of my classes. Even made a 100 on my calculus final and a 105 on my biology final.
Here is some proof:
My 105 on my biology final.
Made straight A’s while taking 17 credit hours, working, and shadowing.
So What happened since high school?
Back when I was in high school, I wasn’t particularly motivated to get A’s. So classes that I didn’t find interesting, I didn’t ever feel like studying for and when I did study for them I never enjoyed it. Because of that I got low C’s and low B’s on my exams. There was one class that I did VERY well in, and that was Japanese. I actually made a 103 as my final grade in our most advanced Japanese course. And that was because I really loved learning Japanese! All my other grades paled in comparison to how I did in Japanese.
The difference between now as I am in college and when I was in high school, is that I love ALL my classes that I am taking. And I am not exaggerating at all when I say that this has to be one of the top three reasons I have a 3.95 GPA.
Let me explain why being able to love whatever it is you are learning is an EXTREME advantage..
1. When you really enjoy something, you are willing to devote more time to it.
2. You actually learn more per session.
3. It is more enjoyable!
Number one: When you really enjoy something, you are willing to devote more time to it.
We know this from our own lives. When we really like something, we are willing to spend several hours doing it. Whether that is soccer, practicing guitar, playing video games, or learning about something you really find interesting. When we love something, we are willing to spend as much time as we need on it to perfect it (and often we will spend extra time on it!). Being able to devote hours of time to studying will almost GUARANTEE you to learn that material. Make sure to utilize the principle of spaced repetition and not burn yourself out! One of the biggest problems people face when it comes to studying is actually being willing to spend enough time on it to the point you are sure you understand it. When you love whatever it is that you are learning, finding time to study becomes much easier!
Number two: You actually learn more per session.
Another great benefit of loving what you learn is that you actually get more from your studying sessions! When we enjoy something and feel good we actually retain the information better. This is because you engage your studying with a positive and open mind you are better able to absorb the information. When you try to study, thinking about how much you hate the material. Your mind is wasting its energy focusing on how boring this is instead of actively engaging the material. So enjoying what you learn actually helps you to gain more from your study session!
Number three: It is more enjoyable!
Don’t think that this is the least important reason to love what you learn! Actually I might say that this is the most important reason to practice this! Being able to enjoy your studying makes being a premed so much more fun! When you enjoy learning about all of these cool subjects, you are really appreciative for being a premed. This helps to keep you motivated on the long but awesome journey to medical school! We do NOT have to suffer in order to get into medical school, we can get there enjoying every step of the way!
Okay, I agree that loving what you learn would definitely help me to do better on my exams and help boost that GPA. But there is no way that I will actually find something like Organic chemistry or Biology to be fun.
Let me show you exactly how I have learned to love even the most difficult courses!
Three general things that make me excited about learning ANYTHING:
– I can attach this new knowledge to my big picture (world view)
– See how the material is practical to me and how I can apply it to my life (or how its practical to understand as a physician)
– Realize that these courses are actually making me smarter
The key to finding love for our most dreaded courses is to appreciate what they can do for us. Something that makes me excited about learning anything is that I know it will help me to understand and appreciate the world around me even more! That right there is priceless! Also being able to see how what you are learning is practical to you being a physician is great motivation! And lastly the realization that as you take these hard courses, you are teaching your brain to think more logically and be better at solving problems. You are literally becoming smarter because of these courses! As you can see there is alot of things to love about taking those hard science courses!
Let me give you an example of how I get excited for learning organic chemistry
A few things that motivate me:
– Understanding organic chemistry helps me to better understand and appreciate all of the organic molecules we come across every day. (World view)
– Helps me to better understand the biochemical reactions in the body (Practical for a physician)
– I can learn how to synthesize medicines from simple molecules (Something fascinating about it)
The key is to become fascinated with what you learn. Find something that interests you about it! Something that makes you happy to learn it! Its seriously worth the time to find something that makes you love every subject you are taking. You will enjoy it more all semester and make better grades!
Comment below the ways you enjoy different classes!
Pre-med poll of the article:
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