Pre-Med Academics

3 Steps to Starting the Fall Semester of Pre-Med School Off Right!

Ready to start the fall semester of pre-med school? Start the countdown and get prepared, make adjustments one at a time, and refresh your memory for a successful transition from the summer!

Fall is coming. Starting any semester strong is always the goal, but the fall semester of pre-med school requires a bit more effort to get prepped for. After a long summer of relaxing, traveling, studying, or working (or all of the above), we need a smooth transition back to the school mindset and the long study hours ahead. Here are 3 steps that will guide you through that transition.

Step One: Mark Your Calendar and Start the Countdown

First things first, you should know when your classes start.

Dig through your emails and pull out your paper or digital calendar to write down that start date. Once that’s done, you can work backwards to see just how much of the summer you have left. One week? Two weeks? A month? 

No matter how long it is, knowing this timeline is a big first step in helping you start to mentally prepare for the semester. Maybe you forgot about a piece of furniture for your dorm room, or did realize you had summer reading to do. This step might help you trigger that memory and start to plan things accordingly.

Step Two: Make Adjustments One at a Time

Rather than jumping straight into your school routine, try to make the adjustments one at a time. 

Two weeks before classes start, start to gather your supplies and get that new backpack or desk you’ve been wanting. A week before classes start, try practicing your school sleep schedule. A few days before, explore the campus and make sure you know where all of your classes will be. There’s no need to overwhelm yourself a month in advance. Take it slow and get ready for school while still enjoying what’s left of your summer.

Step Three: Refresh Your Memory

We all know how much we forget course material as soon as the exam is over. The summer is just extending that “forgetful” period even longer. Going weeks without opening a textbook or looking at a lecture slide is a blessing and a curse when you’ve got more school coming up. 

So, you can do yourself a favor by brushing up on the topics that you may need to recall in the upcoming semester. Taking biochemistry in the fall? Skim through your old bio and general chemistry notes to make sure you still understand the basics. Some students might take this further and try to get ahead before classes begin, but that might end up being a waste of time when you don’t know how your professor will prioritize the information. Keep it simple, just refresh your knowledge of the topics that can help you on day one.

Complete these three steps and you’ll be well on your way to starting the fall semester strong! Don’t forget, the way you learn, study, and prepare can be vastly different from another student. So try your best not to focus on how others are preparing. All you can do is put forth your best effort every day, and this is a great way to start.

Almost Time to Apply to Med School?

If this semester is the time to start studying for the MCAT or get ready to apply to med school, I recommend the experts over at MedSchoolCoach. They’ve helped thousands of students with MCAT tutoring services and admissions advising on their road to medical school. Schedule a free consultation with them today.

Olivia Brumfield

Olivia Brumfield is a 3rd year medical student at Harvard Medical School where she is pursuing her interests in pediatric neurology and getting involved in her class as the Vice President of Student Services! Before medical school, Olivia studied Neuroscience and American Sign Language at the University of Rochester (located in her hometown of Rochester, NY), two passions that she continues to explore in her medical school journey. Since beginning her clinical year, she has become involved in research exploring fetal brain development and healthcare access for children born with hearing differences. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with classmates and family, trying new foods, and working with aspiring medical students.

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