It sometimes irks me when people roll their eyes at someone who turns out to be academically related to the category of “pre-med.” Oh, the vicious creatures they must be, ready to tear you to pieces if you come in their way of getting an A in orgo. That is, for all you my mind-in-the-gutter majors, organic chemistry.
Now, as someone who is practically pre-med, I want to dispel some of these rumors. First off, pre-meds are not obsessive freaks when it comes to academics. Sure, they stay after class to suck up to professors. In fact, most of them make sure to get to class at least 20 minutes before the professor even gets there. But that’s totally understandable. Let’s face it: They wouldn’t stand out if they didn’t sit in the front row and give a Tony Award-winning performance for expressing the most interest in the wondrous world of atoms, fungi and phosphofructokinases.
If they didn’t come early they might not find a place to sit. Sitting in the front is also very valuable because you get to focus on the material more, which helps while studying. Even if the mind is far, far away, the material diffuses into the brain just by sitting in the front row, and it magically stays in there while studying. Pre-meds have to put time into studying, because it is a lot easier to memorize facts due to the fear of not getting into medical school than it is to absorb facts because the information is the coolest thing ever. So, when it comes to getting the grades, interest goes out the window for pre-med, just like their imaginary application to med school would if they didn’t get these grades.
To get the grades and fake interest, the first monster on the battlefield is the tests. Tests are the only way to prove brilliance and wit. For all you wine-making majors, this might hard to comprehend. You can be passionate all you want, but it won’t beat that A at the end of the semester. See, when you’re pre-med, you think professors lie to you. I mean, of course, because their Ph.D. means they knows a lot less about life than you — with your high school diploma with a little smiley sticker saying “Good job! Now prepare to be considered really useless”!
Professors tell you to be passionate about what you do. Oh, but can you really do that? Or is passion just a distraction from where you want to end up? Then again, those pre-med minds set into gear and realize that it’s not about passion, it’s war. War!
But, just as a precaution, they’ll show those admissions officers some med school passion. Joining a community service organization would be a great start, for it would show a care-filled heart. How about a little bit of volunteering there, too? I mean, not because four hours at a hospital every week sounds like a party on the Fraternity Quad, but because it can show the will to give back. And to top it all off, the Quidditch Club. You know, for that extra edge on the application and to get diverse experience. Plus, it’ll help when dealing with Quidditch accidents (shame UR doesn’t have medical facilities like Hogwarts).
Within all that, there is passion somewhere (right?).
Now all that’s left is getting ahead of all those pesky classmates. But, if you do all that is mentioned above, there is no way anyone will get into med school over you. Clearly, only the most original minds can come up with this level of planning.
So as you can see, pre-meds are practically harmless. They’re intense, but harmless nonetheless. Next time you see one, don’t grimace. Think to yourself for a minute… “I’m so fucking happy that I’m a wine-making major.”
N. Panda is a member of the class of 2014.