MBS, MD Part 2

The saga continues. Or the fairy tale. Or epic. Or whatever you want to call it.

I’d go with fairy tale. I’ve been a lucky gal thus far in life.

So, as a senior in high school, I had my heart set on going to UNC-Chapel Hill. Bad news: I didn’t get in. Good news: I had decided on whim to apply to NYU at the 11th hour. I’ll let you take a wild guess as to what influenced that whim. Take a look at the last post for some hints…

Phenomenal movie, NY Minute. The swan song of the Olsen movie era.

Phenomenal movie, NY Minute. The swan song of the Olsen movie era.

So kids, things can work out even if you don’t get into your first choice of school. Things might even work out better than you imagined.

I moved up here in August of 2004, the same sticky, 90 degree weekend as the Republican National Convention. In my 18 year old naivete, I thought I knew what living on one’s own was all about, but move in weekend was a huge shock. My parents said they had never seen me so overwhelmed…which explains why I probably didn’t get the memo that I debit card could be used as cash until a few months later (I thought you only used a debit card to get cash out of an ATM).

I may be book smart, but not always street smart.

I may be book smart, but not always street smart. But, at least I’m self aware of this?

I got randomly paired with two awesome roommates, Michelle and Katie, who were English/Creative Writing and Musical Theater majors, respectively. Not only were they great people, but Michelle could edit all of my papers (thank you for teaching me all of the finer points of the MLA handbook) and Katie’s homework was singing, dancing, and other music-y things (and I got to play along). I like to think I got an education in musical theater and grammar by association seeing as lived with the two for three years. I highly recommend living with people who are not the same major as you.

Katie and I...a picture taken 6 months ago and not from college.

Katie and I…a picture taken 6 months ago and not from college.

[Fun Fact: Katie was in the same studio and year as Lady Gaga until Gaga, then known as Stefani, left to pursue a pop music career, which obviously panned out ok.]

I put a lot of pressure on myself in college to do really well in school. I wanted to work so painstakingly hard that I wouldn’t look back at college and think “well, maybe if I studied a little harder, I could have done x, y, or z.” I wanted to make sure I had all the opportunities that my ability would allow me to have. So, I became besties with Bobst Library.

Bobst. I love you and I hate you.

Bobst. I love you and I hate you.

Most things I did were very planned, calculated, and scheduled – there was no spontaneity in my book. If I had to sum up college for me it was “cold execution.”

Below is a bullet list of things that I’m somewhat embarrassed to say I did all in the name of academic excellence:

1) I scored 10 points below the class average on my first physics test (I was terrible at physics, but really excelled in biochemistry and organic chemistry). My solution? Get a tutor and attend two recitations taught by different TAs to make sure I got all of the information that I could, with one of those recitations being at 8 am. In hindsight, why did I feel the need to go to more class when I was already taking 19 hours? #nerdalert #gunner

2) As a sophomore, I really placed all of my happiness and self worth on test scores and grades (more on that probably in next post). I guess I didn’t have the emotional intelligence (the “EQ”) to handle school and tennis…so I took a semester off of tennis. My teammates were really wonderful to me about it as was my coach.

The best...some of the group a few years later.

The best…some of the group a few years later.

3) I think I “trained” for the MCAT like people train for a marathon. I took 10 practice tests on either a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday (depending on tennis schedule) and always took them at 9 am to “simulate” testing conditions. The week before the test I got up at the same time I would for the test and ate the same breakfast. I also chewed the same gum – mint mohjito orbit and changing pieces with each section.

I rewrote notes for organic chemistry three times over, I used all those different colored pens (the German ones they sell at Staples), I studied over the summer sometimes (omg, I am so lame), I had papers written at least two weeks before the due date (term papers that is) so I could edit appropriately…

Ok, so I’ll stop there to save a little bit of my reputation.

…Mostly because I want to focus on TV now. Dance Moms…so riveting.

I learned a lot between my sophomore and junior years…about how to handle more things at once and how to be happy outside of academic or athletic excellence. Maybe that will be the next part of this epic tale, unless you people are like “PLEASE GOD STOP WITH THE LIFE STORY.”

TELL ME: ABOUT YOUR COLLEGE ROOMMATES? TEAMMATES? THE GOOD, THE BAD, THE UGLY? HOW WOULD YOU SUM UP COLLEGE FOR YOURSELF? DO YOU WANT THIS SERIES TO STOP OR ANYTHING IN PARTICULAR ABOUT PRE-MED OR MED SCHOOL LIFE YOU WANT TO HEAR ABOUT?

My roommates and teammates were all amazing and still some of my best friends. I was so lucky.

Until next time..

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13 thoughts on “MBS, MD Part 2

  1. Okay Meggie, you have driven me to this, does anyone out there have a nice Jewish accountant or lawyer to introduce Yentta Meggie too? PLEASE!!!

  2. Wow, I’m impressed, to say the least! I’m jealous of your focus, and your drive. You were clearly meant to do great things and becoming a doctor seemed like the right way to go.

    I’m excited to read more! I definitely want to hear how you decided gynecology was the specific path you wanted to take.

  3. Honesty hour, I wish I was half as mature as you were in college. You know your strengths and weakness….and what is kind of miraculous is that you didn’t let your weakness defeat you like so many people do (especially in college). You did the opposite. You did more work.

    Honestly you should write a book. I’m fascinated. No joke. Keep the posts coming!! I love this fun, crazy “Rainman” facts.

  4. You had your act together in college Meggie. No wonder why you are becoming a doctor. I had a lot of fun in college, probably too much fun. If I thought something was hard, I just switched classes and didn’t put in the extra effort to succeed at it. I wished I would have tried just a touch hard in chemistry. It would have totally changed my career path!

  5. I love these posts! My best friend from undergrad and roommate for a year was pre-med and is now a first year in med school. So much of this totally brought me back to that. I studied for the LSAT in the same way, but hey, if it pays off it’s worth it, right?

  6. Love these posts. I am one of those people that love hearing how people got to where they are now. Keep writing them!

    Hmm, my freshman year college roommates and I didn’t get along very well. This was mainly because I had interest in occasionally leaving our room and they didn’t. (One of them actually made a cave on the bottom bunk, she would stay in there for hours!)

    In terms of me in college I was pretty driven. I was more concerned with interning and securing a job after graduation than classes themselves. I wish I had been better about exploring classes and trying out different things, but my college didn’t really provide that opportunity and when I decided to graduate early it just wasn’t a possibility. I was future driven as opposed to excelling driven.

  7. I met two of my future skating teammates during prospective student weekend. My school had strict policies about freshman housing being random but we were so set on being roommates we had our coach who was an alum in the school and connections there write a note so we could room together. I am still amazing/best friends with one of the girls. We don’t speak to the other. Looking back I think I did more work in college than I had to. I think some efforts could have been used in other areas of my life than graduating summa cum laude. Not that I had a bad college experience. Quite the opposite. I think I still did more work in high school!! I am just not sure where all that effort has gotten me today…

  8. I want to know if you ever had a moment, post-deciding on medicine, when you thought maybe it wasn’t right. Or did college classes make you even more sure that being a doctor was the goal? I ask because I knew a LOT of pre-med dropouts — who went on to do other amazing things, of course, but who had one taste of orgo or dissecting something and were like, “nope.”

    My randomly assigned freshman roommate was a total trip. We did things like start an internet radio station and make disco ball ceiling art from old CDs. We lived together for two years and then I lost track of her when she transferred, but I’d love to know what she’d doing now. My junior year I lived with five other journalism students in a crazy rotating system because all the J-school students had to work at an off-campus internship for one quarter. We painted a blue windmill on the wall of our rental. And then one of them and two other girls became my senior year roommates, and all three of them were bridesmaids in my wedding. Overall, I really lucked out with roommates.

  9. I love that you trained for the MCATs like some people train for a marathon. That definitely sounds like me. I went berserk memorizing the 100+ paintings (title/artist/date) for intro to art history and one of my friends refused to study with me because I made her too nervous…

    Turns out I can’t make it to the Picky Bars event tomorrow night. 😦 Have a great time and hopefully we’ll meet in person sometime soon!

  10. I love these posts! I was a nerd in college, I could count the number of times I went ‘out’ on one hand I think. I didn’t get into partying…how could I if I were studying or taking class at 7:30 am? Yeah. But isn’t it great to know you worked your butt off? 🙂 I was however into marching band, so I spent any time not studying working out on the field or practicing music. I had great roommates too, a mix of majors but some same as my own. (Two sets of 3, on set graduated and the others moved in!)

  11. This brings back so many college memories! Wish I’d done more test-simulation studying -that’s brilliant. I am a terrible test-taker… fortunately English and psych majors didn’t have that many exams, just lots of research papers (which I’d wake up at 7am on a Saturday/ Sunday morning to work on, finish by lunchtime, and then be like ‘I’m bored, why is everyone studying? I want to go play outside!’)

  12. I second what Jocelyn said. Totally impressed by your college life. I was what we could loosely call the COMPLETE POLAR OPPOSITE of this – Did what you did in college but in high school: finished 2nd in my class in high school, got into Chapel HIll (sorry!) but “didn’t want to go there bc my mom did”, took my small town self to GW where I had sucky roommates (freshman year only!) but awesome teammates, skipped classes to go to baseball games, partied like a rockstar junior and senior year (I didn’t even drink till I was 20 but man I made up for it). …basically I burnt out all my type A study hard tendencies in high school. I have no regrets except that I wish I’d chilled a bit in HS and saved some for later 🙂

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