The Struggles Of Being A Medical Student
College Life |  Source: @rjkhemlani

The Struggles Of Being A Medical Student

What they don't tell you about being a med student.

So you want be a med student? That's wonderful. As someone who currently holds the title of "med student", I just want to enlighten you on the amazing things no one ever talks about before you start your journey.

1. Applications will run your life.
You have to apply for practically every program out there. That's right. You have to survive several rounds of elimination from other program wannabes.

After that, you'll sit in front of several people that will question your life skills, fortitude, and personality. It's like the Hunger Games of Health except there is more than one winner and nobody dies...hopefully.

2. Get ready for paperwork.
Let's say you survived the grueling cut. Congratulations! You now have to fill out enough paperwork to make a lawyer cry. I'm not joking.

After all the interviewing there is still a ton they need you to fill out. Everything from patient privacy policies to background checks to parking agreements are all in your future and must be completed immediately. Enjoy your victory with some good, old-fashioned writer's cramp.

3. Drug tests and physicals will test your patience.
So you want to party and have a good time to celebrate your amazing achievement right? Just keep it clean because drug test, physicals, tuberculosis test, bloodwork, and a butt ton of shots are in the not-so-distant future.

If you hate getting poked and prodded like I do, then this is going to make you so happy. Oh, and it has to be done before you can even set foot upon campus. Good times.

4. The textbook prices suck.
I understand that textbook prices in general are terrible, but these med books that no one has a used copy of or can even find are insane.

Odds are you'll knock down over $200 to learn from Power Point slides and lecture notes. Glad I sold my leg for that book; really worth the investment.

5. You shall not sleep.
A lot of people say they have to pull an all-nighter to pass some final for a class they never paid attention in. You don't sleep because you honest to God have no idea what the actual heck is going on in the classes you religiously attend and study for.

This is especially true if you want to maintain some tiny amount of a social life.

6. It is hard.
The classes are long, the teachers are strict, some subjects are impossible, and who can remember the spelling for half this junk? PNEUMONOULTRAMICROSCOPICSILICOVOLCANOCONIOSIS IS A FREAKING WORD PEOPLE. Have fun remembering the spelling on that one.

Even with all this crap that you have to deal with, one thing stays very true...IT IS WORTH EVERY SECOND OF IT!! There really is no better felling than helping those who need it. The patients find a way to tug at your heart through all the chaos of school.

So grab your coffee, bring on the debt, and get ready for the struggles that are headed your way for an amazing career.

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Joining Student Groups 101

Follow your passions, but don't stretch yourself too thin.

Whether you're a freshman or a senior, you probably get requests all the time to join a new student group. Maybe you get an email from your college's super special Honor Society. If your college is like mine, then all of the student groups will congregate somewhere and try to get everyone to join.

Some of these groups sound really good, and you might find yourself wanting to join quite a few. Debate Club would look great on your resume, and you'll have a ton of fun in the Yo-Yo League. Right?

The catch is that most clubs and groups are a huge time suck. For some groups, that's definitely worth it, but for others, not so much. Here's a short guide on how to choose the right groups for you (and avoid the bad ones).

Think about the long term.
Joining the improv comedy troupe may sound like a hoot, but if you're pursuing a career as, say, a lawyer, than law club is probably a better investment of your time. Think about which clubs will benefit you in the long run. Essentially, each club you join will expand your network and give you new opportunities. When used this way, clubs are great tools for gaining a career advantage.

Balance your interests and career aspirations.
While you want to consider your career, don't neglect your interests. There's room for both fun and professional clubs in your life. Choose carefully, but not too carefully. In other words, don't let the decision stress you out. Think about it for a while, weigh the pros and cons, and decide what's right for you.

Plan for leadership.
If you join a club, you should strongly consider running for a position of leadership, whether that's the President, Treasurer, or something else. These positions usually don't require much of you (in fact, you might end up doing less work than ordinary members) and add a nice touch of prestige to your resume (or Twitter profile).

Don't stretch yourself too thin.
All of this said, you should definitely join the clubs and organizations you want to, but don't join so many that you have no time left over. Figure out which clubs will benefit you the most, see how much of your time they require, and make your decision from there.

It's also perfectly fine to never join a single campus club or organization. If none are relevant to you (or if you're just not interested), don't feel pressure to join.

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Why I Turned Down My Dream School

It hurt, but it made sense.

The day I got accepted into NYU, I stayed up giggling and grinning like an idiot. All of my hard work had finally paid off. I wanted to become a filmmaker, so NYU Tisch was basically the best thing that could have happened to me.

I had taken countless standardized tests. I was the captain of the cross country team, a proctor, and the head of a publication. I was basically the golden child of college acceptances.

But I turned it down.

It all started when I took a gap year. I was offered the opportunity to study abroad in a gap year program, so I put NYU on hold and set sail for my year off. When I returned home, nothing felt the same.

First of all, I started to realize that my dream might not be worth the cost. NYU is expensive. Like, really expensive. Did I really want to take on such severe debt just for a degree In film, of all things? I wasn't even so sure of my major anymore--let alone taking on over $100k in loan debt to make it a possibility.

Nothing seemed to make as much sense as it did that day I got my acceptance letter. For years, I imagined myself going to college in NYC. How do you give up years worth of daydreams?

In February of 2014, I formally withdrew my acceptance from NYU and started the college application process all over again. The deadline had already passed for most colleges, so I struggled to find schools that would even consider me.

Luckily, I was accepted to a few small liberal art schools closer to home. They were the complete opposite of NYU, but they felt right in a way NYU hadn't in months. So, here I am today, studying English at a college in a quiet town by the beach. I don't have a zillion dollars in loan debt, and I feel confident I made the right choice.

This school is definitely less challenging than a more elite school would have been, but Forbes Magazine argues that that can work to my advantage. I'm more likely to graduate at the top of my class in this environment, thus leading to more job opportunities in the future.

I won't say that I don't think about what my life would have been like at NYU. I do. All the time. Sometimes with sadness, but never with regret. I've found a new passion in English, and I've discovered that there is bravery in changing one's mind.

So don't feel bad about being unsure, and don't be afraid to change your mind. There's strength in recognizing when something doesn't feel right. Don't believe the hype about having to attend the most prestigious college in order to lead a successful life. Studies show that if you're a good student, what school you attended doesn't really matter at all. College is a match to be made, not a prize to be won.

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Could Trump Deport Immigrated College Students?

The unexpected consequences of deporting college students.

After Trump was elected, undocumented citizens across the nation began to panic. Everyone was aware of this, except we didn't realize that some of these citizens are fellow students who now having something to fear as well.

When we think of undocumented citizens, many times we only think about low income families who live below the poverty line, but we don't understand that they're also students in school who are fighting for a chance to help our country and their families.

Sometimes, many forget that they are just like us, studying, taking finals -- they're not any different.

With the support of DACA, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival, under Obama, many children from undocumented families have been able to go to college to receive degrees without having documentation.

With a new president underway, this act could be revoked and rob these students of their education. Could you imagine if you were in the middle of class and ICE, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, came in and took you away?

Many who do not support immigration into America see this as a positive, that these undocumented students wouldn't take their "place" in a competitive school. However, the removal of DACA wouldn't actually benefit the American people at all.

The Association of American Medical College says that there could be a shortage of nearly 95,000 physicians by 2025 if the act is removed by Trump.

That is an incredible amount of physicians that the United States needs, as we have a large doctor shortage. These undocumented students may be taking your "place" in a postgraduate school, but they are deserving of it.

They are working just as hard, if not harder, and they did better than those who applied and weren't accepted. Not many colleges accept DACA students, and they do not receive any special treatment.

If anything, they're working harder for their right to carry on their education, and they deserve the chance to succeed.

While President Obama has fully supported this act, Trump does not, and he is considering the removal of it.

However, many are hoping that Congress will pass a law to protect this act, as it can benefit the American people tremendously.

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Marijuana and How it Affects the Average College Student

Some scientific ish.

Marijuana is the single most common illicit drug used in the United States, and college kids are part of this trend.

According to a study from from the University of Michigan, Monitoring the Future, college students smoke weed at a higher rate than at any time in the past 35 years, and smoking weed has now surpassed daily cigarette smoking.

So we know college kids love being high, but why?

Let's start with the chemical in marijuana that sparks the psychological effects of smoking, tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. Putting it simply, it's what gets you high.

According to the Potency Monitoring Project, the average THC content in marijuana has skyrocketed since the 1970s. In 1972, the average THC content in marijuana was less than 1 percent. In the 1990s, that percentage moved up to around 3-4 percent, and today, the average THC content in marijuana is at 13 percent.

With marijuana being EXTREMELY strong today, the effects it has on the human body are much more apparent than they ever were in the past. Let's start with the effect marijuana has on a person's brain and body, and how all of those effects play a huge role in college students everyday life.

First, how marijuana affects the human brain. I'm about to get all scientific up in here, so bear with me. According to "When marijuana is smoked, THC and other chemicals in the plant pass from the lungs into the bloodstream, which rapidly carries them throughout the body and to the brain."

When the THC chemicals reach the brain, it stimulates the brain's cells to release the chemical known as dopamine. By getting to those cells and producing more dopamine than you would normally experience at one time, you will then feel a feeling of ~euphoria~, also known as the feeling of being high.

Remember, marijuana reaches the same pleasure centers in the brain that are targeted by heroin, cocaine and alcohol, and it can affect the brain in different ways, all depending on quantity, THC content, and how it is consumed.

So what does this have to do with college students?

Think about all the stress associated with classes, a social life, and finances. Smoking weed can help alleviate these daily stresses.

Plus, they have time. College students only go to class on an average of 25 hours a week. What else are they going to do with all that extra time?

But most college students probably don't exactly know what is happening in their brain or body when they smoke weed. And quite frankly, it could be harmful to their futures and/or mental well-being.

There are four functions of the human brain that are affected while being high. The first being your mental state. This means that smoking COULD bring on anxiety, paranoia or lethargy. So, for some college students, smoking weed isn't a fun past-time because they react badly to being high. It makes them worried, and makes them think about too many things at once, bringing on anxiety and fear.

For the college students who do enjoy the feeling of being high, smoking weed actually helps the student with anxiety or paranoia. Because with no parents around, and a huge exam that needs to be studied for, a quick joint could be the perfect pastime that'd help to relieve the stress for a couple hours.

The second brain function that is affected by inhaling THC is a person's short term memory. This is a huge side effect that could really hurt a college student's grades. For normal users, this can really make studying for an important test difficult.

While memory impairment is a downside for most marijuana users, THC can help some people forget bad memories. Which could be a reason that some kids smoke so much. It sounds like bullshit, but for many, smoking weed is therapeutic and takes a lot of pain away from past experiences.

The third brain function affected is ocular pressure. In simpler terms, this is why people's eyes get so red and bloodshot when they are high. Smoking pot will make your eyes extremely dry, creating redness and itchiness. This is a very normal problem that occurs in pot smokers, and can't really be avoided. Walking around campus, it's usually pretty easy to spot the kids who are high, because of their eyes. Unless, of course, they use eye drops.

Reasoning is the last brain function that is affected by smoking weed. This means that smoking weed affects a person's attention span to a great extent. This is what makes being productive extremely hard for college students who smoke. So many kids in college will wake up, realize they don't have class, and smoke a bong. While this may seem like the life, it also alters that person's productivity in a huge way.

So how does all this really affect college students? Well, their grades for one.

Students who use marijuana are less likely to spend any more than two hours per day in studies and typically carry a B average or less. And while a B average isn't the worst thing in the world, the grades can get worse and worse the longer one stays a consistent pot smoker. But I mean, it's so easy in college. Kids just don't realize that it not only affects that day, but their future as well.

Smoking weed can also affect college students from a physical perspective. According to, "No matter how it gets into your system, it affects almost every organ in your body, and your nervous system and immune system, too." The effects of being high normally last for 3-4 hours. The most common physical effects of marijuana, according to, are:


-Shallow breathing

-Red eyes and dilated pupils

-Dry mouth

-Increased appetite

-Slowed reaction time

But one of the biggest effects that smoking pot has on a person, is increased appetite, also known as the munchies.

But how does this actually work? According to, "THC appears to increase our sensitivity to scents and flavors by using naturally occurring neural networks to convince the brain that it's starving." For college kids, this benefit can make eating an enjoyable activity. A big reason as to why people eat more after smoking weed, is simply because one can smell and taste food much more intensely. But for regular smokers, the munchies can speed up weight gain and can really hurt a person physically.

The munchies truly hurt a lot of college students. Everyone is aware of the freshman 15. Most of the extra eating comes with drunk eating, and drinking tons and tons of alcohol. But during the day when there's nothing to do, college students smoke. And this is another huge reason as to why kids gain so much weight in college.

So the science behind smoking weed can get a little boring, but for so many college students, all of these facts and effects are unknown. It's also difficult to really know how smoking weed affects college students, since research is limited due to the fact that marijuana is still illegal in most states. While 20 states and the District have made medical marijuana legal, it remains among the most tightly controlled substances under federal law. For scientists, that means extra steps to obtain, transport and secure the drug -- delays they say can slow down their research by months or even years.

But what does the future look like for these college students who smoke regularly?

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College Life |  Source: melaniekim

Four Struggles of Being a First Generation College Student

It's tough when you can't come to your parents for help.

Being a first generation college student comes with extensive barriers. It's a struggle just to make it to college. But navigating the college experience itself is a bigger wake-up call. Some people approach college thinking it will be the best experience of their young adult life, but that wasn't my way of thinking when I started. Let me share with you some of my struggles.

Feeling unsure about how to start my college journey.

For the record, I went to a high school that offered a dual learning program. I took high school and college courses simultaneously, allowing me to earn college credits earlier than the average high school student. But after I graduated from high school, I realized I was less prepared for continuing my college experience than I had thought.

This realization mainly occurred in connection with my new financial responsibilities. The hardest part about transitioning was working to secure financial aid through FAFSA. Navigating this process was a big test of my financial literacy, which was a first for my immediate family.

Dealing with the pressure of higher expectations.

I am the first to graduate from a community college of my family. As a result, I feel more pressure to lead the way academically and be successful at it. I sort of feel like I have to work harder to make a good impression with my knowledge and experience of the world. The more I progress with college, it seems the more people expect me to get advanced degrees, which I'm still debating doing.

Not having anyone in my immediate household to relate to.

As a university student now, I feel like even more distance has been created between me and my immediate family. None of them can relate to the university lifestyle. I can't really effectively ask them for help with college assignments or for specific advice about how to do well at this point of my life. Asking about the best courses to take for completing my bachelor's degree is pretty useless. They can't really help me figure out how to utilize campus resources since they're very unfamiliar with them, leaving me to fend for myself. This brings me to my next point.

Feeling out of place on campus.

Being a first-generation college student has conditioned me to approach campus life with a more reserved approach. When I first started, I wasn't sure about where I would fit in. I'm sure this is easier to figure out for someone whose parents or siblings have graduated from college before him or her. I wasn't as comfortable talking to professors outside of class often or taking advantage of student organizations or enjoying campus activities.

If I could go back in time and give myself college advice, I would tell myself to maintain self-confidence and use the resources around me as much as I can. I would tell myself to not be afraid of making mistakes and to practice more gratitude toward supportive people in my life. Also, I would tell myself to have more fun!