Editor's Note: Jennifer Miller is a pre-health and pre-dental student at ISU. Her blog, Rotating before Rotations, is about pre-medical and biology students and their experiences.
Being pre-health and pre-dental students here at Illinois State University, we are always on the lookout for the best opportunities to gain clinical experience, the most meaningful places to volunteer, and the stories our peers have about their experiences.
I have met so many fellow students here who have worked as certified nursing assistants, completed groundbreaking research throughout their academic career, gained large networks of healthcare professionals, and have hilarious stories about their journey as a pre-health student.
Working alongside pre-professional advisers, Jeff Helms and Kate Weiser, the pre-health and pre-dental student organizations and fellow students, I would like to share with you the experiences, goals, fun stories and lessons that pre-health and pre-dental ISU students just like you have.
When you first meet someone as a freshman, usually they will ask you: where you're from, what you are studying and what you plan on doing after college. Being a pre-med student studying molecular and cellular biology looking to go into pediatrics, I learned two important things when I give introductions:
1) When asked what my major is, I should only answer biology
2) If asked about my career plan, just mention that I am thinking about pre-med.
Following these guidelines, it might seem as if I am shy or don’t like talk much, but in actuality, I am saving myself from being put on a social pedestal. If I were to actually answer "study molecular and cellular biology with a chemistry minor in a pre-med track to become a pediatrician”, four times of five, a person would either look at me like I am speaking another language, say “wow” or compliment me on how smart they think I am.
First impressions always make a difference, and in most cases, these people would assume that I am too smart to become their friend even though we enjoy the same movies, listen to the same music and like the same foods.
Additionally, I found that many guys wanted to take me out on dates the second they heard I was pre-med. It's as if when people of the opposite sex heard the word “pre-med”, dollar signs light up in their eyes and they think that they should go out with me solely because they understand that “doctors make dough.”
As a business strategy, I considered accepting their date invites just for the free cup of coffee they were offering. In the end though, I didn’t think an hour-long conversation with someone praising you the whole time was worth the $5 caramel macchiato they may, or may not, have paid for.
As pre-health and pre-dental students here at ISU, we are all in this together. We take similar courses, enjoy similar activities, and all have the common goal of wanting to make an impact in the world with our future profession.
We all should have the opportunity to be recognized for all our hard work and this blog is a great way to do so. I hope you liked my short, funny story on my experience of starting as a pre-med student.
If you would like your funny, inspiring or educational story to be heard, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to hear about your experiences.