Being a pre-medical student is an experience like no other. You’re simultaneously trying to crush your rigorous science classes while volunteering, gaining medical shadowing experience, and cultivating extracurricular interests. You’re basically a superhuman student-volunteer-teammate-friend masquerading as a normal college student.
Spotting a pre-med student is easy once you know what to look for. Here are eight reliable signs you might be a medical school hopeful.
Your body is mostly composed of caffeinated beverages and whatever vending machine snack was closest to you when your most recent hunger pang hit. You try to pack healthy snacks, but somehow studying biochemistry always makes those Flamin’ Hot Cheetos sound extra delicious. And coffee? You know how they say the human body is 70% water? It’s possible that the other 30% of you, dear pre-med, is entirely comprised of coffee.
You know an insane amount of information about bacteria, elements on the periodic table, and intermolecular forces, but you don’t know any of the current songs on the radio. If it’s not your studying jam music, you don’t listen to it. This means that your non-medical friends can sing along, but you’re stuck using your context clues to figure out the lyrics to popular songs, “something something… work work work work work.”
Most college students have a planner to keep track of important due dates, tests, birthdays, etc., but your planner is an amazing homage to the type A to-do list. You’ve color-coded every section—and there are perfect check boxes lined up, waiting to be crossed off. It contains all the information you need, and if you ever lose it… you’ll be completely lost yourself.
The entire week before finals, you sport a wicked set of crazy eyes. Like, cartoon character crazy eyes. You’ve somehow managed a combination of giant bags—due to lack of sleep—and marks left by the tape that you’ve been using to prop open your eyeballs and focus on your textbooks.
You’ve mastered the art of binge-watching your favorite show while you simultaneously write your papers. You can eat with one hand while taking notes with the other. Doing one thing at a time is for people who aren’t crazy high-achieving pre-meds like you.
The residue may even occasionally make it onto your face. You’ve spent all day writing and re-writing physics problems and the Krebs cycle on the board, and somehow that marker residue is covering your forearms, sleeves, and parts of your forehead by the time you go to bed at night. On the bright side, the colored smudges make it look like you’re an aspiring artist.
While dark lecture halls and the library—with a book as a pillow—are some popular post-lunch napping locations, you’ve taken it to the next level and can sleep sitting up at the bus stop or in the passenger seat of a car if it’s moving for more than five minutes. In fact, if you’re left alone for more than a few minutes in any dark, quiet space, you’re likely to fall asleep.
Yes, you do many things, but dangit you’re doing it all and you’re making it look easy. After all, you’re giving it 100%, and someday soon all of your hard work will payoff. You’ll be in medical school on the way to the career of your dreams—being a doctor.
Want to kick off your pre-med prep with practice questions on the go? No problem. Challenge yourself to our free MCAT pop quiz.