#T4DWest Day 4: Advice for the High School Senior
Our high school students have been representing in abundance this Tour! A few come to mind in particular: St. Michaels and Atrisco Heritage in Albuquerque, San Leandro in Sacramento, Estrella in Arizona, California Science and Math at CSU-DH…
We at T4D are proud to have expanded our curriculum to include specific topics for younger high school students since Fall 2013. We recognize the importance of planning ahead early in our academic careers – as the drive for academic achievement and the pathways to higher science and math courses are often times decided as early as middle school. Many of our traveling Mentors themselves made critical decisions about their futures at young ages, and our high school students are preparing themselves to do the same!
For our High School Seniors, some quick points of advice:
1) Choose a college not based on ranking, but on their advising and mentoring support. Many colleges have excellent track records as far as matriculation of their students into medical school – and it has nothing to do with the reputation of their name. Ask what sort of support premed students receive, even as early as their freshman year. The pipeline into medical school starts with that very first grade on your transcript, so you want to confirm that you’ll be able to seek out appropriate advice from Day 1. What connections does the college have to local hospitals as far as shadowing opportunities? What extracurricular support exists? Does the Alumni serve as a resource? These opportunities can make a difference as you tailor your experiences.
2) Be open minded about your coursework and your major. You want to provide yourself as broad of an education as possible as you move into an eventual career in medical sciences. Take some humanity courses, some art courses – read and write about history, philosophy, sociology, political science… Not only will this assist you as you prepare for the upcoming changes on the MCAT, but they will also make you a more well-rounded clinician in the future.
3) Seek out your support network, but eventually step outside of your comfort zone. On campus you may feel more comfortable socializing with particular cultural groups. This is completely natural and will remain a strength for you as you adapt to campus. However, do not neglect to explore and meet new people. You will infinitely learn more about yourself by interacting with others – and in the process, become a more well-rounded person for your patients.
And lastly, 4) Begin to test and practice different learning styles now. Whether you are visual or auditory, work well in groups or alone, each student has their optimal setting to absorb information. The step to college increases the amount of information you will be responsible for – and the transition to medical school is even more severe. Adjust your style now so you can excel more in the future.
T4D is so proud of its high school students! Best of luck, and keep moving toward your dream!!