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8 Signs You’re a Pre-Med Student

May 18, 2017
Emily Hause

Pre-med students are a special breed.

If these sound familiar, you’re probably on the path to medical school.

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.

1. You’ve got a severe caffeine addiction

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.

2. You suffer from pop culture obliviousness

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.”

3. Your pre-med planner is a work of art

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.

4. There’s a slight twitching in your eyes

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.

5. You can multitask like a pro

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.

6. Your hands are stained with whiteboard marker residue

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.

7. You can sleep just about anywhere

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.

8. You excel at everything you do

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.



Emily Hause Emily has been a teacher for Kaplan for over eight years; she's taught MCAT, ACT, SAT, SAT2 and tutored pretty much every subject under the sun in both the classroom and live online (aka Classroom Anywhere) settings. She's also worked for Kaplan in content development and teacher mentorship roles. Emily is currently a fourth-year medical student at the University of Colorado and is hoping to go into Pediatrics. She's involved in many campus opportunities such as being a Prospective Student Representative, admissions committee member, CU-UNITE member, and co-president of the Education and Teaching Interest Group. Prior to medical school, Emily got a BA in Biochemistry and Spanish from Lawrence University and a Masters in Public Health- Epidemiology from the University of Minnesota. In her free time, Emily enjoys dancing, baking, playing tennis and exploring her new Colorado home.


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