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Is 40 Hours Of Ec's A Week But Only 4 Courses/semester Still Overkill?

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Hey guys,

 

I really don't want to drop anything but am contemplating dropping 1 activity, concerned because I haven't pushed myself this hard before. 4th year student and hoping to maintain a high avg. Was wondering if anyone has experience with pulling off this much or more while minimally/not compromising GPA and whether or not they regret it. Will not be fratting hard this year, that's for sure  <_< . I know this is rather subjective but given that most of us shoot for the stars I think anyone's experiences here could still be kinda relevant :)

 

Upcoming commitments:

- Tutoring (4.5 hrs/week, if its quiet I get to do HW during that time)

- Counselling (6 hrs/week)

- Volunteering with ill children (4.5 hrs/week)

- 2 Club exec positions (4-6 hrs/week and 10+ during event weeks)

- Fraternity meetings (2-3 hrs/week and more during Rush and during certain weeks)

- Directed studies (probably ~20-25 hrs a week, more towards the end when I have to write a journal style thesis and do a 30 minute defence) worth 6 credits 

 

Course load (3 finals/semester): 

 

1st term:

- Advanced Immunology (heavy workload)

- Renal and Gast. Physiology (heavy workload)

- 2 relatively light electives [only 1 has a final exam]

 

2nd term:

- Industrial Biotech/Microbiology (moderate-heavy)

- Microbial genetics (moderate)

- Endocrinology (HEAVY) 

- 1 lighter elective (online) [no final exam]

 

I want to drop to 28 credits instead of the current 31 but I've been advised against doing so.

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I'd make sure dropping courses wouldn't disqualify you from some other medical schools in Canada. Best to keep the full-courseload and drop one of your activities instead. You can always beef up your non-academics later, but you cant undo a mistake of not having a satisfactory course distribution for certain schools that require full-course loads for weighting formulas.

Directed studies will definitely take a lot of work. I'd remove yourself from the RUSH week committee, and use the first 2-3 weeks of term to get a jump start on your courses, so you can front load some of the coursework and studying, so that when you get time to crunch time you can breath a bit better not necessarily learning new material, but reviewing.

GPA is king, always.

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I'd make sure dropping courses wouldn't disqualify you from some other medical schools in Canada. Best to keep the full-courseload and drop one of your activities instead. You can always beef up your non-academics later, but you cant undo a mistake of not having a satisfactory course distribution for certain schools that require full-course loads for weighting formulas.

 

Directed studies will definitely take a lot of work. I'd remove yourself from the RUSH week committee, and use the first 2-3 weeks of term to get a jump start on your courses, so you can front load some of the coursework and studying, so that when you get time to crunch time you can breath a bit better not necessarily learning new material, but reviewing.

 

GPA is king, always.

 

Yeah I'm rather against dropping a course too (as much as it'd help) I just don't want to give schools some lame reason like course load to be a red flag. Yeah, I'm also worried about directed studies because it's so. dang. hard to gauge how long lab work will take sometimes. Looks like I'll drop tutoring if I must, sad days, sad days.

 

As for rush, I'm in a fix...I'm not on the rush committee but the selection process is still a chapter wide effort (and since I'm an exec in a position that involves rallying the guys to volunteer) I don't want to lose my voice by not showing face enough but I think front loading as much work as possible is an amazing idea. I've done that in the past during pledgeship (I was studying first day back to school lol and it saved my life). Thank you for the advice :)

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Yeah I'm rather against dropping a course too (as much as it'd help) I just don't want to give schools some lame reason like course load to be a red flag. Yeah, I'm also worried about directed studies because it's so. dang. hard to gauge how long lab work will take sometimes. Looks like I'll drop tutoring if I must, sad days, sad days.

 

As for rush, I'm in a fix...I'm not on the rush committee but the selection process is still a chapter wide effort (and since I'm an exec in a position that involves rallying the guys to volunteer) I don't want to lose my voice by not showing face enough but I think front loading as much work as possible is an amazing idea. I've done that in the past during pledgeship (I was studying first day back to school lol and it saved my life). Thank you for the advice :)

Yeah, RUSH involves a lot of work regardless. Try to minimize as much as possible. As much as having a say is important, your individual success is more important. You're not suddenly going to have less quality people joining your frat just because you didn't put enough voice in. 

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Yeah, RUSH involves a lot of work regardless. Try to minimize as much as possible. As much as having a say is important, your individual success is more important. You're not suddenly going to have less quality people joining your frat just because you didn't put enough voice in. 

 Oh absolutely, I doubt I make a significant difference at all among 80 guys. I meant more so as in I want to kill my fraternity exec position and doing so is hard if the guys in the house dont take me seriously because I don't appear to take them seriously :) (sigh.) Thank so much for your advice commons, you always got the knowledge!

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40? I counted 15-20. If you're getting credit for the directed studies, that's school not ECs so it changes things. Still looks like a lot, and I wouldn't recommend doing that much though. 

 

Are you applying this year? If so, I'd even more strongly recommend against doing so much. You want time for interviews, to practice lots, and be rested and do your best. After all, it really all comes down to the interviews. 

 

Dropping a course can't be undone. It'll affect your eligibility for some schools, and it's not a choice to make if you don't have to. I would certainly not suggest it if it's just for more ECs. It's about priorities

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40? I counted 15-20. If you're getting credit for the directed studies, that's school not ECs so it changes things. Still looks like a lot, and I wouldn't recommend doing that much though. 

 

Are you applying this year? If so, I'd even more strongly recommend against doing so much. You want time for interviews, to practice lots, and be rested and do your best. After all, it really all comes down to the interviews. 

 

Dropping a course can't be undone. It'll affect your eligibility for some schools, and it's not a choice to make if you don't have to. I would certainly not suggest it if it's just for more ECs. It's about priorities

Yeah I'm counting Directed studies as EC hours and calling it a 4 course course-load. Its graded so it certainly is 'school/academic' but it's not something I'd study for per say (kind of a grey area I suppose).

 

I didn't think about it in the scope of interviews, that's a fair point. I was more so approaching it with 'oh fawk I should go HAM this year so if I don't get in at least I'll be a stronger applicant next year' attitude (with the hope of not compromising grades that is).

 

Agreed, I'm probably underestimating directed studies hours too, general consensus is drop an activity and I think I'll do that. Dropping a course comes with way too much unneeded hassle. Thank you for sharing your thoughts sunny_!

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Yeah I'm counting Directed studies as EC hours and calling it a 4 course course-load. Its graded so it is 'academic' but it's not something I'd study for per say (kind of a grey area I suppose).

 

I didn't think about it in the scope of interviews, that's a fair point. I was more so approaching it with 'oh fawk I should go HAM this year so if I don't get in at least I'll be a stronger applicant next year' attitude (with the hope of not compromising grades that is).

 

Agreed, I'm probably underestimating directed studies hours too, general consensus is drop an activity and I think I'll do that. Dropping a course comes with way too much unneeded hassle. Thank you for sharing your thoughts sunny_!

Good luck! I'm just saying that as someone who took that approach in my last year as well, and I ended up very overwhelmed and need to drop things. Looking back, I without a doubt went overboard on the 'do as much as I can in case I don't get in' side of things, and if I hadn't cut back, I don't think I would have had the time to prepare properly. 

 

I ended up switching out of the honours project (like your directed studies), but that was just simplest for me. It's a time consuming thing, for sure

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