Hard Work Pays Off

Normally I hate discussing grades and I hate looking at my tests afterwards because normally... my grades aren't great. Most people think that I'm smart just because I'm Asian, plus I'm really good at taking notes. But the trick is actually studying the notes, which normally I'm either too busy or too tired to study.

My first mini-wave (test on a Monday and another on a Wednesday) of tests didn't go so great, and I had a LOT of catching up to do. I like to blame work and extra curriculars, but there's really no one to blame but myself. But hey, I was getting used to a new way of learning!

Anywho, this second REAL wave [that took off 10 years of my life from all the stress] was the true test of my intellectual capabilities. And self-coping capabilities, might I add.

This time, I had to seriously prioritize my time, create a study schedule, and not be lazy. In undergrad, I never had this kind of load even during finals. But maaaaaybe I just didn't try as hard as I should have :)

Overall, the end result was something I could be proud and satisfied with. It wasn't perfect by any means, but it definitely ended with a BANG!

1) First came physiology. I really like this class because I feel like it's right up my biologically-trained alley. Even though physiology is a required pre-req for pharmacy school, there seems to be a LOT more information in this class than at UF. Also, it's the class that we get our first introductions to basic drug therapy.

This was the first test of the semester; it only has one midterm and a final - YIPES! This test consisted of endocrine and cardiovascular systems, and hematology. In addition to all of the hard-core facts, we learned how to read lab values applicable to hematology (white blood cell count, red blood cell counts, hematocrit, and how mean corpuscular volume relates to the types of anemia), different drugs that affect the nephron (different types of diuretics act on different parts of the nephron to yield different results. COMPLICATED!), and the various ways to regulate blood pressure (high blood pressure medications work directly on the heart, or indirectly via the nervous system or blood volume with kidney regulation!)

Ended up with a high B on the test, but with the quizzes and assignments I'm still pushed up to an A. Phew.

2) Three days later was pharmaceutics... What is pharmaceutics, you ask? Hmm... how to explain this in a better way than hell... I'm kidding; I actually find it very interesting. This was the second test of the semester, and it was about solids, gases, and solubility. Amongst other things, we learned about how drugs are formulated to increase their solubility. You would think that all you would need was a drug that dissolved easily in water, right? But it's actually a delicate balance of water solubility and lipophilicity (dissolvable in lipids, aka cell membranes). It's also difficult to create drugs because your it has to travel through vastly differing environments from your mouth to the extremely acidic conditions of your stomach!

But anyway... this was a test I wasn't very happy with, but I wasn't the only one! I knew this ish like the back of my hand, but silly trick questions got me. I got a few points above the average, and I heard that the class is curved overall so I'm just going to move on and try even harder on the next one...

3) Two days later was health systems. We learn about Medicaid, Medicare, uninsured, different health care models of the world, the health care team, etc. I think it's interesting, but class is so damn BORING and it's a 2-hour block right after lunch. Not a good combination for paying attention.

Good thing all you needed to know what was exactly on the slides, and BAM, just made the A mark.

4) And finally... Monday was the big kahuna: biochemistry. I had all weekend to prepare, and that I did.  About 16 hours each day! This was the test I reeeeally needed to do well in because if I didn't, let's just say I may need to re-take it.

Coming out of the test, I felt pretty good. I was able to answer each question and felt confident in the questions that required lots of calculations. I felt nervous because I heard other people talking about getting different answers to some questions I was iffy about. But I braced myself for B (don't get me wrong, I would have been very happy with that!).

During the LAST class today, the last day of school before fall break, grades went up.

I never brag about my grades, but I felt like proclaiming this to the world because I was about to cry from happiness. 96%!!!!!!

The main reason I'm so happy is that I am now confident that good grades are possible. Our professors aren't trying to fail us, but are genuinely making sure that we know the material and to be better pharmacists for it.

And now, it is Fall Break!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Even though I'm working 4 out of the 5 days, the mental break is much needed.


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