Is Organic Chemistry hard or is your self-doubt, setting you up for failure?

Is Organic chemistry hard or is your self-doubt, setting you up for failure?

There were so many times during the pre-health journey that I doubted myself.  And if we’re being honest, there are times still that I doubt myself as a medical student. There are many classes that you take and you feel really confident.  Then, there are classes that you take and say “I don’t know what went wrong and I don’t know what I could’ve done better”.  You may feel like you tried your best and you still did not get the grade that you deserved.

Particularly, I am reminded of Orgo’ also known as Organic Chemistry. I had heard the horror stories of this class before I actually took the class.  These stories were kind of like those spooky campfire tales heard time and time again. 

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The general consensus was that organic chemistry is the course that many people fail and subsequently weeds people out of the premed track.

Because of all of the negative hype,  I presented to the Orgo class with extreme fear in my heart. Self-doubt was at an all-time high as far as making it through the class with a passing grade.  During the first lecture, we learned some organic chemistry basics and I thought, okay this isn’t so bad. A bunch of shapes and “chair configurations” and carbon atoms… Not so bad.  The following lecture became a bit more complex. My professor emphasized that Organic Chemistry problems are something you have to practice daily until it becomes second nature. She stressed it’s not something you read one day and you get it. I thought to myself ” easy for you to say”. But, she was totally right. With anything in life that you plan to master, practice always makes perfect.

I don’t recall an overnight mastery of learning to ride a bike or drive a car.  

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So, why would organic chemistry be any different?

 I eventually realized that my expectations were based upon other peoples’ perceptions and not my own reality, one of which I am responsible to create.

I ended up actually doing better than I thought in the class. This is because I applied myself and prepared for “battle”. Because I knew I was in the “belly of the beast”,  I put my armor on and prepared myself for the Orgo’ Monster and came out on the other side.

I say all of this to say that yes, the pre-medical journey is a rough and often difficult process but it’s certainly doable. It really is about challenging your psyche. The attitude you bring to your classes is most likely what you’re going to get out of the grade in your classes.

Let’s do our best and try to minimize our feelings of self-doubt. Stop thinking that your self worth or intelligence is determined by a grade received in your classes. Please don’t allow other people’s perceptions of reality to become your own, until you’ve experienced it for yourself.

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If you want to be a doctor you will be a doctor, so don’t ever doubt yourself!

I believe in you,  do you believe in you?

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