As you enter Wake Forest University you will be assigned an academic advisor who will see you through to the spring semester of your second year. Since you will not select a major until the end of the second year, your advisor will most likely be in a field unrelated to the one in which you eventually major. If you are interested in a career in medicine, dentistry, or veterinary medicine, you should attend one of the health professions introductory sessions that will be held during the first few weeks of classes. Whichever health profession field you are interested in, if you find yourself struggling academically or have concerns about course selection, please check in with the appropriate Health Professions Advisor!
As you begin your first year, you may find that the level of coursework is surprisingly more challenging than in high school. There will definitely be a lot of distractions to pull you away from your studies-stay focused academically! Programs in medicine, dentistry, physician assistant, physical therapy, and others are very competitive. Don’t dig a hole that means that you will have to work twice as hard later to be competitive for admission. At the same time, remember that being competitive means much more than just a good grade point average. Most programs are looking for well-rounded individuals who have a variety of interests and who have demonstrated a concern for the welfare of others.
First year students-don’t worry yet about what you will major in. Take the courses that will keep you on track for admission to a program in your chosen field, and the use the wide variety of divisional courses offered to explore various areas of study. As you near the end of your second year, you may be surprised by what you choose as your major. Majoring in a science usually offers no advantage. For almost all of the health professions, including medicine, what is important is that you complete the prerequisite courses. What courses you choose to take in addition to those courses are equally important because they say a lot about who you are and what you are interested in.
If you are struggling in a course, take advantage of the resources that Wake Forest University offers. Seek out advice from your course instructor or TA. Peer tutoring is available free of charge through the Learning Assistance Center. They can also help with time management issues or study skills. If you need assistance in writing, visit the Writing Center. The Chemistry Center, operated through the Department of Chemistry, allows students to drop in and work with instructors and/or peers. The Math Department offers a similar service. Finally, don’t forget that you have an academic advisor who may not be able to help you with your biology exam, but can give you sage advice on whether or not you should drop a course.
There are so many things to do in college, many of which are unrelated to academics, that it is easy to become over-committed. While a variety of experiences makes for a well-rounded individual, spreading yourself too thin often means that you have many things on your resume’, none of which you have done particularly well in. Preparing for a career in the health professions does not preclude having a normal college experience. But always remember your goal, and make wise decisions on how to spend your time.