On Coming From a Small College

When people ask me where I went to college, I often preface with “a small college you probably haven’t heard of …” . But joining this class actually feels akin to going back to a small high school, in a good way. With a little over 100 people in your class, you will soon know everyone by name. WUSM encourages the formation of a cohesive class with great community feel. At the same time, you are within the sea of a large academic center filled with many people doing inspiring research. Welcome to Washington University in St. Louis, the renowned center of medical discovery and expertise. Stand in the FLTC and wonder at all those great brains at work around you. Functionally, you will likely be in bigger classes than you are used to, and will have less accessible lecturers. Just dive in, speak up in class, and enjoy the vibrancy of this medical school.

— Jennifer F., M1

On Coming From a Large University

Coming to WashU from a large state college was a big adjustment for me, but I really enjoy the size of my class. At my last school, I definitely felt like it was difficult to get to know my classmates. Now, I know everyone! Another advantage of having such a small class is that everyone is willing to help their classmates succeed. Also, you have the opportunity to develop relationships with faculty who will recognize you outside of class. It’s definitely great to have a med school family away from home.

— Robert S., M1

On Being a Humanities Major

If I could sum up being a humanities major and M1 at WashU with one quote it would be … “Abandon hope all ye who enter here.” Just kidding. The great thing about first year is that it is designed to get everybody on the same page, regardless of whether they spent undergrad pouring over engineering problem sets or cranking out papers on the Kardashians as evidence for America’s moral decline. And while it might initially feel like majoring in English, history or even comparative studies in race and ethnicity didn’t provide you with translatable skills for year one of medical school, I’m willing to bet you’ll be pleasantly surprised. At the very least that honed ability to skim over pages of reading 30 seconds before a group discussion and sound like you know what you’re talking about still definitely comes in handy. While we are definitely the minority here, we’re still around and always happy to chat!

— Katie S., M1

On Coming Back to School From Time Off

First off, let’s just be straightforward and say coming to medical school after time off is not easy. That being said, it’s not easy for anyone to transition into medical school. If you’ve taken some time off in the real world, you will spend much of your first week of orientation asking yourself why people keep telling you where to go and keep feeding you (not that we are complaining about the latter). But fear not! The first year of medical school is a time when everybody, seasoned students and the rusty alike, has to relearn how to learn. A large fraction of the class has taken at least two years off (some many more). Some (like me) did research, others traveled to Germany, got law degrees or worked in health care. Regardless, after a few weeks, you’ll be back in the groove of things.

— Josh A., M1