I Took 3 Biology Classes in 8 Weeks And You Should, Too + Tips

I definitely didn’t listen to a single counselor when they repeatedly told me that they don’t advise anyone to take on 3 biology courses in an 8 week term. But what did I do? Just that.

Yes, it is absolutely brutal. Unless you’re into self-torment or unless if you didn’t have a choice, like me.

I definitely didn’t listen to a single counselor when they repeatedly told me that they don’t advise anyone to take on 3 biology courses in an 8 week term. But what did I do? Just that.

The opportunity presented itself to me after long and hard prayers. I teared up that day, actually. It’s so tough to get into nursing pre-requisite classes especially when at a popular community college with an RN program. If I had known, I would have switched schools after I finished taking them at university (a whole other story for another day).

Anyway, again, it was brutal. I fully understand why they don’t really advocate for it. I didn’t get much sleep, I was almost always studying -unless I caught up for the day, and I feel like I didn’t learn as much as I should have. But nonetheless, I didn’t not learn anything.

I learned more than I thought I would while basically brain dead. I learned more time management. I learned that it’s okay to cry 2x a week for almost 8 weeks- give or take some weeks. And I learned that I would take on another challenge like that because, quite frankly, I haven’t been able to go back to that type of rush? I feel like I was at my peak productivity probably because I was. I was stuck inside a room, working for 10+ hours every day and night- reading, writing, breathing, and literally dreaming about microbiology, anatomy, and physiology.

I had no previous knowledge on any of those subjects and going into the medical field- I actually had to learn. Y’know, not just passively get by since they were all online. And I definitely learned enough to be scarred from microbiology and enough to not look at our bodies -internally and externally- the same from anatomy and physiology.

8 weeks of pure stress, tears, and accomplishments that I’m grateful for to this day.

So here are some advice and tips that helped me get by or what I wish I knew before:

  • Unless you’re just re-taking the classes, you will not be as organized as you think during Weeks 1, 2, and maybe even 3. Buy a planner if you have not yet! This 8 week term, I actually switched from my Happy Planner Weekly layout to a Passion Planner Daily. I had work to turn in almost every day on top of reading and notes I had to take so I found the Daily Planner the most helpful for my needs.
  • IF you are given the syllabus and/or the textbook in advanced- START READING!This was one of my absolute regrets during Weeks 1 and 2 because I was given the textbook info for microbio a week in advanced, but I didn’t even bother to read or look into the book. Then when we started, I had my first exam on the 2nd week and I surely underestimated the amount of work I was given.
  • Figure out a schedule and get to know yourself if you already don’t. I took morning classes, worked out right after class, then began work. That was my schedule and it was a beautiful routine for me. Find what works for you.
  • Focus on discipline NOT motivation. Motivation gets you up on a good day – Discipline keeps you up all your days.YOU are your own worst enemy on the days when you don’t want to study or on days when you just want to quit. I had so many of these days, but to discipline yourself to get what you need done no matter the amount of motivation you have is everything. You become unstoppable even on those bad days- at least you’ll get what you needed to get done.
  • It’s best if you already know how you study, but it never hurts to change the way you study. Anything to help YOU.I used to read and write notes at the same time, but with the amount of reading I had, I found it best to read and highlight main points first then go back to those highlighted and write notes. That way, I got to read the info twice and write my notes which helped me more in retaining info.
  • DIAGRAMS, TABLES, PRINTABLES, ANYTHING! to help you better visualize what you’re learning about or to help you group diseases, see the parts of the body, understand the systems, etc. Print everything. Even better, well for me, was to draw most things! I even made myself a table to fill in all the diseases I had to learn and drew diagrams for anatomy and physio.
  • Participate! Yes, even on Zoom.I loved my anatomy class because my professor would give lessons and during those lessons he would stop and ask us questions on what he had just taught. Although it may suck to hear your voice in later recordings, participating will help you remember information by enabling you to think and repeat that information learned.
  • GO TO CLASS. But if you do have a valid reason that you couldn’t make it during the time slot, Zoom recordings are your best friend.Ask or always remind your professors to record the Zoom lecture! Unless they blatantly want y’all to attend class at the right Zoom time then best of luck to you.
  • Email/Message your classmates! Comment on their discussions! You are NOT ALONE.I actually emailed this one girl who was in ALL 3 of my classes. She had the same mindset as me and let me tell you – we definitely died together. Some other people were taking 2 of the 3, too.
  • Email your professors about EVERYTHING.I emailed all my professors at least once. But what helped me the most was my anatomy professor. During finals week, I had about 4 lab reports I had to re-type, but I only submitted them in the form of how I took notes. But because he saw that I was taking all 3 biology classes, he pointed me out during class about 2-3x during the term. So when the final grades were coming in, I got the grade I actually wanted.
  • TAKE A BREATHER. Go outside, go on a mini-vacation, stand up & stretch. Basically anything to balance out the workload you’ve committed to because you deserve it. You deserve breaks, the feeling of a summer’s day, and just overall good mental and emotional health.I struggled with this one so bad, but I’m glad to have had people help me with it. I’m not the quitting type and if I find myself working, I will not stop until I finish. I won’t even let myself out of the room or house to break except to get some food or water. Honestly, all I was doing right with this one was letting myself cry when I was too stressed so I’m so thankful for my friends and family who got me outside of the house or reassured me that it was okay to sit down and watch some TV for an hour or two.

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