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The Best Decision I Ever Made: A Four Year Plan

Updated: Jan 4, 2022

I had barely settled into college, but it was time for the first advising appointment of the semester. My advisor emailed me in September with a template for a four year plan that we would be filling out with year in the next few weeks. I could easily look online and see the traditional 4-year course layout for my major - but there was SO MUCH MORE to consider. What about a minor? Study Abroad? Med school pre-reqs? Fun classes I wanted to take? How do you fit it all in? A FOUR YEAR PLAN!!!

I have been working recently to develop a planning template for students in any pre-health discipline. Honestly, any student can use this, but I have designed it specifically for pre-health students who have to consider major requirements, professional school requirements, entrance exams, and more. I will link the planner below, but first I want to give y'all some tips for creating your plan!

  • be honest with yourself - yes you can follow the pre-made plan created by your school - but if you can't handle three science classes at once, don't let your advisor convince you to do that - if you have other interests, like art, and want to pursue a minor, do it

  • be flexible - the plan I made September of freshman year doesn't look the same today - that's because I picked up two minors and am planning to study abroad - but I don't regret making it because it served as an outline to build on

  • consider your future goals - it's okay to not know exactly what you want to do - but if you're considering medicine and law, try to incorporate courses from both disciplines into your plan - the last thing you wanna do is be stuck trying to fit everything in senior year

  • consider scholarship credit hour requirements, extracurricular involvement, work schedule, etc. - for example, if you play a sport, plan your heavy semester to be in the off season to make your life easier

  • don't be afraid of summer classes!!! There's a stigma surrounding summer classes, but it is 100% a personal decision - if your professional school accepts summer courses and you want to lighten your load during the school year, go for it

There's so much more to consider, and I don't think I could cover everything in one post if I tried. However, I encourage you to check with your advisor, professional schools of choice, and upperclassmen to get advice and assistance when creating your four year plan!

For now, check out my four year planner template. You can download it on the homepage or follow the link below. If you use it, reach out to me on my studygram to let me know how you like it!

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Hi I am so grateful to have discovered you and your blog... thank you for providing all this guidance it is super helpful. I am a non-trad student starting in Jan 2024. Could you please share how you managed your time, working and studying full time. Also i see that you finished your MCAT in Sophomore year so did you finish all the MCAT prereg in your first year? What did that look like?... thank you

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