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A Letter To My Pre-Med Self

Dear Victoria,

Hey girl. It’s me… or you… it’s us. I know you’re freaking out about everything right now but listen to me. CHILL OUT. I’ve been in your shoes (Literally. We’re the same person.), and I promise you it’s going to be okay. You’re worried about your upcoming finals, what classes to take next semester, if you should be involved in more student organizations, whether or not you should do research, what you’re going to wear to Spring Formal, if you should go to the gym later, whether you should study abroad, what you’re going to do this summer, if you’re going to have time to volunteer… But before you have a full on panic attack, take a step back and breathe.

"Stop trying to do everything you think others want you to do, and start doing the things you really care about."

I know you. You’re a Type A, pre-med, overachieving chick who’s reaching for a 4.0 GPA while also trying to balance a social life and healthy lifestyle (pretty much the standard pre-med profile). I know you want to do a million and one things, but are you doing them for the right reasons? Do you really care about that 1 credit honors course that’s putting you over the edge of a full-time student, or are you just taking it to look good on your med school applications? Do you really want to spend your Saturday volunteering at the hospital, or are you just trying to please others? Stop trying to do everything you think others want you to do, and start doing the things you really care about.

College is going to be one of the best experiences of your life, and after you graduate, you’re going to look back and laugh at everything that stressed you out at the time. Yes, getting into medical school is important to you, and yes, it’s extremely competitive and difficult to get in, but trust me, you will. You are intelligent, hard-working, and dedicated. But more importantly, you are loyal, kind, and compassionate. In 5 years, it won’t matter what you got on your Quantitative Analysis or Physical Chemistry finals. You probably won’t remember your GPA and it won’t even really matter. What will matter are the experiences you have, the memories you make, and the connections you form with others.

"Life is too short to play it safe all the time."

So do me a favor, will you? Stop being so afraid. Life is too short to play it safe all the time. Go out on a Tuesday. Study as hard as you can for that final, and when it’s time to take it, trust that you are capable of doing well. Make a new friend. Be kind to others. Tell the people you love how you feel about them. Don’t sweat the small stuff. (Getting a B+ in Organic Chemistry is NOT the end of the world.) Stop worrying about what others think of you, and do what makes you happy. You are exactly where you’re supposed to be, and in 5 years you will be exactly where you want to be. Pinky promise.

Love always,


About the author:

Victoria Lu is a first year medical student and Medelita HIP Ambassador from New York. Though she isn't yet sure what field of medicine she wants to go into, she has been approaching everything with an open mind and open heart. Follow Victoria on Instagram and visit her blog at