November 3, 2007
A pre-medicine program is designed to prepare students for the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) and the rigor of medical school. Lindsay Peckskamp, a senior Biology major from Sartell, Minn., has embraced the program to ready herself for such tasks.
Peckskamp chose such a major and career path for many reasons.
"I have always been interested in the human body and in people in general," she said. "By working in health care, I found I could really tie these two together: getting to work with and for people as well as getting to go to a job that would constantly be challenging and surprising."
She has found that the pre-med program at the College of Saint Benedict/Saint John's University has challenged her immensely, both through her classes and the choices she has had to make.
"Maintaining a balance between my classes, homework, friends, and down time has really been a struggle," Peckskamp said. "Even as a senior, I still have trouble finding that perfect balance."
But, by attending CSB/SJU, she has found a lot of guidance to help her in her college and pre-medicine journey. Peckskamp has never felt that there was a time in which she was alone.
"I have found the atmosphere at CSB/SJU to be more than inviting," she said. "It has been my experience that professors and students alike are always willing to help and are more than accommodating."
Even in Peckskamp's first year, as well as before becoming a student, CSB/SJU felt like home.
"The sense of community I felt while touring both campuses made me feel as if I already belonged," she said. "It made the adjustment from high school to college much easier for me."
And that community feel has continued to this day, especially through the relationship Peckskamp has with her professors.
"I like that I am more than just a face in a class to all of my professors here at CSB/SJU," she said. "The small class sizes really allow each student and professor to truly get to know one another. Being able to develop a relationship with each of my professors has made it much more comfortable for me to ask questions or seek out help when I need it."
And the interaction between students in the pre-medicine program has furthered this idea of community.
"I have found that students within the pre-med program have always been very supportive and encouraging," Peckskamp said. "It is comforting to know that there are others who are in my same position and can understand where I am coming from."
Further encouragement has come from a club Peckskamp joined that is made up of other students pursuing the same goals as she is as well as students just beginning a similar journey.
"During my senior year, I got involved with the Biology Club," she said. "Through the club, I have been able to mentor younger students who are thinking about the pre-med program or biology major."
And such a club has allowed Peckskamp to share CSB/SJU's sense of community with others.
"This experience has really given me the opportunity to share my experiences in the pre-med program with others who are thinking about the program," she said.
Peckskamp knows when she graduates she will take with her everything that CSB/SJU has taught her and the supportive atmosphere that surrounded her while she was here.
"After school, I plan on attending more school, working, and starting a new and exciting chapter of my life," she concluded.
Lindsay's Advice for New Pre-med Students
- Never be afraid to ask for help when you really need it. There is always someone who is more than willing to help you out.
- Learn to really enjoy your down time. Spending time to do what you want to do instead of what you need to do will really help keep your head on straight.
- Don't give up when it gets tough! (And, believe me, it will get tough.) Stick it out because somehow everything seems to work out in the end.
- Most importantly, have fun and don't take life, and yourself, too seriously. These four years fly by way too fast.