I started off my freshman year, like many do, eager to get involved on campus. Being premed, Tufts Premedical Society seemed like an obvious group to join. I learned about the Mentorship Program in the initial meetings. To be quite honest, I just joined the program because I saw a lot of other freshmen joining it. I did not have much hope because I am majoring in biomedical engineering and I assumed that most of the mentors would be science majors, so they wouldn’t be helpful in my situation. To my surprise, I was matched with a mentor that was also majoring in biomedical engineering.

My mentor became one of my greatest sources and truly helped me get through my freshman year. I had so many questions on decisions to make, classes to take, extracurricular activities, etc. and who better to ask then someone who had already been through everything that I was experiencing. In my case, I really needed help on how to juggle engineering with premed. In our first few meetings, my mentor and I mapped out when I would take all of my classes. He analyzed what credits I already had coming in and what classes I needed to take for for my premed and engineering requirements. There were so many classes that were sequential or that had to be taken before a certain time, especially if I wanted to take the MCAT my junior or senior year. I was extremely confused and stressed out about how I would make everything work. My mentor made the whole process easier by explaining to me what choices I had and by helping me make the best decisions for me.

Also, many of my rePreHealth Mentorsrequirements could be filled with a myriad of classes. I had no idea which classes would best fit my interests. So I talked to my mentor, the other mentors, and the board members. They told me about some of their favorite classes and gave me an idea about what the workload for the class would be like, as well as the teaching style of the professor. This was such a life saver. Having so many peers with first-hand accounts of classes was a great way for me to understand which classes would best fit my needs.

Additionally, my mentor shared with me a list of possibilities for extracurricular activities, many of which incorporated biomedical engineering. I had become interested in starting to do research and he gave me details about the research track for biomedical engineers, as well as the pros and cons of doing so. I also had considered trying to get involved with research on campus, so I talked to him, as well as some of the other mentors and board members that were doing research at Tufts. They informed me of who I should contact, as well as a little bit about the different research projects going on. (Check out departmental websites such as this).  This way if I was presented with options for a team to work with, I could choose the research project that best encompassed my interests. My mentor also got me thinking that working as a CNA could be an experience that I might enjoy, as well as learn a lot from. This was something that had interested me, but I was still nervous about whether this would be a good fit for me and if it would be a good use of my summer break. His encouragement played a huge part in helping me decide to go through with my decision to work as a CNA, which I can attest to being a great option for someone who is premed.

In addition to all of this, my mentor provided me with someone who I could talk to about what I was going through. There are not many people on the premed track majoring in the same field as I am, so having someone to talk to and to give me advice was very comforting. It was honestly so nice to have someone who I could vent to and who understood how I was feeling, but had already been in my position, to assure me that things would be just fine. Freshman year for a premed student can be difficult and overwhelming, but having my mentor by my side made the experience a lot less stressful!

If you are interested in joining the mentorship program as a mentee you can sign up online at https://goo.gl/forms/5lLygyynKIvG7Hlm2. If you would like to join as a mentor you can sign up online at https://goo.gl/forms/5W1XsQx9A2hlphW33.


Sakshi Wadhwa BME ‘19