Oct 17, 2010


This could be a very boring post for my non-Rx readers.  I apologize for that.  The pharmacy school I pictured in my head is much different than the one I've been a part of for two and half years.  It's funny, trying, exhausting, and wonderful all at the same time.  Here's some "huffs" and a few puffs about my journey.  Don't worry, I'm still so excited to be a pharmacist one day. No need to sound the alarms.  But like anything else in life, it's not always what you pictured.  Why 50? I tried for 100 but that was overkill.  Here's what I wish I would have known in 2008.  Enjoy!
50 Things I Wish I Had Known Before Starting Pharmacy School:
1.       Hold tight to why you want to be pharmacist…school has a sneaky way of making you forget.
2.       You’re never too old for sweatpants...never.
3.       On the bad days, ask yourself what you would rather be doing? If you have a great answer to that, you may be in the wrong place (and no, I don’t mean sleeping).
4.       Sleeping becomes a gift.  Do it whenever you can. Wherever you can.
5.       Invest in a good alarm clock.  Or three.
6.       Four years is a long time.  Remember to enjoy life.
7.       Try to do one thing every day for yourself.  If that’s just a simple bubble bath, rock it.
8.       Workout, eat well, and be kind to your body even when you have no energy.  Energy will come from those 3 things.
9.       Do not neglect your relationships because you ‘have to study’.  Life is much bigger than medicine.
10.   Every single classmate has a cool and unique life story.  Try to hear as many as you can.
11.   Friends and family will ask you health questions all the time.  Even in your first year when you are only learning about electrons. (again)
12.   Try your hardest to help your friends and family.
13.   If you can only teach them one thing, teach them not to Google their health questions.  The Internet is dangerous.
14.   You will live life from one test to the next.  Forget gathering knowledge and enriching experiences.  You are measured by your test performance.
15.   The tests do not reflect what kind of pharmacist you will become. Don’t lose heart.
16.   You will often forget what was on the test you took yesterday.
17.   You have the opportunity to meet life-long friends.  Don’t miss out.  They are priceless, and the only people who truly understand what this is like.
18.   Find a planner you like, and use it.  The minute you stop, you’ll kick yourself.
19.   You will not always, or rarely, know what is going on in the world or news.  Sometimes ignorance really is bliss.
20.   Pharmacists are NOT medical doctors.  We are not in charge of diagnosing patients and saving the world.  Some professors will tell you otherwise.
21.   Pharmacists do much more than lick, stick, count and pour.
22.   It’s okay to sometimes only want to lick, stick, count and pour.
23.   Attending class with people much younger than you for the first time in your life can be disheartening, surprising, and good.
24.   Pay it forward. In any way you can.
25.   If you can avoid working in school, do it.  It just makes you more tired.  You have 30 years of work coming for you.
26.   Every time you meet a pharmacist, ask them what hours they work, what their job is like, and what they would do differently if they could.
27.   If you don’t want to do a residency, that is just fine.  You are not less of a pharmacist or student.
28.   When you can’t find the motivation to study, sometimes it is best not to.  Quality over quantity.
29.   Use every free Sunday you can before you start school.  They are hard to come by.
30.   No matter how much you pay in tuition, you will still kill thousands of trees printing notes because they just don’t have the funds to give them to you. It’s baffling.
31.   PowerPoint is an old dog…can’t we find something else to use?
32.   Don’t worry about money.  You have your whole life to pay back loans. 
33.   Find a mentor.  They are wonderful. 
34.   Know when you’ve had too much coffee.  Try Vitamin B instead.
35.   If you don’t like something about your curriculum or school, it probably will not change. 
36.   Balance your life with non-pharmacy people.  It’s refreshing to hear what they are doing with their days.
37.   You still need to go to the doctor.  Self-treating doesn’t work forever.
38.   Colds, flu, and other germs spread like wildfire among classmates.  Wash your hands.
39.   It’s worth it to have a laptop.  No one needs to know you are on facebook during the most boring lecture of your life.
40.   A professor can spend 3 long hours lecturing and never once mention a drug.  It’s strange.
41.   People feel the need to tell you all about their health problems.  All of them.
42.   Try not to wear your white coat in public.  There are many reasons for this.
43.   Just tell people you are in grad school.  It makes more sense to them.  If not, they think you are learning how to be pharma sales rep.
44.   If you are in it for the money, you are in it for the wrong reasons.
45.   Life is more fun on the back row.  I promise.
46.   Sometimes you just need to drink a beer and watch some reality TV.
47.   The little things in life can be really exciting.  Grocery store outings are a nice break.
48.   You can’t live on lean cuisines forever, but the microwave is your friend.
49.   No one forced you to do this.  Why complain all the time?
50.   Find joy in the journey.  If you seek it, you will find it.


  1. Well said, friend. Most of these really resonate with me. I might add this to my list, though:

    51. An extra year and an additional $20,000 isn't necessarily a bad thing.

  2. Man oh man, these are great! I really need to work on #36. Other than my engineer husband, I'm stuck w/Pharm people all the time!

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  4. Very impressed with your blog! What a wonderful writer you are and soon to be pharmacist! Wow! So impressed with the woman you've become! So glad I was blessed to have you as a third grade student!

  5. #43 made me laugh as I have been asked many times (from regular people) about being a pharmacist when I tell them I am a pharmaceutical representative!

  6. SO great. You really are wonderful. and My favorites are 43 and 45....totally linking you in my blog one day soon...I have a sappy post about graduation. :)