This is not a normal time. You don't have to pretend that it is. You can be sad, angry, disappointed, confused, displeased...whatever you feel--you be you. You also don't need to feel guilty about those feelings. Yes, people are sick and some even dying. You are upset about missing your friends or graduation, but right now those are big parts of your life and it is ok to feel what you feel. Really, it is. We are all going through things right now. This is all happening so fast and every one of us is scrambling to keep up.
The best thing we can do is talk to each other. Are there things that Purdue or Pre-Professional Advising or your Department still needs to help with? Tell us. We had a few weeks to figure it all out and we probably didn't think of everything. Do you just need to have a good rant? We can handle that. Sometimes we need them too. So together we can do this.
This new section of our website is here to provide you with information, updates, and resources as the COVID-19 situation unfolds.
Let us know what questions you have and we will try to answer them. If you just need to chat, we can do that too. We are here to help.
It is important throughout all of this to take care of yourself. Take time to practice self-care. It is easy to develop change fatigue.
Learn more about managing anxiety and stress during a pandemic for yourself and those around you at these sites.
- CDC on Managing Anxiety and Stress during a Pandemic
- Mental Health Considerations from the World Health Organization
- Self-care advice from Wirecutter
- Daily Meditation from Ten Percent Happier
- Caring for Your Mental Health in the Face of Uncertainty
Remember that you have many resources available to help you.
- Make an appointment with a pre-professional advisor if your impending application is stressing you out or if you need someone to chat with. For right now these will be virtual appointments, but hopefully we will be back in our offices soon.
- Need further help with career planning? See a career consultant in the Center for Career Opportunities (CCO). Yes, these will be virtual appointments for now too. You can also meet with one of the excellent career consultants in your college (look at the Parallel Planning section of our Learning Center for more information).
- Make an appointment with your academic advisor who also wants to help you through this time. Most of them will be meeting with you virtually. As with pre-professional advisors, they look forward to being able to meet face-to-face again.
- Other offices are still around to help you. Look at campus websites to find out their current policies for how they will be providing services.
- You don't have to miss out on the Co-Rec! They have some amazing virtual offerings.
- Now is a great time to reach out to friends and family. Check on them. See how they are doing. Reaching beyond your own daily concerns to see how someone else is doing is a good way to help others even when you can't be there in person.
Enjoy some fun even if it is virtual.
- The Kennedy Center offers lunch doodles with artist Mo Willems.
- Create your own handwashing poster at Wash Your Lyrics
- On Instagram #SAVEWITHSTORIES has celebrities reading children's books.
- Also on Instagram look for the #TogetherAtHome concerts by musicians such as Chris Martin and John Legend.
- Lists of Virtual Concerts to watch from NPR and Billboard.
- From USA Today 100 Things to Do While Stuck Inside Due to a Pandemic
- Visit a zoo or aquarium--virtually, of course. No crowds during a time of social distancing.
- Expand your mind by visiting an art museum (look at these online or use the Google Arts and Culture App to explore more).
- Check out the stars! NASA allows free use of their images at their website. And they have an awesome NASA Selfies App where you can spend hours learning about constellations and putting your face in a space suit in front of them to send to your friends!
Professional programs look for students who show resilience and persistence. During this disruptive time, you can show them that you were able to make the best of this time.
Here are a few suggestions.
Follow Current Covid-19 News from a Policy Stand Point
You never know when something like will become a question for interviews or applications.
- The U.S. Justice Department is following fraud cases.
- The Southern Poverty Law Center is tracking how the virus impacts different communities.
- Centers for Disease Control
- National Institutes of Health
- World Health Organization
- Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy
- Operation Warm has 25 volunteer opportunities you can do from home.
- Paper Airplanes arranges tutoring online for people living in areas in conflict.
- Do Something suggests 9 places to volunteer online that make a real difference.
- Crisis Textline Counseling this one is in Los Angeles but you can also look for one closer to home.
- 450 free Ivy League courses
- Class about pandemics from Harvard
- Essentials of Global Health from Yale
- An Examination of Covid-19 from St. George's University
- 10 University Art Classes you can take for free
- Learn a language
Read Something Amazing--It's Food for the Brain--Suggested Books
- The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down
- The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
- Being Mortal
- When Breath Becomes Air
- The Emperor of All Maladies
- My Own Country
- Teeth: Beauty, Inequality, and the Struggle for Oral Health in America
- Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies: Migrant Farmworkers in the United States
Good Reads has a list of popular books on medicine.
Also check out Blogs and Podcasts in your future field.
Start researching professional programs and creating spreadsheets for yourself. Include information you think will important for your school selection process.
- Average GPA
- Average Test Score
- Required Courses
- Required Shadowing and/or Direct Patient Care Hours
- Structure of Curriculum
- Location of School
- Large city?
- Distance from home?
- What is weather like?
- Can I see myself living there?
First, we would encourage you to wait before making this decision. This is not something that needs to be decided immediately.
Professional programs have been going through all of the same things that the Purdue Community has been working through. They are just now deciding what their policies will be on these things.
We encourage you to wait until later in the semester and see if more schools have decided on their policies before you decide on what you want to do.
We know that as pre-professional students you plan to do your very best in your courses regardless of whether you are taking them as P/NP or for a grade. So whether you decide this now or later shouldn't really matter.
We will keep adding to the sections below as we find more additional information from professional programs. We are paying close attention to this issue.
As always, you are welcome to contact Pre-Professional Advising if you have questions.
As you know, Purdue remains open during this time, but we are adapting our services as needed to prevent the spread of infection.
Please continue to make appointments through BoilerConnect. Until further notice, the advisor your appointment is with will contact you via email ahead of the appointment to establish the best way to meet (phone or WebEx). We are always happy to answer questions over email as well: email@example.com
Personal Statements Reviews:
Submit your personal statements to firstname.lastname@example.org and one of us will read and comment on your personal statement and send comments back to you. If you have questions AFTER you receive the comments, you can schedule an appointment then. Please keep in mind that we have a high volume of personal statements at this time of year and it does take time for us to return them. We review them as quickly as possible.
Our new-ish drop-in service that began in February is suspended until further notice.
As interview season is winding down and we generally offer mock interviews for students only if they have a scheduled interview, we will hopefully have fewer of these until late summer. Any remaining mock interviews will still be scheduled through BoilerConnect with Cheryl Alcock, but will take place as WebEx interviews. Please follow the interview practice information in the Interview section of our website before scheduling a mock interview with Cheryl.
Checking on Letter Arrival:
Our collection of letters for our medical/dental school letter service will continue as normal.
We urge you to wait until after the letter deadline to check on letter arrival. We work all summer so please WAIT UNTIL AFTER the deadline on May 29th to check to see if your letters are here.
Clearinghouse on Health Professions Information
The March 27th and April 4th MCATs have been canceled. You should have been contacted about rescheduling if you were signed up for one of these dates. Stay up-to-date on current MCAT and COVID-19 news.
Association of American Medical Colleges AAMC COVID-19 Updates
Google Doc of MD Programs and their P/NP Acceptance Policies
American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine AACOM COVID-19 Updates
American Dental Education Association ADEA COVID-19 Updates
Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges AAVMC COVID-19 Updates
Physician Assistant Education Association PAEA COVID-19 Updates
While we can't generalize for all schools, these statements from a program director are likely a good indication of how most schools will be looking at this time period.
Completing Courses Online: While many professional programs prefer that required courses not be online courses, that will not be an issue in this situation. First, your Purdue courses will show on your transcript as regular Purdue classes. Second, many professional schools are doing the same thing Purdue is doing in moving their courses online and having students stay off campus for a period of time. You should not take all of your pre-requisite courses online, but if this is what we need to do for now, it will be ok. This is what most universities are doing as well.
Clubs, Activities, Volunteering: Schools will want you to practice what the CDC is recommending in terms of social distancing. It is difficult to volunteer while maintaining a distance of 6 feet from others. If you are creative, however, you might find some great ways to be involved. Crisis hotlines, for example (after training), stocking food pantries, food delivery to shut-ins, etc. Some agencies may need help with a website (if you have those skills). Check with volunteer agencies in your area to see what is available.
Healthcare Shadowing and Volunteering: Until everything calms down, shadowing is not encouraged and unless facilities are looking for volunteers, your presence as a volunteer in a healthcare setting may not be welcomed either. While you may want to be on the frontlines of the pandemic, you may not have the skills needed at this time unless you have additional training and certifications.
Sometimes helpers can be a burden. Our healthcare providers will be putting all their energy into helping patients and protecting their own health. They won't have time to watch over untrained volunteers.
Your job right now is to watch and learn from all of this. We often talk with students about what a great privilege it is to work in healthcare but that it is not a decision to be taken lightly. This pandemic is a great illustration of that.
Other Options: Given all of this, it could be a time to look for opportunities to be involved in research or to work and make some money.
Remember: Healthcare programs like to see students with resilience and adaptability. While difficult in many ways, this period can also serve as a time of learning as you witness one of the most remarkable public health events in recent times.
One former student who is a DO and an infectious disease specialist and running the COVID-19 response at her institution said this:
"I have never been more proud of those I am working with day and night 24/7 on what has become the most significant epidemic/pandemic in my career thus far. We have come together during this time not because we have to, but because we truly want to share out talents and step up even if it is not asked of us to be a part of this mitigation response. It is an honor to be an infection specialist at this time."
As of now, the March 30th LSAT has been canceled and everyone signed up for it has been automatically switched to the April 25th exam (or the June test if they signed up to take it abroad). The April LSAT is still in question, though. Watch this LSAT website closely for any changes as local authorities and the CDC may make changes as they feel necessary. LSAC will reach out to you if changes are necessary so watch your email as well.
Choosing a Law School
Congratulations to those of you who were admitted to a law school and who are now trying to decide which one to attend. Unfortunately most schools are now canceling admitted student events at their schools and making them virtual events. You should still attend these. You might also want to try to reach out to alumni from those institutions. You could try using LinkedIn to see if Purdue has any alumni who attended that law school. CCO Career Consultants can help you if you aren't sure how to do this.
Some schools may extend the seat deposit time, but as of yet we have not heard of a global extension of seat deposit deadlines. You can certainly contact schools and ask about this.
Spring or Summer Law "Internship" Cancellations
So the internship you lined up to work in a law firm was canceled? That is unfortunate, but not the end of your future application. Admissions committees will be interested in what you have learned while doing the things you HAVE done. What you have not done will not impact your application. Make the most of what you HAVE done. Find another volunteer opportunity or job where you can help people impacted by the epidemic or caring for people in your community. Whatever it is, focus on what you can learn from that activity.
Law-related opportunities are important for helping you decide whether a legal career is right for you. So if it doesn't work out for this summer, try again. You do want to be sure that a legal career is the best fit for you.
Follow the News
Numerous legal, Justice Department, and social justice issues are occuring as our society and the global society experience this pandemic. Think about all of the repercussions and how they impact various groups of people. Pay attention to how new policies may impact different groups. Look at sites like the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Justice Department to follow the actions they are taking. This Legal Aid Fact Sheet discusses issues that some people face during this time. Read about how social distancing may be tied to social justice issues. While we are experiencing a time of great disruption, we also have an opportunity to learn from this experience.
Want to keep up on information about the outbreak? Here are some trusted sources of information.
It is useful to remember that the steps Purdue and other institutions have taken was to provide increased social distance and hopefully disrupt the spread of the disease. The idea is to prevent overwhelming our healthcare system. Most of intensive care beds across the country, for example, are full most of the time already. If we need them for this outbreak, what would we do?
If these social measures work, we will likely look back and think we overreacted. But we only have to look at the situation in which Italian doctors find themselves to understand how important these steps are.