Peer Mentoring FAQ
KU School of Pharmacy Peer Mentor Advisory Board
Alex Alyssa Anthony Kara Kelsie Mercy Rod
Welcome to the KU School of Pharmacy!
As you prepare for the coming year, we’re sure you have a few questions. We’re here to help in any way we can.
Last year, we started the Peer Mentoring Program for P1 students to help ease the transition to pharmacy school. The program was a great success, and we’re excited to build on this year. We hope you will join us.
Registration is easy. Just tell us a little about yourself, and we will match you to a P2 or P3 mentor with similar interests. Your mentor will be available throughout the year to answer any questions you have. Each mentor/mentee relationship is unique, but we encourage each pair to meet in person and communicate regularly.
In the meantime, we thought we could answer a few of the questions that we had when we started pharmacy school. Hopefully, these will help you too. If you have any further questions, feel free to post them on our discussion board and we’ll answer them for you!
Is there anything I should do this summer to prepare for pharmacy school?
Kara - You should just enjoy your last summer of nothing, because before long, you will have rotations every summer. :)
Alex- If you really want something to work on over the summer, there are two memory-intensive tasks that all P1 students face: drawing the 20 amino acids and the Top 200 drugs (know brand name, generic name, and indication). If you can work on those a little bit at a time over the summer, it should be a breeze when you take the tests!
What’s the biggest difference between pharmacy school and pre-pharmacy?
Kara - Lack of free time. I used to think I had soooo much to do when I was in undergrad. This, I found out soon after attending pharmacy school, was a lie.
Alex- For me, the classroom environment was the biggest difference. I had gotten used to classes with more than 50 students being the exception, not the standard. In pharmacy school, most of your classes will include the entire class.
What was the biggest challenge you faced during your P1 year, and how did you overcome it?
Rod - Time management. I’m used to taking three or four classes a semester, and my first semester in Pharmacy School I had six. I also commuted from Overland Park every day, which makes things a little harder. You really can’t put off studying thinking you’ll have time to do it later. If you have the time to an assignment that’s due in three weeks, just do it and move on!
Alex - Changing my study habits. I identified courses that required more time and began studying for those earlier. I also began studying with other students. By doing so, you can figure out what others think are important, and that can be a huge help in focusing your studies.
Kelsie - Learning to say no. Your time will be limited and chances are, you’ll be studying a lot and maintaining a job. My first year, I cut out many extracurriculars. Once I got a handle on my study habits and work schedule, I slowly added things back to my schedule. You never want to over commit and become overwhelmed.
What is an typical day like in pharmacy school?
Kara - Your average day P1 year is going to look like this: Class from 9 - 2 p.m. Lab two days a week from in the afternoon. Many people work at their outside jobs on afternoons when they do not have lab. There are meetings for club organizations over the noon hour almost daily.
What are the pros and cons of working in a pharmacy setting while attending pharmacy school?
Anthony -Pros: Depending on the pharmacy, you might get a head start on learning how to counsel patients about medications.You will begin to learn the brand and generic names of medications. And you’ll learn about medications before you cover them in class. Cons: If you get scheduled too many hours, it could interfere with time for studying and school activities.
Kara - I think 15-20 hours is a good amount to work, but find what is comfortable for you. Don’t work so much that you stress out about school. School is your No. 1 priority.
What do you do to minimize the stress?
Anthony - I like to bike or walk out near Clinton Lake or go to the Rec Center with friends.
Kelsie - I like to make a giant bowl of popcorn and watch a movie at home with friends.
Alyssa - I like to get coffee with a friend, take yoga, do some gardening, take walks, and get Sonic drinks/ice cream.
Is it better to live on or close to campus or commute?
Mercy - Most students with families commute but most students find it easier to move to Lawrence so they don’t waste valuable time driving.
Should I join student organizations?
Anthony - Yes, organizations are a great way to meet people from not only your class, but other classes as well. Student organizations also provide opportunities to network with professionals outside the school.
Alex - Join the organizations that cover topics you are passionate about. Don’t join an organization just because you think you need to for your future career. Find the organizations that can help you elucidate your career pathway and get involved in the issues that you’re interested in. Once you find those organizations, you’ll be happy to make the time that you need for these organizations.
Kelsie - Student organizations are a great place to meet other people. However, don’t feel like you have to join every group. Find the organizations that fit your needs. I waited until my second year in pharmacy school to join and I think that was the right decision for me. You won’t have time to be an active member in every group so choose ones that will really develop you as a student.