Sunday, February 10, 2013

Brains are the new pink.

YOU DON'T KNOW HOW HAPPY IT MAKES ME that I'm getting a ton of messages from BEAUTIFUL AND TALENTED ladies who want to know how prepare for the road to a premed major while balancing modeling/pageants!





There's no advice I'd love to give more, so here goes:

1. Understand that school comes first. Always.

My first year of undergrad was a challenging one. I skipped class for auditions, studied very little, even traveled abroad during finals.  I was not dedicated to my goal of wearing that white coat by any means. When I got my grades back first quarter, they were HORRIBLE! So I dropped out, left LA and modeled full time in NY...until I realized the crazy mistake I had made. I returned home 3 months later, finished my GE's at a local junior college, got accepted back into UCI, and made a promise to myself that my education was my #1 priority. And that hasn't changed since.

A premed major requires almost 100% attendance of lectures, constant studying, and a healthy lifestyle.
So my first and most important words of advice are to go to class well rested, take notes, and keep up on your readings.  This is a major you MUST dedicate your life to. If you are unsure about it, it's not for you.

2. Communicate with your Agents, Managers, Pageant directors, and Professors.

With every passing quarter (or semester), the second I sign up for my classes, I screen shot my schedule and send it to EVERYONE. That way, my team is all on the same page, and I can focus/prioritize on when to schedule my castings, shoots, fashion shows, appearances, labs, and lectures accordingly. I have a lot of you telling me its so hard to find the time to shoot when in school, and you're right, it's the worst! My best solution is to schedule your classes to allow for at least one full day free. That way, your agents can let the client know your free day, and you'd be surprised how well it works out!

3. Get involved in Research and Clinical experience.


 


Most medical schools these days want to see at least 2 years of lab research, so it's pretty vital you get started on this your sophomore year! UCI and UCLA both have amazing research opportunities, and you don't have to be enrolled to participate.  Clinical experience means working in a hospital setting, helping patients, and shadowing physicians and RNs. I loved my 2 years at Hoag Hospital's CCE program. There are many hospitals that have these programs and the best way to get involved is to ask your college counselors.  I did both of these on night shifts, so it didn't interfere with modeling as well.

4. Get to know your Professors on a personal level.

At the start of every new class I make it a point to shake the professors hand and introduce myself.  I sit front row in each lecture, participate, ask questions, and ATTEND OFFICE HOURS. Not only will you get great letters of rec (medical schools require at least 3), but your professor will be a million times more understanding when you get booked on an amazing shoot the same day you have a midterm.

5. Bring your lecture notes and textbooks to set!



I've found that clients are actually impressed with me, rather than annoyed I'm doing homework on set. Everyone loves to see a broken stereotype...a model with an organic chemistry textbook in hand is a lovely sight to see. I listen to my lecture podcasts in hair and makeup, and read my textbook on lunch break. There's more than enough time to be productive towards your education during a photoshoot!

6. Use your title as a platform to get involved with incredible charities.




Whether you're Miss Hollywood, Miss Hoag Hospital, or especially Miss California, working with charities is a part of pageant life.  What's so amazing about that? Medical schools LOVE to see students that get involved with philanthropic events! Getting accepted into med school isn't all GPA and MCAT, it's about being proactive within your community, showing that you are capable of much more than studying, and having something interesting and compelling to talk about in your med school interviews! I worked closely with Make-A-Wish as well as Hoag's Breast Cancer center where I held events to raise money for research, a cause that is very important to me as my aunt is a 2 time cancer survivor, and my best friends mother lost her battle just a few years ago. So find what compels you!

7. Stay Healthy!

Sleep. Workout. Eat well. To stay focused in class, and at home studying, requires a healthy lifestyle. I always get my 8 hours, workout at least 3 times a week, and as you all know...AM A COMPLETE HEALTH NUT. I honestly have more energy than my classmates who sit in lecture with their venti iced coffee. Not to mention I keep my stress levels and anxiety-prone self in check.

SO THERE YOU HAVE IT.
I'm so proud of all my dream chasers! Everyone is capable of greatness, so don't let PV=nRT scare you off! Hard work pays off, and modeling pays for your hard work! So I hope my advice helps all my fellow nerdy, sexy, geeky superwomen to balance the crazy lives we all proudly live.



XOXO
Nat




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    -fellow anteater Liz

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