Notre Dame pre-med students face a notoriously difficult schedule with academic and extracurricular activities, a stressful balancing act which reaches new heights when it comes time to take the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT). Junior biology and theology major Antoinette Pusateri said she will be one of the pre-med students taking the test this upcoming Saturday. Although she has faced a busy schedule because of the additional task of studying for the MCAT this semester, Pusateri said there are some positive results stemming from the experience of studying for the MCAT. “If anything, what I would take away from the whole pre-med, studying-for-the-MCAT experience would be the art of prioritizing, of time management,” Pusateri said. “It’s definitely been a learning curve, but that’s kind of the college experience for everybody.” Pusateri said she set up a study schedule specifically for the MCAT, and made sure she stuck to it. “I really started hardcore studying after finals fall semester and then really every day since then, with a few days off,” Pusateri said. “[I’ve been studying] at least a couple hours a day,” Pusateri said. Despite stress associated with studying for the MCAT, Pusateri said she feels prepared for the exam on Saturday. “First and foremost, I don’t think anywhere else prepares us better than Notre Dame,” Pusateri said. “I went through the notecards and notes that our professor had us make for organic chemistry and basically, out of all the cards and notes I had, I only needed a fourth of that for studying.” Junior biology and peace studies major Gwyneth Sullivan is electing to take the MCAT in late May, outside of the confines of the semester, but within the upcoming admissions cycle. Though her test date is further away, she said she still has tried to continue her preparation, which started is January. “Ideally, I’m doing two hours of study a night, but realistically if I have a huge exam, like my physics test this week, I’ll push it off a little bit” Sullivan said. “It’s a lot of time management.” A prominent factor in her decision to take the MCAT in May rather than this Saturday is the annual benefit her family hosts in Chicago in remembrance of her brother, Declan Sullivan, she said. “The benefit is actually this weekend so there’s no way I could have physically taken the MCAT,” Sullivan said. “Especially in the last three weeks, I’ve been doing so much logistical work for it that it’s been hard to study.” Other pre-med students have decided to forego sitting the MCAT during the school year in favor of taking it during the summer. Chantal Berry, a junior anthropology and preprofessional major, is one student who chose this less traditional path, instead opting to take the MCAT in August. “What I found with my friends that were either taking the MCAT this weekend or in May was that it’s been a very stressful semester,” Berry said. “I didn’t really want to have that stress, I wanted to get the most out of my college experience in terms of the academics and I wanted the sole focus to be the academics.” Taking the test later means Berry will not receive her scores in time for the upcoming admissions cycle, but she said she already decided on taking a gap year after finishing her studies at Notre Dame. “I think the decision to take a gap year was partially the MCAT reason but also just because I wanted that time off before once again getting right back into academics and medical school,” Berry said. Contact Henry Gens at [email protected]
Wilmington, Oh. — The National Weather Service says hot and humid conditions will push heat indices to near 100 degrees. Those planning outdoor activities today should take frequent breaks in the shade, drink plenty of water, and limit strenuous activities during the afternoon.The warm and humid air mass will remain in place across the region this weekend with heat indices in the upper 90s to around 100 degrees Friday and Saturday afternoon. There will also be a chance of severe thunderstorms Friday and Saturday.
For what is now the ninth weekend in a row, the Wisconsin softball team will play on the road starting Friday night in Lincoln, Neb. Yet for something so familiar for the Badgers – they have played every single game on the road this year – there is something completely new to them in their three game series with the Cornhuskers. That’s because this weekend’s series will mark the first time this year Wisconsin has come into a set of games with a losing record in the previous weekend.After losing last weekend’s three-game set at Minnesota two games to one, senior third baseman Shannel Blackshear and Wisconsin (28-6, 6-3 Big Ten) realize positive results can stem from a negative outcome.“I think, if anything, it’s just a motivation because we’ve been doing so well so we haven’t really experienced the adversity of having a team beat us two out of three times yet,” Blackshear said. “I think it’s just going to motivate us to work harder and make some changes.”Wisconsin did not draw a much easier test this weekend in Nebraska, who in only their second year in the Big Ten have made a strong impression on head coach Yvette Healy and her team. Such a strong impression, in fact, that the Wisconsin head coach puts Nebraska up in the top tier with Michigan as far as dominant programs in the conference.“They’re excellent. They bring a tremendous amount of legacy,” Healy said. “They’re a team that’s got all these NCAA tournament appearances and regionals and World Series appearances and they’re one of the most historied programs out there, so for them to be in the Big Ten is a big deal.”“When you go play there it’s a great atmosphere. They’ve got fireworks. It’s like nothing anyone else does with the number of fans and kind of all the pageantry out there. They host the Big Ten tournament this year too, so it’s great. We’re really fortunate to get a regular season weekend in before that conference tournament.”“They’re a standout softball program. I feel like they’re always one of our toughest competitors,” senior Whitney Massey said of the Cornhusker program, which is 9-1 all-time against the Badgers. “They’re like that big shadow that we’re playing against.”Because of the Badgers’ two losses at Minnesota, this week UW dropped out of both polls after being No. 25 in the NFCA poll and No. 23 in the USA softball poll last week. Nebraska, on the other hand, is ranked at No. 22 and No. 18 in the two polls, respectively, indicating another quality Nebraska squad.According to Healy, what makes Nebraska so strong is not only a few star players, but also the overall balance the team possesses as a whole. One reason the Huskers have such balance lies in their strong pitching, led by Tatum Edwards who boasts a 17-6 record in 25 appearances this season. With an ERA of 2.04, Edwards has her sister and fellow Husker Taylor Edwards catch for her. Taylor is currently third on the team with a .337 batting average.“They’ve just got some great players,” Healy said. “Their third baseman Banda is excellent and hits really well against us. They’ve got some good lefty power hitters and some speed, so they’re a balanced team.”The duo of the Edwards sisters are by themselves nearly a two-person wrecking crew. Combined the two have amassed 51 runs batted in and 15 homeruns, and Tatum has recorded over half of the Cornhuskers 28 wins with 17 to go against 6 losses. But the Edwards are not all Nebraska has for talent, with five players hitting above .300 and 21 other homeruns from players other than the Edwards’.Certainly this weekend will not be easy for Wisconsin, but with the Badgers only a half-game behind the Huskers in the Big Ten race at 6-3, these three games carry a great deal of weight in not only rebounding from last weekend but looking forward to the remainder of the conference season.“I think it will be a big test,” Healy said. “I think that was our eighth weekend on the road [at Minnesota] and that was the first weekend we came home with a losing weekend, so we’ve played really well on the road. It’s tough to stay perfect and win every single weekend.“It’s a good time in the year for it to happen. You don’t want to peak too soon and I think we’ve shown that we haven’t peaked too soon. Just like we had the early spring last year and everything was beautiful so early and this year we’re still waiting for spring. I think right now we’re still waiting to see our best softball.”