Pre-Professional Students Strive For More Than Grades

To the editors:

I commend Irene Y. Sun for her comment “Pre-students” (Feb. 11) because it points out the competitive side of studying the sciences at Harvard. However, the real message of her comment—and the message that Harvard professors should stress—is that studying to an extreme for any subject is unhealthy, and attributing this practice solely to “pre-students” is unfair. Moreover, Sun failed to recognize the reality that many of these “pre-students” face after college: graduate schools from medicine to law as well as many companies and firms use grade point average and standardized test scores first to limit their application pool. Students recognize this policy and accept it—regardless of its fairness—putting their dreams of becoming future doctors, lawyers, or bankers first. Finally, reducing their hard work to a simple drive—to get good grades—overlooks one important thing: students are learning. And while they might not share the genuine love for biology that others have, they are passionate about their future profession and the challenges and excitement it will offer.


February 13


The writer is a pre-medical student and a history and science concentrator.