This class was tough.
Very few people would take Organic Chemistry as a non-requirement, and it easily takes the throne for the most widely feared introductory science class on campus. Even the humanities students will parrot the difficulty of this course in day-to-day conversation. The material is similar to puzzles, very different from anything traditionally seen in high school, but it is all doable. The quality of instruction and design of the course can change drastically, depending on which professors are in charge that year. I appreciated my professor, Dr. Delaney, because of her considerate style of teaching. She seems to be aware of how and why organic chemistry can be bewildering to newcomers and takes the extra effort to "dumb down" her lessons to make them highly understandable - something very important to me.
In my experience, the highlights were actually outside of the classroom: bonding with your other pre-med friends during late-night study sessions, as misery loves company. Organic chemistry was my first difficult class in college, and it forced me to intensify my study habits for even harder classes like Organic Chem II and Biochemistry. Finally, where I was used to memorizing facts or plugging numbers into formulas, I had to learn how to utilize and hone my innate logical skills, which is something you have to do in subjects like Genetics.
Hours per week:
Advice for students:
I wish I had had more discipline to study the material every day, or at least for a solid block each week. You need to constantly reinforce the basic lessons and rules in your memory, and be exposed to many different types of problems as you can. First of all, GO. TO. CLASS. Take good, clean notes on paper, not on a tablet with stylus. Second, work more efficiently so that you can get solid sleep before this 9AM. Next, group studying is very mutually beneficial. Finally, make an appointment with office hours in dire times. I failed my third midterm, freaked, and luckily got very non-condescending walk-throughs from the professor, finally achieving those "aha!" moments. Don't worry, and don't beg for grades. I did well in the end.