My post history tells me otherwise, but the last time I personally remember posting on pm101 was after I'd failed a final exam, sobbing at my school's library. But I'm back and I've learned so much since that December of 2016 (I think that post was under a different name). It was super rough and demotivating at times, but it's also been four years of learning, meeting amazing people, and opportunities I never would've even dreamed of back when I started my UG degree.
These are my annual GPAs (not cumulative):
1st year GPA: 1.7 (not full courseload)
2nd: 3.0 (not full courseload)
3rd: 3.75 (full courseload)
4th: 4.0 (full courseload)
5th: ? (full courseload)
And now I'm in my fifth year, hoping to end again with a 4.0. You can probably tell from my GPA, but my chances at schools like UofT are shot due to my abysmal courseloads in first/second year, as well as a low cGPA (I think I'm sitting at around a ~3.22). Right now I'm looking at UBC (BC resident, I have around an 81% avg), Queens, Western, and Mac. I know that my chances are extremely, extremely slim, but I still want to try applying.
There are two main things I'm concerned about.
1. I have yet to take the MCATs. One of the reasons for this is because while I'll graduate with a BSc, my majors were in anthro and history. I've learned a lot about bones (especially biomechanics) and genes (molecular anthro), but I've also admittedly had very little exposure in biochem outside of what I learned in mol.anthro, physics, and even ochem. While I've had friends majoring in BA anthro and theatre tell me that they did well on the MCATs 515+ by taking prep courses (both took Princeton), I haven't been feeling very confident even though they had much less of a science background than me. I tried to self-study this past summer and it just didn't work. I got hyperfocused on the smallest details which meant going through everything took forever, and by the time summer ended I hadn't even made it halfway through most of my Kaplan books except CARS. I'd be down to take any studying suggestions, especially from arts students who were successful in getting a good score. I think in the back of my mind, I always tell myself that there's no doctor who's bad at the sciences, so I need to make sure I get 100% on every tiny thing so I won't fall behind my peers.
2. I have depth in my ECs, but not breadth. I've been extremely involved in 2 clubs throughout my undergrad, and I've been an exec on both for the last four (and now five) years. One of them involves student accessibility and I have two awards to show for it, while the other has also been doing great work over the last few years, though there's yet to be an award. I've also self-published a book on Amazon, mostly just for my own sake (and to cringe at my writing). As for research and publications, I've only done 2 student journal publications. I have 2 research courses lined up for this year (Independent Studies for any UofT alumns familiar with it) and 1 paid 'research' that has no publications, just scanning and translating for a prof I've known for years. I think the research that I'll be able to do will be quite interesting to write on apps, but again, no opportunities for pubs.
My greatest concern is, what I've listed is basically it. Being president of 2 clubs while writing my novel over the last 4-5 years has been incredibly time consuming, on top of furiously working to maintain my grades so that I don't make the same mistakes as first year. I was supposed to volunteer at a hospital this year for community work (since I have 0 of that outside of school), but that got flushed as soon as COVID hit. I've written a lot on the vaccine hesitancy movement as well as indigenous health/healing throughout my undergrad, but those aren't really ECs and I can't really think of opportunities for me to talk about what I've learned. I'm also worried that because I have no community volunteering outside of school, I won't be able to ask for recommendation letters besides my professors (since clubs are run by students).
Also, because I'm graduating before I send in my apps, I'll have a free 'year' to apply, but not have school. I was thinking of spending that time to travel should COVID permit, but I can't think of much else except to get a part-time job.
Thanks for reading this block of text and I hope everyone's safe and enjoying their Zoom classes!