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CherryBlossom9

Should I (22yrs old) start my undergraduate (USask) in Winter 2020 term or Spring term or is it best to start it in Fall term?

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7 hours ago, CherryBlossom9 said:

Sorry for the long title. Apologies for that, I am really stressed at the moment because I couldn't come to a decision whether I should start my undergraduate in Winter 2020 or in Spring or is it best to start in Fall?

I wanted to start as soon as possible because I heard that wGPA IS NOT COUNTED FOR THOSE WHO START IN JANUARY OR SPRING also I am getting old, most of my friends have already graduated college or will be graduating soon whereas I didn't even start my undergrad. I am so stressed at the moment with so much anxiety. I can't really decide if I should start in January or May or in September. But by then I will be 23 years old :(

Also I will be 27 by the time I graduate and if I ever make it to medical school (very minimal chance because of vigorous competition) I might be 28 or 29.

 I think if I start in Spring it would've been good then I can get some counseling done and have some mental prep but Spring term is like a short session. Is joining in Winter or Spring the same ? Im also thinking that if I start in January the stress might go away because of study pressure and I'll be thinking to myself that I started Undergrad as a 22 year old, cause in late August I'll be 23.

If someone can help me make my decision it would be very helpful, I'd be very much appreciated.

you are right that many schools don't consider it - which is why it is probably wise to start in the fall if you can. 

the pressures are real but try to real it in (not to imply that is easy) there are a ton of people that started medical school later in life, and it is very important to start off effectively to maximize your chances of success (myself included actually). That doesn't mean that you cannot do things to help with your plans in the meantime - for one thing it is a chance to get a head start on ECs you can use, and if you have been out of school for awhile you can even "prestudy" for the classes next year to get a head start. 

Plus it sounds like you are are dealing with a few things - things that you should take the time to get out of the way and resolve. Sometimes "slower is faster". 

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Another thing to consider, it can be hard to do a 4 year undergrad starting in the off cycle.  95% of your peers will have started in September cycle.  You may want to consider the social aspect of not starting with a peer group.   Course availability may not line up well for you trying to schedule off cycle.  Don't worry about your age. It is really not a factor.  Do plan to do full courseload for all 4 years.   You wanted that for weighted GPAs that some med schools use.

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You received some great advice, including start on volunteering & ECs now. Follow your interests! Do anything that will demonstrate CanMEDS competencies (Google this for further details). You want to be able to demonstrate in your application communication & leadership skills, empathy and compassion by helping out those vulnerable (e.g., soup kitchen, Big Brother, Big Sister, helping the mentally or physically disabled, etc).

And yes, start academics in the Fall. Age is just a number. Do not compare yourself to others, you are your own unique journey is this marathon and the focus needs to be on being the best person whom you are academically, in your interactions with others where you are kind and humble, and being an active citizen in your community. Assuming you are accepted into Med school one day, and it may take more than one cycle to apply, it matters little if you practice for 25, 30 or 35 years! Best of luck in your journey. :P

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You don’t need to catch up to others! Others are totally irrelevant to you and your journey and focusing on this is an unnecessary distraction that can only do you harm and take away your emotional energy. Most of the people you grew up with are unimportant! You need to focus and prioritize, to put one foot in front of the other, and go slowly. And, expect setbacks along the way. Mistakes and detours teach us much more than success. I have learned so much from setbacks. In Med school, I had a failure and had to rewrite. This is all part of life. Rather than be depressed, I regrouped, studied and moved forward. I did not let this setback destroy my confidence. You want to live your life with no regrets and come what may on this journey, you will know that you tried your best. So, at the starting gate, do not burden yourself with weights you do not need to carry! Do not compare yourself to your contemporaries. I was a poor student in college, before university. Rather than be depressed when friend got into Med school after two years of college, I was motivated to change. I was motivated. I changed my study habits, I had my priorities clear, I treated my studies professionally. I realized this was my one shot and I wanted to live with no regrets. I cut off my social life, lost my friends who were party animals, I studied smart for me, my grades increased dramatically and I achieved my goal. I was far from the smartest lightbulb around and today I am a 5th year resident in a surgical specialty.  

So, do counseling, get yourself good advice, in a good place. Realize that you are not behind, indeed, you are ahead of the game in knowing what you want to achieve. Now, choose s program of interest, mix your core course with easy electives, which I did. Carry on! :P

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