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Success Stories- Non Trad Style!

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No problem, I will be 25 this summer :)

 

Thank You everyone!

 

Hey Silvante, do you mind sharing how you pulled off full-time studies with kids, and work because it is truly an inspiration to many of the non-trads here :)

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Hey Silvante, do you mind sharing how you pulled off full-time studies with kids, and work because it is truly an inspiration to many of the non-trads here :)

 

Magic lol I actually have an amazing wife, my dream is her dream. She has stayed at home with the kids despite being slightly more difficult money wise so that there would be less stress and no need to run the kids around to day cares etc. I come home and help with the kids but if I need to really study, I will stay at the school or lock myself in our bedroom. I have tried to space out classes in a way that gives me large breaks in between where it wouldn't be worth it to head home so I stay and get work done. When we had our first child in January I had to be in class so I would have to leave them at the hospital in the care of other family (c-section). When we went home she stayed with her parents and I stayed every second night so I could sleep at our apartment and study. It has been a struggle but I have never known anything easier as I had my first child in first year. Our second came in a summer so I could spend time with them and it was a better recovery as it was a VBAC. The MCAT was the big thing that was really hard to study for here at home. The support of family , especially my wife is one of the biggest parts of our success. I started research work in second year and did most work on weekends and after class. I never had to schedule anything or work through kids being picked up or dropped off and I was always relying on my wife being there whenever I wasn't and when I was. My marks are good but could be better, I know I was capable of more, same with the MCAT, I know I could do better but there is alot going on here and I believe the admissions at memorial recognized that. I was very open in the interview and I know they saw my maturity and mentioned that I was 'self-made'. I believe the most valuable things admissions to a medical school could see about you, that made up for everything else.This is also what I was able to show in CASPER as being OOP with a 3.7 and 11VR, It had to be CASPER (also extremely fast typing)... As far as my EC's, my wife has been on me about them since first year and had to set up my volunteer stuff for me pretty much as she knew I would need it for my applications (I didn't get around to starting any of that until third year if you don't count second year research job). I had to make time. Third year was insane, I did not get my license until this past summer and we had to pay for drivers ed and all that ourselves. I was doing driving hours, studying for MCAT, exams (April), volunteering (mentoring/tutoring ended in April but then I started with St. John ambulance) I also had an NSERC/WATER grant that I had courses to go away for throughout the summer as well. I should have started my EC list earlier but my biggest EC is raising my children, they always came first and sometimes other things had to suffer or I couldn't do my best work. There is only so much a human can do and it is hard to be OK with less than perfect work but you have to accept . My first year we didn't have a car so we had to bus it with a baby. Second year we got a car and my wife packed the kids up every day to drive me, unpack them and then pack them back up to get me, In third year she was one person with a big bag, carrying 2 children (they are 18 months apart) to and from the car by herself, up apartment stairs. We have both sacrificed a lot and at times we feel like we are going crazy. We also try to go to church as much as we can and have found strength in that as well. To me it is very clear God has a plan for me, I am a non-trad but this is my first time applying and I am in my fourth year, I am soo thankful for getting in.

 

I hope to help other youth in my position who may not have been educated on their after high-school options. It is quite sad that there are people out there who have never known their options, an injustice really. My wife had no idea what she wanted to do and has not gone to university yet but she has always known her options and was expected to go to university. She was talked to all the time about her future. Everyone need the opportunity to know their options. :)

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I'm sure many on the forum would agree with me when I say that your story makes me a little sheepish about sharing mine. Nonetheless couldn't be happier for you.

 

Everyone has a story to be proud of! Yours seems very interesting, I do not have much experience with sports lol They don't like me. I have never had talent in that area. haha

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Finally came one acceptance

 

I had imagined this moment so many times and for so many years, I always thought I would start tearing hysterically while jumping up and down, then cry myself to sleep

 

Surprisingly, none of it happened, I just feel like I'm having a very very long dream that's finally coming to an end

 

I don't know whether this post should be inspirational for all of you in similar shoes, and I'm not going to say something like keep on trying and eventually u will get in. To be honest, there are many many times that I want to just give up. Sometimes I just felt like it's never meant to be: applying so many times only to receive so many rejections; watching many of my friends, some much younger, getting into med school while I'm not getting anywhere; a lot of my other pre-med friends have moved on with their lives and gotten jobs outside of the field while I'm still in school thinking if it's worth it; taking my MCAT multiple times to meet cut off in one area, only to find out later that the school cut offs have changed and my old MCAT would have been much more competitive (and don't forget the elimination of writing section all together)

 

I pretty much went into seclusion, and periodical depression, and stopped letting people know when I have applied. I just can't handle everyone asking me every year and I can only give them the same answer that I give them every year while cringing on the inside.

 

This application cycle was probably going to be my last one. I know persistence is gold, but there are only so many times you can try without eventually getting emotionally all drained out.

 

And I got in, somehow. If this is still my dream, please never wake me up.

 

Like I said, my story is not inspirational (heck, I'm probably one of the most depressing persons you'll meet), instead I'm just venting my feelings down this long tortuous journey. So I really have no idea where I'm going with this.

 

All I can say is, do it as many times as you think you can handle it. But if at some point you think you just can't do it anymore, there are still good things out there. Take a good look at yourself, think about what you really want to do with your life, and then decide whether to continue or take a detour in your path. Who knows, there might be more wonderful things out there if you take the scenic route.

 

There's my random bs. Good luck to you all.

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Finally came one acceptance

 

I had imagined this moment so many times and for so many years, I always thought I would start tearing hysterically while jumping up and down, then cry myself to sleep

 

Surprisingly, none of it happened, I just feel like I'm having a very very long dream that's finally coming to an end

 

I don't know whether this post should be inspirational for all of you in similar shoes, and I'm not going to say something like keep on trying and eventually u will get in. To be honest, there are many many times that I want to just give up. Sometimes I just felt like it's never meant to be: applying so many times only to receive so many rejections; watching many of my friends, some much younger, getting into med school while I'm not getting anywhere; a lot of my other pre-med friends have moved on with their lives and gotten jobs outside of the field while I'm still in school thinking if it's worth it; taking my MCAT multiple times to meet cut off in one area, only to find out later that the school cut offs have changed and my old MCAT would have been much more competitive (and don't forget the elimination of writing section all together)

 

I pretty much went into seclusion, and periodical depression, and stopped letting people know when I have applied. I just can't handle everyone asking me every year and I can only give them the same answer that I give them every year while cringing on the inside.

 

This application cycle was probably going to be my last one. I know persistence is gold, but there are only so many times you can try without eventually getting emotionally all drained out.

 

And I got in, somehow. If this is still my dream, please never wake me up.

 

Like I said, my story is not inspirational (heck, I'm probably one of the most depressing persons you'll meet), instead I'm just venting my feelings down this long tortuous journey. So I really have no idea where I'm going with this.

 

All I can say is, do it as many times as you think you can handle it. But if at some point you think you just can't do it anymore, there are still good things out there. Take a good look at yourself, think about what you really want to do with your life, and then decide whether to continue or take a detour in your path. Who knows, there might be more wonderful things out there if you take the scenic route.

 

There's my random bs. Good luck to you all.

 

CONGRATULATIONS! Good for you for hanging on! I am sure there are others, especially today, who will be depressed... You have let them know it could still be possible. :)

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So happy to be posting in this thread.

 

I started in Engineering Science at U of T because I excelled at math and science and I figured I would get a good engineering job and be done with it. However, I hated the program and was also distracted by my new girlfriend (now my wife). I skipped probably 80% of all classes and didn't study for test/exams. I'm surprised I even passed most of my courses. Long-story short, I outright failed a course and got 1.22 GPA overall for 10 courses and was put on academic probation.

 

I switched into life sciences and was forced to go part-time (also a long-story). I enjoyed this material MUCH more and loved that I could mix in some courses for interest (unlike engineering science). I did well for the next 5 years (some part-time) and got roughly 3.85 in the remaining 4 years.

 

At the same time, I started to get involved in research and decided to do an MSc in nutritional sciences. I finally finished my MSc in 2011 and have been managing a large lab at U of T ever since. I actually started to study for the DAT (I still have carving soaps!) but decided, f**k it, I'm going to try to med school. I was only able to take a week off work to study, but ended up getting 39R on the MCAT (this was helped by my second job of high school teacher that kept the basics fresh).

 

I never really thought of medicine as a possibility because of my grades and lack of ECs/volunteering in the first 3 years of UG (everything I did was working to make money to pay my bills). But I decided to give it a shot anyway. As you can see from my signature, I applied to Ontario schools (sans NOSM) and UMann (they love MCAT and weighting formula favoured me), but in the end I was accepted to all 4 schools that interviewed me - a WAY better outcome that I ever imagined. So, I got my first choice, my wife gets to keep her job and further her own career (she is a medical librarian) and we get to stay in our home and the city we love while I study here!

 

Stats:

 

age: 29

cGPA: ~3.35 (no weighting for U of T because of part time)

MCAT: 39R (13PS, 12VB, 14BS)

Degrees: BSc (took 6 years....ugh!), MSc

Tons of work experience

ECs: 5 pubs, about 6 posters, 2 orals, lots of research experience, NSERC graduate and UG awards, lots of TAing, CT scan volunteering, teaching, tutoring, science fair judge, etc.

Accepted at: UMan, Queens, Western, U of T St. George.

 

Good luck to all you non-trads out there!

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My story is not particularly inspirational but I have been posting my stats on this site because when I was considering applying, I wasn't able to find many applicants like me on these forums and it made me wonder if I had a realistic shot. I think it's important to share my experience in case there is someone in my boat, considering a career change and in need of a little positive reinforcement.

 

I did an undergrad in biochemistry and while all my classmates were working their asses off to get the grades for med school, I worked as hard as I needed to to get respectable grades but I didn't push myself the way they did. I had a pretty good school/life balance and at the time I had NO interest in going to medical school so I wasn't motivated to get a 4.0, nor do I think I could have managed it if I tried. I finished with 3.49 overall but my last two years are both above 3.7. I really enjoyed my honors research project and decided to pursue grad school. I did a PhD, got some solid publications, met my husband, got married and everything was peachy. When I finished my PhD, my husband and I took postdoc positions in San Diego and moved to the US. At that point, I can't really explain what happened but I had some sort of life meltdown where I realized a life in research wasn't for me. The weird thing is up until that point I had really loved it but I arrived in San Diego sans motivation and feeling pretty down.

I started looking for ways to change the direction of my career while still making use of my research training. Medical school seemed like a logical transition but I didn't think I had the stats to get in. I was under the misapprehension that if you don't have an amazing GPA and a long list of volunteer activities, you don't have a chance. I did some research on Ontario school websites and based on the statistics, I thought I might have a shot at some of them.

 

I studied for the MCAT while working seven days a week, which sucked, and managed a 30Q. Not stellar but met all known cutoffs in each section. In terms of ECs I had already been working with the Heart and Stroke and the humane society for a few years so I continued those activities and also signed up to volunteer at a hospital here in SD. When application time rolled around I only targeted schools that were in places where my husband would be able to get a faculty position nearby. I applied to Ottawa (french), McMaster, U of T and Queen's as well as Dal and MUN as OOP. I was rejected pre-interview at all but U of T and Queen's, which is not really a surprise given that these two are really the only two Ontario schools that evaluate holistically and also give credit for grad work. Basically, when it's a numbers game I am not a strong candidate and I recognize that.

 

I interviewed in March and hated my experience at Queen's. It was so horrible that it made me rethink my decision to apply to med school, even though my U of T interview was the next day. Anyway, I managed to pull myself together, had a couple of glasses of red wine and did the U of T interview. It went well and I left feeling like I gave them a realistic impression of myself, which in my opinion, is all that matters. In the end, I was accepted to U of T and waitlisted at Queen's. I will be attending Toronto.

 

My advice to anyone out there like me is if you can't compete with the numbers (i.e. no 3.99 GPA and 40T MCAT), make yourself attractive in other "outside the box" ways. I really drove home in my essays and in my interview that I am an expert in embryonic stem cells and I have unique skills that could really contribute to progress in medicine. If you have a research background, target schools that value your skills and really play them up. In retrospect, applying to Ottawa was a waste of money. Also, you don't have to have 80 volunteer activities and be the president of 5 clubs. Focus your efforts and give your time to activities you enjoy, in my opinion it shows that you have a passion for something and that you are not just trying to fill all the slots on the ABS. Finally, don't underestimate the value of life experience. I have lived away from home for 11 years, three cities, two countries, worked with people from all over the world and presented my work at international conferences. All this gave me a lot of material to draw on for the U of T essays and made for interesting interview discussions. Going to medical school has not been my lifelong dream but I managed to pull it off. My path won't apply to most people on this website but hopefully someone will find it helpful. Good Luck! :)

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I have never written a post that long before... I guess I didn't notice that it would be a giant wall of text, which it is.. sorry ;)

 

well most non-trad stories are in fact a bit longer :)

 

congratulations to all the non-trads this year! Enjoy your success.

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Congratulations schmitty! Well done my man .. welcome to the club!!

 

 

So happy to be posting in this thread.

 

I started in Engineering Science at U of T because I excelled at math and science and I figured I would get a good engineering job and be done with it. However, I hated the program and was also distracted by my new girlfriend (now my wife). I skipped probably 80% of all classes and didn't study for test/exams. I'm surprised I even passed most of my courses. Long-story short, I outright failed a course and got 1.22 GPA overall for 10 courses and was put on academic probation.

 

I switched into life sciences and was forced to go part-time (also a long-story). I enjoyed this material MUCH more and loved that I could mix in some courses for interest (unlike engineering science). I did well for the next 5 years (some part-time) and got roughly 3.85 in the remaining 4 years.

 

At the same time, I started to get involved in research and decided to do an MSc in nutritional sciences. I finally finished my MSc in 2011 and have been managing a large lab at U of T ever since. I actually started to study for the DAT (I still have carving soaps!) but decided, f**k it, I'm going to try to med school. I was only able to take a week off work to study, but ended up getting 39R on the MCAT (this was helped by my second job of high school teacher that kept the basics fresh).

 

I never really thought of medicine as a possibility because of my grades and lack of ECs/volunteering in the first 3 years of UG (everything I did was working to make money to pay my bills). But I decided to give it a shot anyway. As you can see from my signature, I applied to Ontario schools (sans NOSM) and UMann (they love MCAT and weighting formula favoured me), but in the end I was accepted to all 4 schools that interviewed me - a WAY better outcome that I ever imagined. So, I got my first choice, my wife gets to keep her job and further her own career (she is a medical librarian) and we get to stay in our home and the city we love while I study here!

 

Stats:

 

age: 29

cGPA: ~3.35 (no weighting for U of T because of part time)

MCAT: 39R (13PS, 12VB, 14BS)

Degrees: BSc (took 6 years....ugh!), MSc

Tons of work experience

ECs: 5 pubs, about 6 posters, 2 orals, lots of research experience, NSERC graduate and UG awards, lots of TAing, CT scan volunteering, teaching, tutoring, science fair judge, etc.

Accepted at: UMan, Queens, Western, U of T St. George.

 

Good luck to all you non-trads out there!

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There's my random bs. Good luck to you all.

 

It was stories like this that kept me going all the times I felt knocked down, I certainly wouldn't call it bs :)

 

I think your story is remarkable but the reaction you might seem to be viewing negatively ("most depressing") is actually perfectly normal and it represents one of the greatest opportunities anyone can experience.

 

Now, I'll say this for anyone in this position because I was there and other people saying it sure as hell helped me - just think of the endurance you objectively know you have. Think of the mental perseverance you've grown through an opportunity that few of your peers had to overcome. The biggest limitation in so many people's lives is fear of failure. You faced the thing you feared - something that judged your entire life and dictated your entire future - then it knocked you down. Multiple times. If that wasn't enough you then had to face your own demons - questioning how long to go on, feeling depression, dealing with the tortuous waiting. Rather than running away from something that hurt like hell repeatedly, you proceeded to get up each time, stronger, more experienced and mature, and eventually you conquered it.

 

Its not bs dude, you're a f**kin warrior. Think of how well-equipped you are to face future failures which we all will have to face on the road to more success. Once the shock wears off and your brain starts to realize the war is over, enjoy the flood of relief and hold yourself in the highest regard my friend.

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