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I Feel Like I Am Super Average...

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Hey ya'll

So I am super stoked this year to get an interview at UWO. Second time applying, first time I had a subpar MCAT, no dice...

However, with the interview date looming, I am getting nervous and stressed yet again for something I have never really experienced.

It does not help that I also applied to Queens, but was rejected. I understand that Queens is a blackbox, but they do look over your ABS beforehand. I feel like I am just this super average, not extraordinary applicant. 

Looking around this forum and I see this ECs and character descriptions of people, and they are amazing. Like, competitive sports, research awards and grants, NSERC up the whazoo, president of 50+ clubs (ok that is exaggerating on my part...).  I remember a month ago or so on CBC there was an interview with this Olympic athlete that won gold, and is now going to med school. 

And I am sitting over here with working retail after grad because a BSc in Bio only won't get you much. Like, damn man.


I don't know. I am just feeling.... Inadequate when I read so many character posts here. I have EC's... But like, I don't have much, if any research (does your Honour's thesis even count as research?). I don't have a competitive sport. I haven't TA'd before. I haven't climbed Mt. Everest (I think SDN is leaking into my brain).

I need to calm down. 
 

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ok I say this every single year because I think it is important. Western, and every other medical school for that matter, is only going to interview people that they think will realistically do well in their program.  If you get an interview at a school it is because you have earned that position - we talk a lot about the randomness of the process - that is true but it randomness only in the sense that great candidates do not get an interview sometimes, not that bad candidates do. They simple do not have the time/resources to waste interviewing people that won't be good for them.

 

The worse thing you can do is to psych yourself out to thinking you are not supposed to be there, that is some form of a mistake, and you are inadequate. Then you get all nervous and freaked out and then BAM - you become a worse applicant and don't get in. Only thing is you are doing it to yourself. The school isn't. 

 

So stop that. Stop it right now. Stop it because it is nonsense, and stop it because it will mess with your chances. 

 

You think the average medical student has 100 publications, top tier athlete, blah, blah.....no they have not.  Obviously if you are amazing you are more open about saying you are amazing - that is a selection bias. It is not just here on the forum but everywhere else in life as well ha, and in all things. Maybe 10-20% of a class has this glow in the dark sort of applicants - the rest are hard working, smart people - which is what it takes to be a great doctor.  

 

more specifically for Western - if they really wanted to evaluate your ECs then they would do it in the pre-selection process. They don't. That TELLS you something - I sometimes think universities really have missed the point spending all day teaching the what and how, but never the why? (a bit of rant I know but the more educated I get the more frustrated I am with that. When they say knowledge is power, it is knowing the "why" that is that power's source. Why does a school select applicants in a particular way, and can you figure that out from how they select people?)  Ask yourself - why does Western only consider GPA and MCAT for interview, and then why is the MCAT the real barrier? Again they don't directly evaluate ECs - why? What is the basis for Western's interview questions etc - and why for that as well? I mean overall we as a profession are incredibly transparent in what we are looking for - more transparent than any other profession by far I believe telling you exactly the criteria. In general medical school questions are not "did you climb a mountain?" but closer to "if you decided that the mountain must be climbed, how would you do it?"

 

bottom line - yes, you need to calm down :) Deep breaths because fear really is the mind killer. Time to focus. You have an interview - you are in the top 10% of the people that applied give or take. That is no accident, now go make it count. 

Edited by rmorelan

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Yeah dude, this forum (and social media in general) provide a very skewed view of reality that often leaves out many of the less than desirable aspects of people's lives.

 

Nothing much to do other than realize that and get over it. Really you should get off of this site, it's a cesspool of pre-med (and med) anxiety as well as general neuroticism.

 

What you have described and are experiencing is totally normal however, and is often part of the interview trail when it comes to med school applications.

 

It's totally ok to feel less than confident and to feel like you're a POS. The reality is you're stressed out, perhaps unsure of how to best prepare, may be neglecting your personal self-care strategies and are very excited but also nervous about an opportunity that you have been extended.

 

The key is to allow those thoughts/feelings and take constructive action towards your goals, regardless. Over time, you'll then find that these things don't bother you and things tend to go rather smoothly with minimal effort. It's also worthwhile to remind yourself that you were extended this interview opportunity based on merit.

 

By the way, I have zero competitive sports experience, zero research, never did NSERC, no honours thesis, never TA'd, was never a president of a single club and was able to choose which med school to attend--ultimately going with my top choice.

 

Succeeding in the med school admissions process is nowhere near as insurmountable as some may lead you to believe.

 

Take care of yourself, prepare wisely and continue to put your best foot forward. That's it.

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Agree with above.

It's 100% normal to feel this way, but you earned yourself an interview, so you do deserve it as much as anyone else.

Also, know the following: most people really aren't that exceptional.

Everyone is just as nervous about exams and failing during preclerkship. Most people can't accept that they are around the average in terms of grades. People keep procrastinating (for example, last week I was with a senior resident about to write his royal college in a few months, but he spent the weekend playing video games instead of studying). Most feel like they don't know anything during rotations, and they are insecure when others seem to do more or know more etc... This sensation of inadequacy kind of carries on in a sense for many, if not the vast majority of students.

I'm telling you, this is kind of irrational and you do indeed need to stop thinking that way. It is doing you no favours. There is no point comparing yourself. Besides, being good on paper doesn't mean all that much. I've seen people who seemed great on paper, but didn't manage to get in because they were deemed too unfit for medicine by interviewers (such as complete lack of basic qualities such as complete lack of judgment, absolutely not open minded, arrogant etc....). 

In summary, for now: you earned your interview. Now go ace it.

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Agree with above.

It's 100% normal to feel this way, but you earned yourself an interview, so you do deserve it as much as anyone else.

Also, know the following: most people really aren't that exceptional.

Everyone is just as nervous about exams and failing during preclerkship. Most people can't accept that they are around the average in terms of grades. People keep procrastinating (for example, last week I was with a senior resident about to write his royal college in a few months, but he spent the weekend playing video games instead of studying). Most feel like they don't know anything during rotations, and they are insecure when others seem to do more or know more etc... This sensation of inadequacy kind of carries on in a sense for many, if not the vast majority of students.

I'm telling you, this is kind of irrational and you do indeed need to stop thinking that way. It is doing you no favours. There is no point comparing yourself. Besides, being good on paper doesn't mean all that much. I've seen people who seemed great on paper, but didn't manage to get in because they were deemed too unfit for medicine by interviewers (such as complete lack of basic qualities such as complete lack of judgment, absolutely not open minded, arrogant etc....). 

In summary, for now: you earned your interview. Now go ace it.

 

What's your point of view about Dr. Mailloux?

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What's your point of view about Dr. Mailloux?

Not in line with the poster's questions. pertinence?

You were highly inappropriate in the past + using a second acount + being very insulting towards others recently once again while unproviked. So I decided to ban your old account, and your current account is suspenced 6 weeks. Next time, permanent ban. You've been warned. Seriously, what's the fun of continuously insulting others? Does that make you feel better?

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ok I say this every single year because I think it is important. Western, and every other medical school for that matter, is only going to interview people that they think will realistically do well in their program.  If you get an interview at a school it is because you have earned that position - we talk a lot about the randomness of the process - that is true but it randomness only in the sense that great candidates do not get an interview sometimes, not that bad candidates do. They simple do not have the time/resources to waste interviewing people that won't be good for them.

 

The worse thing you can do is to psych yourself out to thinking you are not supposed to be there, that is some form of a mistake, and you are inadequate. Then you get all nervous and freaked out and then BAM - you become a worse applicant and don't get in. Only thing is you are doing it to yourself. The school isn't. 

 

So stop that. Stop it right now. Stop it because it is nonsense, and stop it because it will mess with your chances. 

 

You think the average medical student has 100 publications, top tier athlete, blah, blah.....no they have not.  Obviously if you are amazing you are more open about saying you are amazing - that is a selection bias. It is not just here on the forum but everywhere else in life as well ha, and in all things. Maybe 10-20% of a class has this glow in the dark sort of applicants - the rest are hard working, smart people - which is what it takes to be a great doctor.  

 

more specifically for Western - if they really wanted to evaluate your ECs then they would do it in the pre-selection process. They don't. That TELLS you something - I sometimes think universities really have missed the point spending all day teaching the what and how, but never the why? (a bit of rant I know but the more educated I get the more frustrated I am with that. When they say knowledge is power, it is knowing the "why" that is that power's source. Why does a school select applicants in a particular way, and can you figure that out from how they select people?)  Ask yourself - why does Western only consider GPA and MCAT for interview, and then why is the MCAT the real barrier? Again they don't directly evaluate ECs - why? What is the basis for Western's interview questions etc - and why for that as well? I mean overall we as a profession are incredibly transparent in what we are looking for - more transparent than any other profession by far I believe telling you exactly the criteria. In general medical school questions are not "did you climb a mountain?" but closer to "if you decided that the mountain must be climbed, how would you do it?"

 

bottom line - yes, you need to calm down :) Deep breaths because fear really is the mind killer. Time to focus. You have an interview - you are in the top 10% of the people that applied give or take. That is no accident, now go make it count. 

rmorelan, can you be my Uncle that I call for life advice? C'mon, you can tell me your life stories over tacos.

 

But seriously you are right. I cannot psyche myself out (something I learned from the MCAT). At the end of the day it is HOW you present yourself, not how many things you use TO present yourself, yea?

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Yeah dude, this forum (and social media in general) provide a very skewed view of reality that often leaves out many of the less than desirable aspects of people's lives.

 

Nothing much to do other than realize that and get over it. Really you should get off of this site, it's a cesspool of pre-med (and med) anxiety as well as general neuroticism.

 

What you have described and are experiencing is totally normal however, and is often part of the interview trail when it comes to med school applications.

 

It's totally ok to feel less than confident and to feel like you're a POS. The reality is you're stressed out, perhaps unsure of how to best prepare, may be neglecting your personal self-care strategies and are very excited but also nervous about an opportunity that you have been extended.

 

The key is to allow those thoughts/feelings and take constructive action towards your goals, regardless. Over time, you'll then find that these things don't bother you and things tend to go rather smoothly with minimal effort. It's also worthwhile to remind yourself that you were extended this interview opportunity based on merit.

 

By the way, I have zero competitive sports experience, zero research, never did NSERC, no honours thesis, never TA'd, was never a president of a single club and was able to choose which med school to attend--ultimately going with my top choice.

 

Succeeding in the med school admissions process is nowhere near as insurmountable as some may lead you to believe.

 

Take care of yourself, prepare wisely and continue to put your best foot forward. That's it.

Indeed, I think it is a general anxiety I am feeling because of this opportunity! And you're right, you don't need these things to make a good impression. -sigh- Take deep breath, me, everything will work out if you put in the effort!

 

I definitely agree with that last point, often here, SDN, and **DELETED** it seems like to get into medical school you needed to start on this path super early, like you needed to win 5 different awards in elementary school for science early LOL

 

I CAN DO THIS

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Agree with above.

It's 100% normal to feel this way, but you earned yourself an interview, so you do deserve it as much as anyone else.

Also, know the following: most people really aren't that exceptional.

Everyone is just as nervous about exams and failing during preclerkship. Most people can't accept that they are around the average in terms of grades. People keep procrastinating (for example, last week I was with a senior resident about to write his royal college in a few months, but he spent the weekend playing video games instead of studying). Most feel like they don't know anything during rotations, and they are insecure when others seem to do more or know more etc... This sensation of inadequacy kind of carries on in a sense for many, if not the vast majority of students.

I'm telling you, this is kind of irrational and you do indeed need to stop thinking that way. It is doing you no favours. There is no point comparing yourself. Besides, being good on paper doesn't mean all that much. I've seen people who seemed great on paper, but didn't manage to get in because they were deemed too unfit for medicine by interviewers (such as complete lack of basic qualities such as complete lack of judgment, absolutely not open minded, arrogant etc....). 

In summary, for now: you earned your interview. Now go ace it.

There really is no point in comparing myself to others, you are right about this. Everyone has had their own path to how to get to where they are today, and I need to focus on -my- path, not someone else's. 

 

I think because, so man years ago (what like 2 or 3) in university I thought I would NEVER be able to even have a CHANCE at Canada (low gpa + low mcat, and yea this whole EC worry), and now in my second gap year I do (low gpa but high mcat!), I think I was hit with a mash of anxiety from those days. I just need to put those thoughts to rest.

 

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There really is no point in comparing myself to others, you are right about this. Everyone has had their own path to how to get to where they are today, and I need to focus on -my- path, not someone else's. 

 

I think because, so man years ago (what like 2 or 3) in university I thought I would NEVER be able to even have a CHANCE at Canada (low gpa + low mcat, and yea this whole EC worry), and now in my second gap year I do (low gpa but high mcat!), I think I was hit with a mash of anxiety from those days. I just need to put those thoughts to rest.

 

 

I am curious now - and you can PM me if you like with this - what right now is your best two years and your MCAT. 

 

and you are right - it doesn't matter how you got to where you are. You are there. Move forward :)

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dude, i didnt TA, my research sucked (not even a poster), my gpa/mcat just average, didnt do any leadership stuff, and didn't do overseas volunteering etc.

 

still admitted. 

 

Honestly man, people just like normal people who are sincere. If you present yourself well in a thoughtful, sincere manner, you will look good during the interview and do well.

 

Be confident and present yourself. Forget all the numbers, scores, relativism nonsense. You are as qualified as the other guy who may have great numbers once you're at the interviews stage.

 

Tons of people with great numbers don't pass the cut, and there is a reason for that. You don't need to be genius to get an MD.

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