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Med student - Night before D-Day...what I wish I could tell myself


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Hi all! 

I haven't been on this website in forever now.  I am tired and procrastinating studying right now, and was thinking about where I was a year ago. I thought I would write a quick note to you all, sorry for any bad grammar... like I said I am tired, med school is super busy right now. 

Sooo, like many of you, I eagerly watched the forums and stayed up late to see my results got caught up in the whole button gate. I was lucky enough to get three interviews with Ontario Schools last cycle. I'll be honest I didn't handle the stress of applying to medical school well, I waited up late to see the OMSAS portal update and was devastated when I didn't get any offers. I ended up getting waitlisted to all three. I eventually got off the waitlist and am now in med. I will be honest waiting on the waitlist was probably one of the hardest things I ever did. Even now, thinking back to how I felt a year ago  I instantly feel sick to my stomach. I'm surprised I didn't get a stomach ulcer while I was waiting. There are so many things I wish I could have told myself last year, so instead, I thought I would tell you. 

1. Take a deep breath
Okay, this is easier said than done... but seriously, take a big breath! Tomorrow you find out if you get into medical school, yes it's a big big moment in your life but there are so many other things in your life. When I got waitlisted, I felt like I died inside. I had so many bad thoughts. 
"How could I screw up 3 interviews, and I that much of an idiot???" or "I wasted a year of my life and thousands of dollars for nothing"
It's hard not to go to a dark place when you get rejected/waitlisted but I hope you can focus on the positives. Think how far you have come, how you were earned an interview, you didn't waste a year. I am on the younger side and I felt this pressure to get into med right away. I felt awful thinking of applying again and "wasting" another year of my life but seeing all my classmates in med there is honestly no rush. Med students are all ages and when you get here does not matter much in the long run. Most importantly, just because the result wasn't one you wanted doesn't mean everything is over.  

2. Lean on your loved ones. 
For myself, after getting waitlisted, I wanted to stay in my room all day and cry. COVID added to this, but I didn't want to talk to any of my friends or my mom. I pretty much hid in my room for 2 weeks, feeling sorry for myself. If I weren't so distant, I would have noticed how much my mom was trying to support me and would have felt better soon. A really important note I want to say is that whatever the result is tomorrow, you never have an excuse to be rude or mean to people. Perhaps in my darkest hour, I definitely told my mom to go away and stop trying to make me feel better. I regret that, and although everything is fine now, I wish I could have changed how I handed the waitlist news. If you get bad news tomorrow, challenge yourself and think of it as a practice for when you are a stressed doctor or if you got bad news about your patient. Don't let the news turn you bitter and compromise your values and morals. 

3. Leave things up to "destiny" 
So I am not a big fate or destiny person; however, so times, you just have to let things be.  I was 100 percent the person last year trying to figure out about the mystery button. I was the person looking at the interview threads trying to see who had better GPA's or MCAT scores than me. I was one of the people who helped figure out the Ottawa waitlist placement based on the timestamps. I was the person counting how many people were in the med class Facebook groups. In the end did any of this help me get in??? No... my interview was done, it was out of my control. I would either get off the waitlist or not no matter if I spent time on those things.  But doing all that did not help my stress levels and honestly was a waste of time!  At some point, you have just to let, god, fate, destiny, the universe... whatever you want to call it to do its thing. Sometimes knowing you have no control can be freeing. Instead, focus on what you can control, such as trying to relax and enjoy the moment. This is definitely easier said than done, and I am sure some of you won't agree with me, and tbh I wonder if I will be able to do this when residency matching happens for me. But it is something I notice the doctors I have met do. They understand there is only so much you can do, and sometimes you just have to leave things up to the universe, and it a skill I want to practice since I know it will make me a better doctor. 

Anyways here are some things I wish I could tell thinking back to last year.   I wish you all the best of luck no matter what way things go. If you get waitlisted, don't freak out; there is still alot of hope. The waitlists can move alot. If you get a rejection, that is okay too. Take the time to accept that it sucks. When you are ready, start moving forward, reflect on what you have learned this past cycle and apply again if you think you are ready. 

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