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Terrible cGPA, average wGPA—things to do during a gap year?


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1st: 1.7 (no full courseload)
2nd: 3.0 (no full courseload)
3rd: 3.75 (full courseload)
4th: 4.0 (full courseload)
5th: will be 3.7-3.85 (full courseload for Queens, not for Western)

My OMSAS wGPAs when I apply will be: 81% UBC (as IP—though unlikely to get in), 3.84 (Western), 3.82-3.87 (Queens), 3.8? (Dalhousie), and I've never calculated Mac but I don't think there's much of a chance anyways. I've yet to take the MCATs.

I know I technically can apply, but it's never a good feeling looking at my cGPA. Not sure what my chances are. I think my ECs are pretty good and can connect well to CanMEDs/my personal story, but I feel more doubt and anxiety than confidence these days.

———

I have to take a gap year anyways since I won't be writing the MCATs this summer, but I am a little bit hesitant about how I want to spend my time considering how terrible my grades are.

I've been struggling with disordered eating since I started high school, but it got pretty severe during the pandemic and I'd like to take some time to deal with it because it definitely hindered me in university, and I don't want to deal with that over medical school.

I'd also like to take some time off to live with my aging grandparents, who I haven't been able to see over the entirety of my undergrad because I was always taking summer classes, trying to improve my grades. They live in a very rural city in Asia so I'm not sure if I'd be able to access any sort of volunteering work or extracurriculars that would make my app better.

Even if I don't go, there are some personal projects I want to work on, but I'm not sure if adcom will frown upon them as they're personal (as opposed to community or medicine-related) ECs.

-My mom and I (as a duo) got an offer to hold a small art exhibition in Asia next year and I'd obviously love to participate
-I've finished a novel that I've worked on since high school and I want to spend time either self-publishing or looking for a publisher
-I want to take a language certificate exam (it'll be my fourth language) to show some proficiency over it
-Someone donated a musical instrument to me (that I've played for YEARS but couldn't afford) and I'd love to take lessons again and do my RCMs
-I'd love to see a dietician/therapist for my disordered eating which has gotten really bad
-Of course, MCATs.

Not really sure where to go from here. I've been working towards med school my entire life and I'm 100% sure I still want it, but if I have to take a gap year anyways, I do want to spend some time doing personal things. I'm just a little bit burnt out from worrying all the time about my GPA and I'd love to spend time seeing a therapist + doing ECs that I didn't have a chance to do in uni.

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First and foremost, work on your mental health and seek treatment. Medical school and residency can be a struggle and many students without mental health concerns prior to starting struggle. Your weighted gpas put you in range at many places, assuming you do well on yours mcat and can sell your ECs. It’s up to you what you do with your time, but the things you mentioned are not unreasonable ECs if you can actually accomplish them, however you say you already have strong ECs. The risk of taking time off before applying is that it gets harder to go back for academic LOCs as time goes on. Considering the weighting rules for each school, consider another year of undergrad to boost your wgpa, especially trying to recreate that 4.0 year.

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