With the start of a new semester, the buzz has begun again is it has every year, arriving with the changing leaves of the numerable deciduous trees surrounding the medical campus I work at: premedical students. Not so long ago, I was in their exact position – the mounting pressure of trying to condense the past at least 3-4 years of your academic and extracurricular achievement on an 8 ½ X 11 sheet of paper. And even worse, trying to sum up your intellectual, personal, and social being in 5400 characters or less in hopes to get that interview to go through another round of proving yourself within the first few minutes. Perhaps what makes us most nervous is the fact that we might not be who those admissions committees are looking for, that maybe we’ve wasted our years in college taking the wrong classes, joining the wrong extra curriculars, or focusing on the wrong major.
Now that I’m finally an outsider looking into this circle, please remember there is nothing you can do “wrong” from spending years off traveling to failing a course. Everything you have accomplished makes you a part of who you are today. Just reaching the stage of applying to medical school makes you a leader. All of this talk about needing to be chosen is just another way of learning to choose ourselves over everything else.
Regardless of where you start, more important is the journey you take to end up where you want to be. High school, undergrad, medical school – it’s just part of that journey, part of our never-ending quest to make a difference; and while it may change our lives, may alter our futures, may even change us as people, it is only as big and bad as we make it. Med school is like any other test- it can make us or break us. But it cannot measure how capable we are of fulfilling our potential. Tackle interviews with honesty; be smart but also be confident!