Quantcast

A tough summer: Words of Encouragement

This forum made possible through the generous support of SDN members, donors, and sponsors. Thank you.

HaverfordSquirrel

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2016
Messages
27
Reaction score
2

Members don't see this ad.
Hello to the wonderful sdn community,

A quick summary of my summer:
-9 to 5 summer research internship with stipend
-hospital volunteering once/twice in mornings before work
-MCAT studying to take the exam in September

I've spoken with my prehealth advisor, who said that for me, this summer is doable if I persist and continue to work hard. I'm pre-MD/PhD, so my overarching goal is to skip gap years; personally I believe it's the right goal for me.

However, on top of being away from home for the entire spring semester and only getting one week at home to then leave for my internship, on top of living alone for the summer, I have spent most of my time outside of work by myself due to MCAT prep and the minimization of social life distractions. I know that if I hang out with people, my MCAT prep wouldn't be enough.

Is/has someone in the community going/been through a similarly tough situation? They say that medical success (success in general) always comes with loneliness and solitude.

I truly have had eyes only for the medical profession all my life. I've never done anything just for the apps, per say, and instead I've simply planned out my experiences in a way to get the amount of premed training/exposure that I know I want and need. But... I was wondering how people dealt with temporary moments of doubt, tiredness, etc as a premed. E.g. if there's a favorite speech I can check out, please let me know. If you have something uplifting/inspiring to say, I'd like that too :)

Thank you!
 
Last edited:

gublagu3

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2014
Messages
122
Reaction score
60
I hate to be a debbie downer, but I dont think you have thought this plan through. In my experience and the experience of many on SDN, you need atleast two solid months of studying to do well on the MCAT. I am just wondering where you will find the time to study for the MCAT if you are working 9 to 5.

Its good that you are motivated, but you dont want to overstretch yourself.
 

Dandine

Full Member
7+ Year Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2012
Messages
321
Reaction score
156
I can't speak much about working full-time while prepping for the MCAT, but I can suggest thinking about what you want to have time for in a week. There is nothing wrong with putting in time with spending time with people, if you need that to not get to the burn-out point. Take with grain of salt--I'm guessing you are far from people you are close to and can't spend time with them on a regular basis.

You are far from being alone: constant challenges come with constant doubt and worry if we can make it through. Most of the doubts I've faced so far have to do less with "I don't like this field" but more "I'm not cut out for this field." But in the end, regardless of your doubts, there has to be something that makes you want to keep going and get better in spite of what you go through. You must value the positive as much as (if not more than) the negative when it comes to working towards anything you want to achieve or work towards in life, med school included.

This post is relevant to everything I said in this last paragraph: my "uplifting thing" to share if you will (not by me; I like his writing).

http://www.mikelavere.com/college/premed-success-the-key-mindset-for-getting-into-medical-school/

Best of luck!
 

Link2

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Joined
Dec 18, 2015
Messages
92
Reaction score
40
I did something similar to you (had 3 summer courses with it), but I had been studying for the MCAT lightly for the past 2 years, so it was easier. If you haven’t been preparing so far, then you should try to lighten the rest of your summer workload or delay the test date.
 

wanderingorion

Full Member
7+ Year Member
Joined
Mar 31, 2015
Messages
1,112
Reaction score
1,992
I can't speak much about working full-time while prepping for the MCAT, but I can suggest thinking about what you want to have time for in a week. There is nothing wrong with putting in time with spending time with people, if you need that to not get to the burn-out point. Take with grain of salt--I'm guessing you are far from people you are close to and can't spend time with them on a regular basis.

You are far from being alone: constant challenges come with constant doubt and worry if we can make it through. Most of the doubts I've faced so far have to do less with "I don't like this field" but more "I'm not cut out for this field." But in the end, regardless of your doubts, there has to be something that makes you want to keep going and get better in spite of what you go through. You must value the positive as much as (if not more than) the negative when it comes to working towards anything you want to achieve or work towards in life, med school included.

This post is relevant to everything I said in this last paragraph: my "uplifting thing" to share if you will (not by me; I like his writing).

http://www.mikelavere.com/college/premed-success-the-key-mindset-for-getting-into-medical-school/

Best of luck!
Great article. I needed that.
 

Person1345

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Joined
Aug 11, 2015
Messages
193
Reaction score
249
I have to say, why are you taking the MCAT in September? Are you applying for the 2017-2018 cycle? If so, delay that MCAT until at least January. Take a light load of classes this fall semester and make MCAT studying a priority. If necessary, take the MCAT next May even, just in time for the new cycle. If you study efficiently, you'll only have to take it once.

And to address your concerns: I, too, was the loneliest I had ever been (when studying for the MCAT, doing research). This, too, shall pass. This is a short window of your life and the benefits will be worth it. You can do it.
 

ProspectiveKidd

Membership Revoked
Removed
Lifetime Donor
Joined
Jul 9, 2014
Messages
720
Reaction score
730
Coming from someone who has worked full time, taken full time classes, and done volunteering every week, you're going to be tired and its going to be difficult.

When you work 9-5, get home at 6, eat, unwind for a minute, start studying at 7 and be in bed early enough to not be tired every day when you have to be up at work by 8 to make it in by 9. That doesnt even include the days when you go in early to volunteer.

Where is the time to shower, groom, go get a haircut, other misc. appointments, laundry, prepare meals, decompress, clean up your room/house/car, etc. The time is not there and its hard. You have to be extremely efficient or you will wind up staying up too late to get it all done. I found myself going to bed around 2 every night throughout the semester and drinking a lot of caffeine during the day because I was so tired.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: 2 users

aldol16

Full Member
5+ Year Member
Joined
Nov 1, 2015
Messages
5,435
Reaction score
4,225
That's a tough schedule. Why not take the MCAT in January? There's no rush if you were going to be taking it in September anyway because that would be really late for this cycle. You would also get more study time in the fall semester since school typically isn't a 9-5 job, depending on what other commitments you have. It also depends on your current job. If it involves a lot of mental work, you'll be exhausted at the end of each day and not be able to do any focused studying. If it's not difficult at all, you could very well pull this off. It all depends on a lot of factors but if you're applying next cycle anyway, there's no reason not to wait until January. That gives you plenty of time to continue studying and retake in April and even May if you are not satisfied with your score, although you should always go into it with the mentality that you'll only take it once.
 

supremetaco

Full Member
Joined
Jul 31, 2015
Messages
34
Reaction score
24
I have a similar, yet slightly different, situation, but I feel you on the solitary/lonely part.

My MCAT phase is behind me, but this summer before starting school is easily the hardest I've ever been through. I work full time as a med scribe, which in and of itself is a fairly easy job. However, my financial situation is what's been destroying me. I work a mix of morning, day, and night shifts during the week in the ER, and the days I have off I go to help my dad at our dry cleaners. My mom left us recently and my sister is abroad for school so I've been helping out when I can since we can't afford to hire another employee. That plus paying for my car, loans, and buying my sister something when I can, I end up barely living paycheck to paycheck with my only time off being my time at the gym.

From one drained brother to another, hang in there. Every case you see, every publication and every practice test is preparing you to be the most prepared physician you can be. Medicine is changing, medical technology is advancing, and I personally want to be working at the forefront of that change. Yes, I agree that it's important to think about how likely it is that you'll succeed given your time frame, but no one knows your limit as well as you do. If you can keep going, then keep going, but like @aldol16 said, you should consider your timeline if you aren't applying this cycle. If you apply next cycle, you just need to take your MCAT by May and you're still early enough for first wave of applicants.


This is Al Pacino's speech. A lot of workout motivation playlists have really good speeches if you want to check them out. In the words of Al Pacino, "Life's a game on inches." Fight for that inch every day and one day you'll be measuring the yards you've come.
 

utmn

Full Member
Joined
Aug 26, 2013
Messages
90
Reaction score
124
Hello to the wonderful sdn community,

A quick summary of my summer:
-9 to 5 summer research internship with stipend
-hospital volunteering once/twice in mornings before work
-MCAT studying to take the exam in September

I've spoken with my prehealth advisor, who said that for me, this summer is doable if I persist and continue to work hard. I'm pre-MD/PhD, so my overarching goal is to skip gap years; personally I believe it's the right goal for me.

However, on top of being away from home for the entire spring semester and only getting one week at home to then leave for my internship, on top of living alone for the summer, I have spent most of my time outside of work by myself due to MCAT prep and the minimization of social life distractions. I know that if I hang out with people, my MCAT prep wouldn't be enough.

Is/has someone in the community going/been through a similarly tough situation? They say that medical success (success in general) always comes with loneliness and solitude.

I truly have had eyes only for the medical profession all my life. I've never done anything just for the apps, per say, and instead I've simply planned out my experiences in a way to get the amount of premed training/exposure that I know I want and need. But... I was wondering how people dealt with temporary moments of doubt, tiredness, etc as a premed. E.g. if there's a favorite speech I can check out, please let me know. If you have something uplifting/inspiring to say, I'd like that too :)

Thank you!

Hi! I think it's totally doable. I did a similar thing, though I was nontraditional: worked full time, took a class, volunteered once per week, and studied for the mcat over 2 months in my spare time. Since you're an undergrad, the mcat I think will be fine. The material is much more fresh for you than it was for me. With regards to loneliness, it was nt always easy! But I think it's important to remember that this is just 2-3 months of your life- don't equate this level of business to what you will experience forever. Med school can be (most of the time) successfully treated like a 9-5 which leaves plenty of time for social life, activities, exercise, etc.

My main suggestion is to study at work. Not in a sneaky or inappropriate way! But I would read between cases, on my lunch break, and did lots of practice problems online. Also, subscribe to those free mcat question a day sites to your email so that you at least do SOMETHING every day. Take one day to half day off per weekend to do something fun. You can do it!!




Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile app
 

utmn

Full Member
Joined
Aug 26, 2013
Messages
90
Reaction score
124
Oh! Also! I moved to a new city riiiight before I started this, so it was easy for me to pretend that I didn't have any friends because I was new there, not because I was busy. Somehow that frame shift was helpful to my sanity. And I used a lot of mantras- cheesy maybe, but they helped me stay committed. As long as you study a little bit each day you will be fine.


Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile app
 
Top