I'm not exactly sure what compels me to post this, but I'm going to anyway (apologies for the novel) There is no question that this application cycle is incredibly anxiety-inducing. Honestly, I can't remember ever being this keyed up in undergrad or even grad school. The combination of the sheer unknown, along with the potential for great accomplishment or soul-crushing rejection, is a rough pill to swallow. This could be a joyous application cycle, or highly disappointing. We all joke here on SDN that pre-meds are neurotic, and I think a lot of us would agree that we are. We want to do everything we can to accomplish this goal we have set out on, and SDN can be a great source of info and tips to get ahead in the game. But as I was recently reading through application threads, it hit me that I usually feel worse about myself after seeing everyone's stats, WAMC posts, and interview invites. Obviously selection bias plays a big role here, but it's tough to always keep that perspective. And I'll be the first to admit that it makes me feel a little proud when I see someone with stats lower than mine too. But numbers tell me nothing about a person or their experiences and insights. Plus I'm not an adcom, so I don't even know if a committee would prefer that person over me anyway. It's pretty much a false sense of security. So here's my disclaimer: If reading SDN stresses you out more than helps, then DON'T KEEP READING If you get energized after browsing, or you are seeking tips for MCAT or help with school lists, then I think that's different. But if you feel your self-esteem eroding after each post you read from Mr. Pre-Med student from Harvard with a 600 MCAT and 17 interviews already, then I urge you to take a break from SDN. Go outside, buy a hammock, pet your dog, take up knitting, whatever. I think self-esteem is key in this process, especially with interviews and how you present yourself to schools. You have worked hard to get to this app cycle, and you've gotta rest in your abilities and be confident in your accomplishments. I learned a phrase at my old job: Is what you're doing life giving or life sucking? So I ask you guys and gals, does browsing SDN give you life or suck it away? Like I said, if you're seeking practical advice, I'm all for it. But if you find yourself comparing your stats to everyone else on here (which I do, because it's so easy to do), causing your anxiety to spike, then take a break. It's not worth it, I promise. I know how addicting SDN can be, and I can't even promise that I'm gonna stop browsing completely But if this helps someone out there, I figured it was worth it. You stay classy San Diego.