There seems to be some confusion among some of our regulars and sporadic visitors concerning the purpose and function of this forum. I would therefore like to throw the following thoughts out there: Myth #1: This forum is only (or primarily) for premeds. No doubt this myth is helped along both by the placement of the forum under the premed heading, as well as the fact that most of our posters are premeds. However, *all* nontrads are welcome to participate here. That includes med students, residents, and attendings. It also includes pharmacy, dentistry, optometry, podiatry, nursing, and other allied health folks, as well as their spouses, partners, and anyone else who is interested in nontrad issues in the health sciences. Put simply, except for spammers, there is no one who is not invited and encouraged to post here about nontrad topics. Which brings me to.... Myth #2: Nontrads are limited to a particular age group. While it is true that most of us are or were older than the average applicant, it is *not* the case that this is an inherent part of the definition of a nontrad. Nontrads come in many varieties besides just older ages: single teenage moms, political refugees from other countries, high school dropouts, and so on. Basically, if you think of yourself as a nontraditional student for any reason, then you are a nontrad. Period. Myth #3: The primary purpose of this forum is to support nontrads in every hair-brained venture imaginable. Although supporting each other through the tough times is a major purpose of the forum, the forum is *not* a source of unconditional love. While we expect all posters to treat each other with respect and civility, that doesn't mean we are all going to agree on everything. Particularly if you are asking for criticism about your plans or suggestions about what you should do, you should expect to be (constructively) criticized. If you are not able to take constructive criticism, then you shouldn't post asking for people's opinions. Myth #4: Other people can provoke you into violating the SDN TOS. Had to throw that one in there so's I can say, "Give me a freaking break." The onus for being a "good citizen" of SDN is, as always, on each of us as individuals. Please try to remember that there is a real person on the other side of that etherlink. If you wouldn't say it to someone's face, or you wouldn't want an adcom/your boss/your grandma to read it, then don't post it. Also, keep in mind that medicine is a small community. Some of the chops you feel like busting today may belong to the folks who will have your back five years from now. So, what *is* this forum for? Post your dreams. Post your disappointments. Post your successes. Post your questions, and maybe answer someone else's while you're at it. And for the love of Lee Burnett, read the FAQs sticky and use the search function before you ask a question that's already been beaten into the ground! Finally, this forum (and this entire site in general) as a resource is only as good as we make it. If SDN has helped you, then give back: make a donation, post your story as inspiration for others, review the schools where you interviewed, give tips on overcoming the hurdles you've overcome. There is a reason why the word "network" is in this website's name; as I've realized this year while interviewing for residency, the networking aspect of SDN is its most helpful function of all. So many SDNers (including several of you) have helped me through this process, from giving me advice on applying to hosting me and helping me navigate your city. Considering that I hadn't previously met most of the people who have helped me this year, I am more awed than ever at the power of SDN to bring perfect strangers together.