Prometheus123

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We're mostly done with moving and the aftermath of my uncle's death, so I bought some more secondaries. One of them asks for a single challenging problem and how you resolved it. Which of these should I use? (If possible, please try to refrain from quoting the whole post. If necessary, please try to quote only the bullet point you're referring to.)
  1. Moving to India, language barrier, finding work.
  2. Going to my then girlfriend's home state in India, convincing her father, family, and community to let me marry her (she said yes first, obviously).
  3. Quit smoking in 2013.
  4. Had trouble finding new clients after moving to Dubai. There were a few days when we didn’t have money for food. I sent agencies free sample content that they could give to their clients, which got me my first few projects in Dubai.
  5. Gained a lot of weight, became borderline obese. Eventually managed to lose and keep off 35+ lbs, regaining and maintaining a healthy BMI.
  6. During my first quarter back in school, my best friend from high school died in a mountaineering accident. I flew with his parents and our other close friends to Alaska to collect his body. The first day there, I had a paper due the next day. However, the WiFi wasn’t working where we were staying. I was committed to getting all As in pursuit of my dream, but I also needed to grieve his loss and be there for his parents. So I woke up early and walked several miles in the snow and freezing wind to the nearest cafe with WiFi, wrote the paper, submitted it, and walked back in time to go the funeral parlor with his parents and view his body.
  7. When I returned to college as a premed, it was essentially impossible for me to get into medical school. Nevertheless, I pushed myself and rescued my cGPA from ~2.3 to 3.26. I studied like a monk for the MCAT. The night before, I only got two hours of sleep. I felt like I failed the first two sections due to sleep deprivation and stress. I considered voiding, but instead, I did a meditation / kundalini yoga, glymphatic drainage, HRV-increasing technique on break. This vaulted me into a state of high performance for the second two sections, allowing me to make up the difference. Got 519 overall, one point below my goal. As a result, I raised my chances from nearly impossible to 50/50.
  8. Last year, a lawyer told us my wife’s green card case was too complicated for her to take. She recommended we work with her mentor, who would charge several thousand dollars. We couldn’t afford that. So I put in the time, learned the law, formulated a strategy based on the experience of previous applicants I read on forums online, and prepared the application myself. Our application was approved without a hitch.
  9. We've moved four times in four years now, a move for every year of marriage.
 

el_duderino

Some men play tennis, I erode the human soul
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I like #4. It shows real-world problems and perseverance, as opposed to interpersonal relationship issues. It's different and shows that you have some experience with the outside world that many premeds don't.
 

Ad2b

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I can't believe I'm saying this either; agree with Jonnythan... what's the world coming to!? <3
 
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el_duderino

Some men play tennis, I erode the human soul
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Jan 26, 2012
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I can't believe I'm saying this either; agree with Jonnythan... what's the world coming to!? <3
I was bound to be right one day. I'll not let it get to my head.
 
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joschar

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I think combining 1 and 4 could make a great one. 8 would be good if you don't show off. 5 and 9 are okay but pretty common (doesn't mean bad though). I think 2, 3, 6, and 7 would all be pretty bad for various reasons.
 
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Prometheus123

Prometheus123

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Sound advice. Thanks everybody.
 

speedwalker

don't @ me
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No to #2 because that should be common in America also (at least for traditional families). For #6, A lot of people deal with a death in the family/friends while in school so it isn't really unique. No to #7 because it makes you come off as a study robot during those months. #9, Did you face any challenges during moving?

Only #3 if that problem motivated you to start some initiative or program to help stop people with that issue
Only #5 if that problem motivated you to start some program/intiative/club/volunteering to try to help with that issue in America. Otherwise it just kind of sounds like humble bragging.

I like #4 most. Shows a lot of maturity, perseverance, adaptation, and is unique. Sets you apart from the thousands of younger applicants. #8 is alright
 
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Prometheus123

Prometheus123

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#9, Did you face any challenges during moving?
Yes. This move, the first place we thought we had locked down was given to another applicant with more income. So a couple weeks before our move out date, we had to start over. The city where we live has one of the highest immigration rates of any city in the world, thanks to a certain TV show that shall not be named. So this move and the last we were competing against wealthy OOS applicants who would apply to rentals the day they were listed, sight unseen, which we couldn't afford to do. (Don't these people know some of us have a med school application habit to support?) Finally, we found another place that was good enough by perseverance and plain old luck.

Then, a few days before our move out date, my uncle died. It was inevitable, but still. He was such a paragon of grit. He survived being a POW in WWII, various personal betrayals and losses, losing his memory to dementia, exile to a nursing home, and lifelong depression with a genuine smile. On some level, I was still holding out hope that he'd make it until I was in a position to do something, even if the only outcome would be making it a little less stressful for my aunt to have a conversation with him.

Because we had to change the place last minute, we had to do the move and clean our old place on our move out date. I got 3 hours of sleep the night before. On moving day, we stayed awake for about 21 hours. What kept me going was necessity and the adrenaline rush of saving our fish's life from ammonia toxicity.

Then we spent the next few days at my aunt's house with her and my relatives who flew in again from out of town.
 
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Prometheus123

Prometheus123

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Thanks again to everybody for the feedback. Sorry for venting. It's been a surprising few weeks, but I guess compared to most of the world, we got off lucky. Based on the consensus, I'll do #4, maybe with #1 folded in like @joschar suggested. Based on @kitkat13's minority report, I'll look into maybe adding #2 to my diversity boilerplate, since that fits with my theme there.

Many thanks :bow:
 
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