This interview is the latest in an Accepted.com blog series featuring interviews with medical school applicants and students, offering readers a behind-the-scenes look at top medical schools and the med school application process. And now, introducing Jessica…
Accepted: We’d like to get to know you! Where are you from? Where and what did you study as an undergrad? What is your favorite ice cream flavor?
Jessica: Great! I’d love for you to get to know me as well! I am from a small town in Southern California, and I studied Cell/Molecular Biology during undergrad.
My favorite ice cream? I LOVE mint chocolate chip – specifically, the kind from Thrifty’s.
Accepted: Where are you in med school? What year?
Jessica: I am an incoming MS1 at a wonderful school here on the West Coast. I love my school, because it focuses on raising physician leaders who will go on to serve in underserved communities.
Accepted: What’s your favorite class so far?
Jessica: As of now, I have not begun the official curriculum, but I am looking forward to topics that deal with Genetics and Molecular Biology.
Accepted: Did you go straight from college to med school? Or did you take time off? (If you took time off, how did you spend your time?)
Jessica: No, I did not go straight to medical school from college. I finished undergrad in December, and worked full-time until matriculation. In addition to working, I went on mini-adventures throughout California, and experienced this great state as a tourist would.
Accepted: Looking back, what was the most challenging aspect of the med school admissions process? How did you approach that challenge and overcome it?
Jessica: I think the most difficult part of the process was post-interview. There were times when I left an interview and felt as though I presented myself well, but then I would receive an admissions decision contrary to what I had believed. These adverse decisions were difficult for me to process, because I believed there was something wrong with me.
Those negative feelings were indeed real, but I decided to change my perspective on the application cycle. Instead of basking in those feelings, I chose to acknowledge them and change how I viewed an adverse decision. It was not because there was something wrong with me, rather I was not a good fit at a particular school. By changing how I viewed these decisions, I was able to process my feelings in a healthy manner, and not take things personally. In addition, I was able to encourage others who struggled with similar feelings.
Accepted: Can you tell us about your blog? When did you start blogging? What have you gained from the experience?
Jessica: Sure! I began Operation: Med Student because I felt I had a lot to say, but no place to say it. I wanted to find an avenue that: 1. allowed free self-expression 2. created a place where I could encourage future applicants and 3. allowed my family and friends to stay updated on my life as I transitioned into medical school. The latter was of most importance, because medical school will require most of my time and I did not want my relationships to suffer.
In March of 2015, I began to blog and I absolutely love the experience. I love connecting with current and future applicants, talking about musical interests and discovering new bloggers. From this experience, I learned that it is healthy, if not necessary, to find an avenue to release your feelings. It could be through journaling, singing, dancing…literally, anything! It is something that I highly recommend to those who struggle with expressing themselves.
Accepted: On your blog you talk a lot about your adventures. Can you share some highlights?
Jessica: As far as my adventures, I think one highlight was my recent trip to San Francisco. It was an absolutely amazing and freeing experience. There, I was able to attend a food festival called “Off The Grid,” and had a fusion chicken and waffle sandwich. I am an avid foodie and I must say it was delicious!
Accepted: And last but not least…your thoughts on boba and K-barb?
Jessica: What is boba and K-barb? Well, boba pearls are made of tapioca and can be put in hot or cold drinks such as teas or smoothies. You have to try it!
K-barb, short for Korean BBQ, is a unique experience that allows you to cook your meal yourself. You have a choice of several meats and sides (i.e. marinated chicken, brisket, kimchi) that can be used to create your own delectable meals!
You can follow Jessica’s med school adventure by checking out her blog, Operation: Med Student. Thank you Jessica for sharing your story with us!
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