Get ready to read about Nora T., a pre-med post bac student who blogs at Finding the Answers and Life in America and other horror stories. You can read about Nora’s med school admissions adventure right here and follow her on her blog. Thank you Nora for sharing your story with us – we wish you the best of luck!
Accepted: We’d like to get to know you! Where are you from? Where and what did you study as an undergraduate? What is your favorite movie?
Nora: I was born in Barranquilla, Colombia. I moved to the United States at 16 and have lived in Brooklyn, NY since. I attended Baruch College (New York, NY) right after HS and obtained a BA in psychology. My favorite movie is V for Vendetta, Viva la revoluzione!
Accepted: What stage of the med school application process are you up to?
Nora: I am doing a post bac pre-med which in English means I am back in undergrad but I am not pursuing a degree, I am only taking the prerequisites for medical school, which is also terrible because all my classes are sciences. I do not get to match the hard ones with some easier curriculum course like music or history.
Accepted: In your blog you say you are a nontraditional applicant. In what way(s)?
Nora: I am nontraditional because I am not coming straight out of undergrad. I am also an independent student, which means I don’t have the privileges people who live with their parents or have financial support do.
For example, most traditional applicants invest 100% of their time in their classes, since they do not have to work to survive, they also have more time to volunteer and/or do research for free. It is significantly more difficult to have to do all of the above PLUS make sure you have enough work hours to pay for rent and food. Responsibility adds to your level of stress which reduces your ability to concentrate, which in turn hurts your grade. It is a big challenge to juggle life under these circumstances.
Accepted: What has been the most difficult pre-med class so far?
Nora: Is this like a serious question? ORGANIC CHEMISTRY! DUH!!! I literally went back to therapy and was put on antidepressants while taking the first Orgo level. The density of the material is insane, very hard to not fall behind in reading. You have about a week to master around 10 reactions, not memorize, not manage, but MASTER the reactions. The sole purpose of this class is to “weed” people out of the pre-health tracks which is the only thing that kept me going. I told myself every morning “I will not be weeded out.” My desire to become a doctor is greater than the density of this boring abstract material.
Accepted: Do you have a dream med school? Where do you hope to attend?
Nora: I love the fact that this question is broken in two. My dream medical school is Harvard, I have always loved their program plus they have a new pathway one that is calling my name. However, my “reality” school looks like one of the SUNY medical colleges. I am aiming to attend one of these because I have a higher chance at getting in due to being a state resident and the cost is significantly lower. I also want to attend med school in the suburbs or a small town. The city life has me exhausted. I will still apply to Harvard and Cornell but I am trying to put my eggs in more than one basket and keep my expectations grounded.
Accepted: Can you offer some advice to others who may be thinking about going premed?
Nora: My advice would be: check your motivation. Why do you want to be a doctor/nurse/PA? What do you seek to gain? If you are doing it for the money, there are easier, faster paths to that. If you are doing just to help people, there are easier paths to that too. Make sure you are clear this is what you want and that your motives are strong enough to sustain through a decade or hard miserable work.
A second piece of advice would be: enjoy it! Life does not start when you become a doctor, life is happening NOW. Embrace your sleepless nights and everlasting labs, laugh about the 58 you got in a test and move on, you will only do this once – LIVE!
Accepted: Can you tell us about your blog? Who is your target audience? What do you hope to gain from the blogging experience?
Nora: I have two blogs. The first one is a study tool blog. I put this up because I am constantly Googling answers and study aids. I cannot afford tutors or paid online answer services so I must find free resources. And in the past I have found resources. I personally believe in giving back and through this blog I help other pre-meds find those answers that are keeping them up at night.
My other blog is more personal, made for venting and telling stories. My target audience is other desperate students. I opened these blogs with the hope to reach others and connect. I believe online communities can be a source of support. Never underestimate the power of Twitter.
Do you want to be featured in Accepted.com’s blog, Accepted Admissions Blog? If you want to share your med school journey with the world (or at least with our readers), email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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