Inspire and Expire

“Breathe in, and breathe out”. That’s what I told myself 40 hours, 20 hours, 10 hours leading up to the MCAT and all throughout it. And now (at least for the time being), I’m done.

Done. Done. Done. I’m done. I just can’t wrap my head around the fact that it’s over. In fact, it took about two days for the thought to settle in before I decided to blog about it.

On one hand, I physically felt a weight lift off my shoulders as I walked out of the testing center. On the other hand though, it’s strange to have this singular mission that completely consumed your entire being for six straight months, be extinguished so quickly – dare I say, rather unceremoniously.

Not to say that I would want to go through the studying, signing up process, and entire MCAT circus again. But I did learn a lot more than I expected to throughout the process. For example,  you really learn who your true friends are when you have such an enormous exam looming over your head. You have those who respect your wishes and hold no hard feelings for the missed social gatherings. You have those who send you emails and texts of support and love. And then you have the latter who simply do not understand that the MCAT is symbolic of what you want to achieve in life. Yes, it’s just an exam, but it’s also part of that ticket to launch your life’s dream and profession.

Last Thursday, two days before the MCAT, marked the end of my fourteen-week Princeton Review MCAT Prep course. Surprisingly, I felt a twinge in my heart when I left, and proceeded to draft this up:

An Ode to the End of MCAT Class

Today marks the final day of MCAT classes. At such a declaration, one would expect a response full of jubilation and relief. However, I find myself oddly saddened that the end is here. Who would have expected that when I signed up for these classes three months ago, I would come out with a greater appreciation for learning and science? Given the horrible experience I had with my SAT classes six years ago, I predicted the same, if not worse, from this experience.

And yet, as the days turned into weeks, I found myself looking forward to the next class. My instructors were genuine, good-natured people, full of humor and advice. They enjoyed what they taught and likewise, instilled a thrill in learning that I had long forgotten about. Subjects such as physics and chemistry that made me cringe in college, were relayed in such a fashion, that I felt as if I was just being introduced. Every day, I am not ashamed to say, I learned something NEW. And I realized, that I actually have the capability to learn and love science. Gone were the days of believing I was unworthy or unintelligent because transcription and translation were unappealing subjects.

Along with these amazing instructors, my fellow students were not the cut-throat sort of pre-medical students that I had the misfortune of meeting my freshman year in college. Though they were voracious when it came to recalling concepts and studying, they were just as helpful and sweet. In fact, students would bring in little treats from time to time, for no other reason, but to relay the notion that we really were all in this together.

Having gone through this course, I now believe that I have what it takes to thrive in medical school. However, I understand that in order to have the best experience, I need an environment just as fruitful. If medical school turns out to be this – a small group of students who help each other and instructors who are passionate about what they teach, I think I could find some happiness in medical school.

So what now? I’ll wait (somewhat on edge) until I get my results before planning those next steps. I’ve signed up to take a few science classes at the local community college, and now that I know what I’m capable of, I’m a little more excited to go “back to school”. I should also try to take a whack at some of those resolutions I made twenty-seven days ago.

Nothing more to say, but I will leave you with this song that not only got me through some late-night studying, but was my personal anthem as I walked into the prometric testing center last Saturday. Who says EDM can’t be just as rejuvenating as classical music?

Best,

A.

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5 thoughts on “Inspire and Expire

  1. Congratulations! I know how exciting and yet terrifying the whole experience can be. It’s the first step of about a million in the long, crazy road of becoming a doctor so enjoy it and be proud! Looking forward to seeing how the rest of your journey goes and just know that there will be ups and downs, but keep focused and determined and never lose sight of your goals- something I’m still learning myself :)

  2. All the best luck in the coming weeks as you await your score! However, in the event that you do not do as well as you’d hoped for, do not despair! I had to take it twice, something I never wanted to do, and I literally began to feel like my journey was coming to an end. I let the defeat overcome me, and began questioning my entire plan. Don’t let that happen to you. I dusted myself off, worked really hard, and in the end was able to improve and ultimately get into medical school. As the other commenter said, never give up on your goals, and more importantly, never give up on yourself! I will keep all of my fingers crossed for you over the next month! You’ve got this!

    • Thank you for your kind words and support! I really appreciate it and I will keep your inspiring story in mind as I move forward with my goals [:

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