What Now

It’s been a while since I have updated this blog. Or at least, it feels like a while – although in my defense, I’ve been sick for a good two weeks now! Being an aspiring physician, I know it is sinful to admit that I usually avoid getting the flu vaccine. But when you’re hit with a strong bout of the flu for the first time in years shortly after agreeing to take the flu shot, you do begin to wonder. Anyway, enough of that tangent. My first round of midterms are coming up and I figured that as long as I am procrastinating memorizing all those bone diagrams for my anatomy exam tomorrow, I might as well churn out another post!

Where can I begin? To be honest, as soon as the MCAT was over, weeks began to blend together and before I knew it, we were in mid-March. It’s all one big blur of laughter, tears, and food. I did get my score back and initially, I wasn’t too happy with it given that I had a goal score in mind. However, after a few days of processing, as well as a few emails from medical schools encouraging me to apply, I have come to appreciate my score. Will I take the MCAT again? Maybe? It’s all up in the air right now, but since a new format of the MCAT is taking over next year, there are PLENTY of dates (like three in August!) left, if I decide to commit to an endless hour study marathon again. For now, I am content.

tumblr_mkhm6oCQ0Y1qh01r8o1_500-1394647004

As you might be able to tell from above, I also started/finished watching Happy Endings. I totally recommend it if you’re looking for a 30-minute “pick me up/study break” sort of TV show. Sadly, it only lasted for three seasons – more of a reason to check out this cult favorite!

Recently on Twitter, I’ve noticed numerous schools trending as high school students have been getting their acceptance letters (and I guess for the NCAA bracket). This past Friday, #UCLAbound began trending, putting me in a major flashback friday. It was just five years ago that I was in a similar position. I was a nervous wreck, but not because I was awaiting to hear from my “dream school” – more so because I just wanted to get into the schools I applied to. There was no real reasoning behind why I applied to the schools that I ended up applying to – some were from recommendations from others, some were from some internet browsing, and some were simply television-influenced (like Yale and Gilmore Girls). And when I decided to ultimately submit my ‘SIR’ to UCLA it was more for my family than anything else. I mean, don’t get me wrong, it is an amazing school; but I certainly didn’t decide to go there because of the athletics, or the Psychology department, or the food …. well, maybe a little bit because of the food, haha.

although we never had anything as fancy as this
although we never had anything as fancy as this

This is all coming back to me now, not only because it has been half a decade since, but come this summer, I’ll be going through another major application cycle once more. Sure, I sort of went through that process last year with graduate schools, but I had no idea what I was doing and my plan was haphazardly thrown together – sort of like when I was applying to undergraduate schools come to think of it. This time though, I know what I want, but even more so, I know what kind of environment I can thrive in.

I am currently taking classes at a community college for the first time. And not to offend anyone who has attended community college, but I was a little hesitant diving in given some of the horror stories I had heard. However, not only was it easier to sign up for classes than it was at a university, but these classes are SMALL. Compared to my Life Science courses ranging from 300 to 400 students, there are about 30-35 students in one of my biology classes. Amazing. My professors knew my name by week two and there was not a moment when I felt lost in a crowd.

As I begin to narrow down my MD/DO options for this upcoming cycle, I realize that the schools that I decide on must provide me the same sort of feeling that I have been relishing in community college. Regardless of school status or “fame”, the schools I choose must be on the smaller end when it comes to class sizes. Now I know that might be more harmful than helpful given that there are less spots to compete for – but at the end of the day, if I know I’ll end up drowning in a 500-person class setting, why place myself in one? Along with small class sizes, I also want to consider affordability and residency placement. Though I am a Southern California-bred gal, I don’t think temperature should keep me from applying – I think that’s more of a consideration when I (hopefully) am accepted and (possibly) narrowing down schools.

So what now? Well, at this point, I would love to hear if any of you have any pieces of wisdom regarding school selection or recommendations. All of the blogs that I am following have been incredibly helpful already and I am sincerely grateful, but if you find that you have anything to add, I would love to hear it. Until then, I’ll continue to work on my personal statement and relish this in-between year!

<3 A.

“What Now” – Rihanna

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16 thoughts on “What Now

  1. Your blog header is so cute :) And I like the layout you write your blogs with pictures included, great job! Anyways, I hope you feel better and continue blogging ’cause I’m interested in reading more. Feel free to check out my blog. I’m hoping to find people who can relate!

    • Haha, I just try to keep my readers entertained with some visuals here and there [; Thanks so much for visiting and as you can probably tell from my posts, we’re both 20-somethings stumbling through life :)

  2. Hi Serendipity. You posted on Opinionated Man and my curiosity got the better of me: I certainly couldn’t help but visit your Blog when you share the name of my favourite Muse :)

    For fear of sounding a little foolish, perhaps I should explain. I am a spirited Artist, though not of any substantial merit, humbly persisting as a drop of life in our oceanic universe, and secondly a fledgling writer with honourable but larger than life motivations, whose thoughts are stirred by the tenderness and grace of Love’s gentle hand, which inspire me to pursue my endeavours with undiluted passion and fervent determination. I love to journey through space and time and periodically stop to rest a wile with a caring soul.

    And so it is that I arrived at your site mainly through chance, but we can call it Serendipity as that seems a common denominator from the outset, and best describes the enjoyment I found in meeting you through a reading of your Blog site. Two other beautiful Muses always me on my travels to promote and share my thoughts in life, Synchronicity and Synaesthesia, both of whom have guided me equally to be here now.

    So why did I descend and linger a while on your Blog for just long enough to view a snapshot of your world, glimpse momentarily behind your lifting veil, and finally post a comment? Perhaps it is because you stand at the crossroads of making an important choice in life? Or perhaps too, it is because I appreciate the honesty with which you write, and admire the way you present yourself to your reader. You express yourself with sincerity and clarity, and find pleasure I think in doing so. It suggests at the true nature of who you are and the beauty in your soul that would certainly inspire me to have trust in you as a patient. It is not often that one comes across such purity in people when the majority of those expressing themselves on-line tend towards sensationalism and an appeal to a reader’s more base desires.

    Equally, I am also fascinated by the contrived journey you have been taking through Medical school, and the expectations, intentions, hopes, dreams, and fears you have in moving forwards into your distinguished occupation. It is evident to me how much you care about what you do, how you strive to invest energy in what you do, and ultimately how easy it is for someone like me to see the truth of you in the passion you have to become more than what and who you are. It is like a breath of fresh air to come upon an individual with such a depth of integrity about them when there are many in life that cannot be so sincere or honest even with themselves about their motivations, intentions or goals.

    This is obviously a very important seven-year period in your life, when the true value of what we regard as ‘love’ will start to occupy your thoughts more and more. Love is far more than just the creative impulse; it is so much larger than that. Love defines the very structures of the world we see, feel, taste, smell and touch around us. Love is the relationship we have to all aspects of life, the universe, and everything in it. It is what describes and explains us. It is what expands our consciousness, amplifies our sense of awareness, augments our acceptance of beauty and grace, and ultimately provides us with an experiential source of unlimited joy. Somehow Serendipity, I get the distinct impression that you will be very successful in your chosen occupation and that with continued good grace, honest virtue, careful choices and genuine acceptance of your personal responsibilities, the path that has been laid out before you and made available to you by love’s careful crafting will offer you a wonderful journey in life full of purpose, reward, fulfilment, happiness and joy.

    So, I hope you’ll not mind if I drop by from time to time to catch up with your progress?

    Well, I’d best fly…there’s a whole universe of people out there waiting for me to meet up with. Thank you for giving me space to bring you a message from on high. Believe that you are never alone in any of your endeavours and that Love walks at your side.

    God bless.

    DN – 24/03/14

    • DN – Thank you so much for dropping by! Your post was so beautifully-written that I feel like my response is subpar in comparison. You are an eloquent and sophisticated writer and I look forward to reading your future posts and getting to know you better!

      • Hi Serendipity…thank you for such an inspiring reply, I am quite touched by your encouragement.

        I am also grateful that you found a moment to drop by chez Dewin Nefol and take a peak behind my veneer! First meetings in a virtual world are always such anxious moments…my Gravatar may be a nameless, faceless and hidden form, but when there is a shadow of a doubt, one should always trust their feeling heart to discern validity and truth in another’s honest words: the ‘real person’ will always shine through when words are read without fear, or doubt, or uncertainty.

        You know, I do find it curious that my posting ‘Self-Determination’ caught your eye. The Fire Butterfly heads up the posting of course, which is an unconscious and mischievous allure for any oxygenated Air sign such as you. But it is not the flame that Air flows towards; it is the attraction of heat that drives the currents in your mind. So, is it the Gemini in you I wonder whose airy imagination is firstly drawn by the sensual heat of Jacob’s smouldering union with his fiery Goddess, but whose thoughts crystallise as a flow of cerebral intrigue at the telling of an experience of psychological integration? I’d imagine someone with an intellectually enquiring mind and a passionate disposition might enjoy such an inner debate.

        If you are wondering, I am not called Jacob, and nor am I a Fire sign. I am an Earth sign…without whose gravity there would be no Air, but who without Air would be incapable of supporting life. Intriguingly, both Air and Earth signs share the same astrological ruling deity, Mercury, (I have long been on the trail of the Winged God!) whose given attributes as Messenger of God, prove a further common denominator in our chance meeting in that he is credited with bringing the gift of words to mankind. And it does seem as though we both share a deep interest and a kindling passion for expression using the written word.

        They say Air people benefit from friendships with Earth signs who will ground their flighty, high-climbing ideas, whilst Earth people enjoy providing solidity and form to the flow of ideas that only an Air sign can offer. In theory then, the proposal of a virtual friendship is a perfect union unparalleled by any other combination of astrological partnerships.

        Now isn’t that a wonderfully serendipitous thing and worthy of further exploration?

        • Hi DN,

          My apologies for my delay in posting and replying. I usually have about 2 posts a month (although I’m trying to increase that number!) and I was busy with midterms last week. I should have a new post out by the end of next week! Thanks for following up!

        • I have to admit, when I saw the title “Self-Determination”, my curiosity peaked a bit and I definitely wanted to hear more. I actually did not know so much about my sign until now! It definitely seems like this meeting was serendipitous and I know I will gain so much from this friendship.

        • Hey Serendipity!

          It’s great to hear from you…I’d begun to wonder if ‘chance’ had left us all. The Blog has been so unnervingly quiet without your updates, and I’m certain that I’ve not been the only one to have missed you. Of course I’d follow-up my original posts, I am one of your ‘followers’!

          How did the mid-terms go? You’d worked so hard for them, which leads me to believe, and hope, that you’ve been successful in your endeavours. When will you be notified of the outcome? Please know that everything has been kept crossed for a positive outcome including the best wishes sent to you. Your experience of the trails and tribulations of achieving academic success would make for an interesting read…I’m not sure if people fully realise the sacrifices and compromises an aspiring (and inspirational) lady of medicine makes in pursuit of their goals. I’m looking forward to catching up a little more with your life.

          I am grateful that you were a visitor to my emerging Blog, and found time to stay a while. You’ll be very welcome at anytime. Thank you for your following, I’m very pleased to have you there. You’ll bring a breath of fresh Air and the power of flowing ideas with you, and each time you come you’ll leave a little of yourself to help this Earth sign breathe.

          It was indeed my Muse, Serendipity, that brought me to your Blog, and I’m very glad to be making your acquaintance. You and her are so much alike. I too hope that we’ll grow in friendship and find ourselves sharing our thoughts and our ideas, and our interests and discomforts as well. I think the Internet has a wonderful ability to draw minds and souls together in a way that is unique and quite charming, after all we are relying solely on our intuition in discerning the integrity and mystery in another’s written voice. And to my mind, in embracing a higher level of cerebral functioning in both the transmitter of the thought and the receiver who reads it, and retaining clarity and understanding, must have the overall effect of encouraging better communication particularly when one considers 70+ % of our face-to-face conversation takes place through our bodies. And that’s not so easy in this digital realm.

          There are many sites out there that deal with Astrology and all of them offer something. Perhaps I’ll lead you a site or two where ‘friends’ of mine reside. In their own sphere’s of ‘expertise’ they provide their own views well and offer the traveller a colourful and insightful place to rest a while. A little ‘make-believe’ and a little ‘fantastical thought’ together with more erudite and learned words on many other topics are generously supported by theirs following. They are nice people, warm and sincere, amusing in their own way, and they write with the purpose of sharing their interests and encouraging good friendship’s. I’m sure you will feel right at home and the name Serendipity will fit in just nicely :)

          I too think, nay I know, our chance meeting was serendipitous and has yet to reveal its true purpose. There is a reason behind everything that happens…nature flows and we flow with it, and in that flow teeming with potentials and potentialities there are solutions, consequences, and conclusions to be found. Already I find it easier to breathe a little more deeply when you are around, and this in turn is providing me with a sense of peace and stillness. But I think it will be our enjoyment of words that will show us the way forward and I hope we will progress our friendship and find time to learn more about each other… I have a very good feeling we’ll be a big help to each other in some very special way.

          Fingers crossed for exam success, and all the best with the Blog. Can’t wait to read it :)

          Take care Serendipity. Until next time I hope…

          Namaste

          DN – 03/04/14

  3. Congrats!! The MCAT is behind you, you’re almost to the finish line. Well, I know you still have some time ahead of you, but you’ve come a long way! :) It looks like you’re already on a good start to figuring out a school list–you’ve got some good factors already listed out for consideration.

  4. On a seemingly unrelated note, I want to comment about the early demise of Happy Endings. I was really sad when the show got cancelled because I was a fan of its humor and wit. I think it was sorely underrated. Anyhow, I think I can’t contribute anything relevant regarding your choice of schools because our system here is different in the Philippines. Good luck though! And I’m rooting for you! :)

    • Oh I completely agree! I just couldn’t believe that there wasn’t some sort of closure – apparently it was pulled for low ratings because ABC kept moving its timeslot around but now there’s talk for a reunion movie! Let’s hope so! And thank you [:

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