Photo by Mantas Hesthaven on Unsplash

What I’ve been up to the last 4 years Part 2

It was 7:45am and I thought I had arrived early. As I turned the knob and entered the room, I was surprised to see it full. All heads turned towards me and my face flooded red. I always got embarrassed by attention but also enjoyed it. I could not help but laugh inside because I felt like I was in a movie.

It was the day of my MCAT. The tension in the room was so high you could cut it with a knife. Everyone was nervous, including myself. You could see it on their faces. Only a premed would understand the nervousness and neuroticism that comes with taking the MCAT. Some students tried to diffuse their nerves by having small talk. Most didn’t.

I felt pretty good about the test. Despite a lackluster effort, I was able to score high on my last two practice exams. However, I still crammed last minute (old habits die hard) and got little sleep the nice before. After having a 1lb ribeye for breakfast, I armed myself with a couple monster energy drinks and entered the arena I’d battle in for the next 8 hours.

Looking back, the test was brutal, but I thought I did the best I could. One thing that pissed me off was the guy next to me was audibly distraught the entire test. He continually sighed every 10 secs loudly, like to exclaim “I’m fucked!” for the next 8 hours. I was not only taking the exam, but I was also contemplating cussing him out. This would have not ended well for me. I felt like he knew he was fucked so he was trying to distract us as well. The ole pull you down like a crab strategy. I wish I used those ear plugs but they were really uncomfortable. Anyways, I went on taking my test, doing alright, and in the end underperformed.

I scored a 507 which is 71 percentile. Far from my 520 goal. I was quite sad about this score because I scored a 511 and 514 on my last two full-length practice exams. I should have realized that test-day conditions were far from the ideal conditions I had in my quiet apartment. I also squandered my study time the past two months leading up to the exam. If I had studied harder, I would have performed significantly better. This brings me to a valuable lesson:

The value of time and the consequences of procrastination.

I have fallen to the devil of procrastination many times but always seem to forget it. They say the best lessons are the hardest learned. I couldn’t agree more. I’ll never forget this time whenever taking on an important test like the MCAT. Unfortunately, your MCAT score determines what medical schools you are competitive for as an applicant. I had limited my opportunities because of my lack of discipline.

I took the test on June 30th, 2019 and the scores are released 1 month later. The AMCAS, which is the application service for medical school, has been out since June 1st. Most premeds submit their applications at midnight on the first day, let alone the first month. Without a score in hand, I wasn’t sure whether I should apply this year. Deep down, I wanted to apply and believed in myself. On the outside, everyone was telling me to wait until next year. I posted on a popular premed forum and the overwhelming answer was to wait until next year. I changed my mind probably a thousand times over the next couple weeks and eventually decided not to apply. A couple week later, sitting in Starbucks, I felt lost. It was early October and I felt like It was now too late to apply. But something came over me. I believed if I could prepare my application well enough, write out my experiences, and apply broadly, I might have a shot. If I didn’t apply, my chances of acceptance was 0%. If I applied, it might be 25%, 50%, 5%, maybe 1%. I really was at a lost.

There are certain moments in life which are more important than others.

Just like on my birthday about a year ago sitting in that pool bar with my friend, I followed my gut again. I decided that I will stop listening to what other people say and make decisions myself. After all, I had the most information and knew my chances better than anyone else. I decided to apply in spite of all the warnings people said. I don’t want to bore you with the details but I ended up with multiple interviews and acceptances. I learned to listen to your gut and to not listen to the naysayers because if you did, you will never get anywhere.

So, over the next few months, I went ahead and applied to many medical schools. I spent my days working full-time as a scribe and writing secondaries. Although I had applied late, I received multiple interviews and acceptances. Currently, I plan on going to New York City for medical school if I don’t get accepted to my top two choices. I love NYC, and if I get the chance to go there for school, I’ll be killing two birds with one stone. With the brunt of the work behind me, I have much more free time now. This is partly why I began writing again and why I’m here. Anyways, I’ll try to write more helpful posts on my mind and keep you up to date on things. This blog will serve as a journal/ideas/things on my mind. I don’t know what I want out of this yet, but I’m just happy right now to have an outlet for my voice.

Thank you once again and I’ll catch you next time!

Aldo

Navigating through this world with uncertainty but excitement. [Software Engineer]