- Studied an orchestral instrument for most of my life - Research in evolutionary genetics (4 months), cardiovascular disease (2 months, summer program), and the development of the eye (one year working as a research technician after graduating) - Representative in undergraduate volunteer organization for two years - Summer volunteer at a nonprofit clinic for Catholic diocese - Various artsy / humanities related activities
I have rounded my GPA and changed a few details to preserve SOME of my anonymity. :) It probably is still easy to tell who I am, though.
// Applications //
Application Cycle One: 2008
Undergraduate college: Anonymous
Undergraduate Area of study: Biological/Life Sciences
Total MCAT SCORE: 519
MCAT Section Scores:
Overall GPA: 3.60
Science GPA: 3.50
Summary of Application Experience
*** Thoughts on the Admissions Process ***
Having made it through this process successfully, I thought I would leave behind some advice and thoughts for future applicants. First of all, one thing I wish I had known before I applied to so many schools is that given that you have a decent GPA / MCAT score, the single most important factor that determines whether or not you get an interview seems to be geography. I applied to many schools in the Northeast and got only two interviews; I think the main reason for that is that I'm a Texas resident. If you want to go to a school in a certain area of the country, I'd suggest moving out there and establishing residency there.
Another thought--if you're interested in going to a certain school at all, go ahead and apply there, even if you consider it to be too competitive for you. I was surprised by the places that offered me interviews during this cycle. I got accepted to the University of Florida and didn't expect that at all as an out-of-stater. There's really no way to tell how you will do in the process. :)
This is just a side note, but although I ended up applying in the 2008-2009 admissions cycle, my parents pressured me to apply in 2007-2008. I decided that I wasn't ready and that I wanted to take another year to do research and improve my grades. In retrospect, doing things my own way was absolutely the right decision. This process is incredibly expensive and there's no reason to spend thousands of dollars before you feel like you're 100% ready. Taking the extra time is worth it, so if you happen to be in a similar situation, that's something to think about.
- Be very careful about writing good responses on your secondaries. The schools read them and they read them carefully!
- Be yourself and you'll end up at a place where you will be happy. Don't try to be someone you're not. :)
- Keep an open mind. I had never been to a lot of the schools I ended up absolutely loving, so I'm glad I applied to them even though I didn't know too much about their locations. Things have a way of working out.
Best of luck to you future applicants!
*** My Application Log ***
9/25/08 - I should have been keeping a better log of things up until now, but hey, better late than never, right? I'm trying my best to be content with the interviews that I already have at this point. I'm incredibly grateful to have gotten interviews at Baylor, Columbia USC, UF and Vanderbilt--if I got an acceptance at any of those schools, I would be overwhelmed with excitement. :) September is almost over, but honestly, if I got *no* interview invitations from this point forward, I think I would be all right. Still, there are a few places I'm really hoping to get invited to. I'm not egotistical enough to think I'm a perfect applicant, but hopefully I'm good enough to be interviewed late in the season at a few of the places I'm really hoping to visit. This process is so excruciating!
10/1/08 - No interview invites for two weeks now! Eeps! I'm starting to get really nervous that I won't get any from here on out. The waiting game sure is tough. :(
10/3/08 - Finally, my streak of bad luck is over. :) I got an interview invite from UT Southwestern today! Woohoo!
10/13/08 - No new interviews for quite a while now, once again, although I'm heading to LA this evening for an interview there. :) I called Michigan today and the nice lady informed me that my application has probably been reviewed several times already, and they're still undecided about me. She said the review process could go all the way into January. I hope I get an interview! I'm *really* hoping to get one at Michigan, UCLA, Northwestern, and a few other places. Also, I went to Columbia last week, and I really liked it. My interviewer was very down-to-Earth and into the same things as me (poetry, music), so we had a really nice conversation about all of the above.
10/15/08 - I got accepted to UF! :) I'm still waiting to hear from the other schools I interviewed at, but yeah, I'm so excited! I'm going to be a doctor!
10/29/08 - In the past few weeks, I've gotten a couple of new interview invites (Michigan, Wayne State, U of Cincinnati, Mount Sinai). So yeah, I didn't update about those yet. :) But today's news is that I got accepted to VANDERBILT! I'm ecstatic! To be honest, I thought that my interview there was a little bit awkward, so I wasn't expecting this to happen at all! I'm considering withdrawing from a bunch of places, but I'm still thinking about it.
11/03/08 - Wow, I got a joint interview at both Cleveland Clinic and Case Western today. Given how long I've been complete without any news, I was *definitely* not expecting that. Definitely going to check them both out! :)
11/14/08 - I got a pre-acceptance to Texas A&M this afternoon. :) I'm really hoping to get an acceptance to UT Southwestern or UT Houston as well (those won't go out until later today). Getting a pre-match offer makes me happy, though!
12/1/08 - I got accepted to USC! Phew, what a load off my mind--one of my interviews there was kind of awkward. I guess my interviewer didn't notice, too much. :) Just to add to the log above, I also got accepted to UT Houston, Texas Tech, and UTHCSA on November 15 (the day pre-matches start coming out in Texas).
12/17/08 - I learned that I got accepted to Wayne State University! Yay! The out-of-state tuition kind of kills this school for me though. :/
1/14/08 - I just came back from my interview at the Cleveland Clinic and Case Western Reserve University. I liked both of them a lot. I hadn't ever been to Cleveland before, and I was surprised at how much I liked it! The Cleveland Clinic is truly an amazing place, and I hope I get in. :)
2/2/09 - I had my interview at Washington University in St. Louis today. I liked it a TON, but I'm not going to get my hopes up because I had such a late interview. I liked my interviewer a lot--he was really into classical music and literature and whatnot, so we had a wonderful discussion. Here's hoping I get in!
3/4/09 - No news for quite a while now. I'm supposed to hear back from Duke and Columbia by this time next week, and I'm nervous to hear about what their decisions are! I have not yet received a rejection from the Cleveland Clinic and many people have, so I'm hoping I am at least waitlisted there. :)
3/9/09 - NO news all week from anywhere. I'm hoping that I will at least have something from Columbia in the mail today. Even a rejection or a waitlist would make me feel better than no news at all!
3/10/09 - Talked to my aunt today and found out she received a small envelope from Columbia for me. I'm assuming it's a rejection, but if it's not, I will update this page as such. Oh well--you can't win them all! Today I also found out that the Cleveland Clinic has sent out all of its acceptances already. What a bummer of a day...hopefully I at least made the waitlist? I'm praying that I get good news from Duke. :)
3/11/09 - I received notice that I am on 'hold' at the Cleveland Clinic today, which is good news, I suppose. I feel a bit bummed out because I know I'm going to keep on hoping I'll get a spot for as long as I'm on the list. I absolutely LOVED CCLCM and I will probably be hoping to get a spot until I know it's no longer possible.
3/13/09 - Rejection from Duke. Ouch. :/ Probably the biggest blow of this application cycle. I guess they didn't like me too much. I also confirmed my rejection from Columbia today. It seems like the schools in the East aren't too fond of me.