February 13, 2010

decisions decisions. For the past two years now decisions to do with higher education have ruled my life ruthlessly. First it was what to do about my crappy AS grades. I coasted through gcse and managed to still get A*AAAAAAA BB C, which i was fairly pleased with.

Then I made an idiotic mistake (as I do only too often) and assumed I’d be able to coast through my A levels and still get the grades for medicine.

So summer 2008 found me feeling rather miserable. I’d achieved AABCD – not bad, except the C was in chemistry, a subject essential to almost all med schools, and the D in physics really wounded my pride. The two A’s and the B were in biology, which had alwyas been by far my strongest subject, critical thinking – a subject not accepted, in my opinion unfairly, by most medical schools – and¬† english language. I decided to apply anyway, but being predicted ABB i made preperations for my gap year, put my head down and focused solely on exams whilst everyone elses UCAS application drove their blood pressure sky high. Things would change in my A2 year, i vowed…

They didn’t. Well, they didn’t mostly. I did pull my finger out of my ass with chemistry and retook all my as exams much more succesfully. But I carried on coasting with english and biology, and managed to come out with AAB in bio, chem and english langage respectively. And here’s the kicker – my chemistry came to exactly 480 – one mark less and it would have been a B!

It was a huge relief getting the grades in the end, especially since I’d just returned from volunteering in ghana, which I’d managed to convince Mum and Dad to pay for on the basis that it would help my application; they would’ve killed me if i hadn’t got the grades after they forked out for the plane tickets!

The next major decision – which universities to apply to this time around. It was a pretty simple process for me; I looked at the ones that accept AAB along with my mediocre GCSE grades and it really narrowed the lsit right down, and then I just picked according to which courses I liked the sound of.

Second time around I managed to get my personal statement right, and that along with my a UKCAT average of 725 (better than first time around, 580-ish) really served to strengthen my application. So I sent it off and waited. Not really much more to it.

To be honest I still can’t believe that I got two offers. TWO offers. I mean first time around I got none. Except biomedicine, but let’s face it, no one really wants to do that. So yeah. Sorry for the uber long post, think of it as payback for all those of you who’ve repeatedly pm’d me on tsr about my application. A hint; whilst it’s gratifying to be congratulated and asked for advice at first, it get’s pretty dull/boring/annoying/ohmygodgoaway after the first few times. Oh and if you’re going to plagiarise a personal statement, make it one of the better ones on studential and not mine, there’s no point taking a risk over something like that.

Might have to write an article on interviews next, although ima need some help for that one, the only interview I’ve had was manchester and from what i can tell their interview process is pretty unique. Hope this blog helps/ is helping some of you guys. Will be linking this article to the Who Am I page when i can be bothered. For now though it’s back to whiling the time away playing tetris on my gameboy original. Oh yes, I really am that cool…


Just an update…

February 13, 2010

to say that there’s an update on the way tonight, been a while I know, but I’ve been crazy busy. Got the offer from Manchester too! =D

Problem is, I now have no idea which medical school to pick; there was no way I ever expected to have a choice as to where I go after the fiasco that was my application last year.

But yeah, watch this space, article coming up outlining my old application, my new one, and why I’ve been so much more successful this time around.

(oh, and a few comments wouldn’t hurt, lets me know people are actually reading, which keeps me motivated to write.)

Man flu

February 5, 2010

So I haven’t actually forgotten about this blog (yet), just been a crazy couple of weeks (sister’s first baby, soton offer, manchester interview, nan’s bypass surgery). Queen Mary’s Hospital seemed like a world away from the place I volunteer at when I was visiting my nan. It ¬†actually a bit eye opening; I’d almost forgotten what it was like to be a patient or visitor in the hospital and the whole experience has put my view of hospitals back into perspective and reminded me that it’s all about the patient. No more getting annoyed at angry complaints about my tea/ coffee, after all, what do I have to complain about? They’re the ill ones, the least i can do is get them a half decent cuppa. The whole experience really got to me more than I’d care to admit anywhere else, reminded me of seeing my Granddad lying in a bed in that very same hospital. At least this time I was there for my Nan.

Still no word from manchester. Will update again when my nose is less runny =].Oh yeah, and nan’s fine, triple bypass was performed beautifully and she should be back up and running in no time. Definitely not in the literal sense though.

Rip Granddad. I hope I’m making you proud.